Sunday, November 18

Just Noise

TIME IS PASSING quickly and I am not sure whether or not that is a good thing, but it is not something I have control over, so I decide not to think about it.
Winter sunrises are better than summer sunrises. The sun, its angle depleted somewhat, takes its time, the colours more arresting, lasting a half hour then disappearing into a sickly grey. At work I am moving under different supervision, the supervision of a Greek. He was – and is – my friend. He is one of my favourite people on this earth because he is so childlike in his behaviour and his outspokenness. He is very intelligent and possesses a fierce patriotism that, unlike the American version, is aware of its own faults and its history. There are thick black hairs covering his hands. I enjoy working for and with him. But I never see the daylight of my hometown, leaving in darkness, returning in darkness. I do not wear a coat, because it is only my hands that get cold, and winter is a fine season where the possessions of man and earth are made to look like ghosts and everything is in a struggle to make it to spring.
Time is passing quickly because I am so busy – I am apparently a ‘hard worker’. I take care of business at work during the day then, brushing away that frustration, I return home, practice my guitar, and drink and write into the night. In the morning I am a little slow from the sediment of red wine and the lack of sleep. There is nothing to do but get on with it. Last Thursday night I wrote, –

A man counting the bubbles of sunlight that make it through the treeleaves on to the pavement. Leaves move. He loses track. Starts again.

And it spawned a short story that is one of the few pieces that has satisfied me in a long time. The piece – inspired by a particular girl – carried me along in its wake for three nights. After some minor though tedious editing I am pleased with it and hoping it will end up in print.
What to do with the days, like today, when the sun hardly seems to shine, suffering in the weakness of winter to drain through the clouds onto the perpetually damp earth? What to do with the nights, like tonight, when my mood is such that not a single sentence seems adequate and writing is all I wish to do?
I went out with a male friend and a female friend. At the last minute he informed me – ‘She wants to go for a meal.’ I just wanted to get drunk. He and I were in a decent enough bar when she called and informed us that she was waiting in the restaurant and we were late. It was a tapas restaurant and I took my jacket off and sat down. She noticed my evident disapproval – ‘I thought this would be right up your street, as a bohemian writer.’
‘Bohemian writer? Fuckin’ hell.’ I said.
‘He isn’t a bohemian writer!’ said he.
‘I’m not a bohemian writer. Besides, this place is full of chairmen trying to nail their secretaries.’
She looked around – ‘O yeah, maybe it is.’
Her impression of me made me feel revolting. I just wanted to be back in the bar, getting drunk. Eventually, after the meal, she left, so he and I headed back to the bar. We sat outside but there were only couples and I asked if we could go inside where the music was playing. As soon as we were inside I knew that it was a terrible decision on my part. It was all young people, in groups, talking, drinking, getting along. I stared at them and tried to imagine me in their group, where I’d fit in, but I couldn’t see it. So I felt unfortunate and alone. When my friend put his drink down I picked it up and downed it. I just wanted to get drunk. In the end I walked home alone, angry. I overtook a man in a rain mac, then he overtook me and it angered me even further.

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