Tuesday, November 10

No Business Like

INSPIRATION HAD NOT seized me until the last moment. After a night out with my friends, twenty-four hours before the deadline, I decided that I would get something down and off to the judges. There was nothing to lose. I did not value the potential victory, or anything of that nature, but just to do something different. I had never entered a writing competition before.
The organisers contacted me—‘ We have had a huge number of entries this year and therefore we will only be contacting the 5 finalists by the November 6th. If you do not hear from us by this date, please assume your entry has not been shortlisted on this occasion.’ Ugh, I groaned, the American date. The sixth of November became the ninth, and after the day came and went without word from them, I accepted that I had not made the finalists. ‘Finalists’ was not a word I had ever imagined near myself. It was a word that stunk of sport, victory and prowess – all of which escape me somewhat. I could not imagine myself on any podium, however my work was out there and that was that. People had read it and it had not been to their liking.
That was it, though, I thought, why wasn’t I getting stirred up at this rejection? Stirred up at this loss? I am someone who wishes to write his nonsense for as many people as he can, in some misguided attempt to make it right with all the people whose writing he has read; yet here I was utterly indifferent that I could not even make the five finalists in my borough. I am definitely a fraud. There are others who deserve it more. Spare me a bottle of wine with your prize money?
I like the dead leaves on the dirty ground, bunched up against the kerb. Men from the council come and, while I’m at work, sweep them into bags, which they leave on the edge of the pavement. I prefer the dead leaves on the dirty ground.
The gate was shut, preventing my colleague and I from walking into the building site. We had to get to the meeting for four and I was clutching a quickly-cooling coffee. No-one came along to open the gate and no movement from the vehicles. A large lorry-crane started up, then parked at the road. A man pulled the gate ajar and motioned to me. I walked in front of the large lorry, but at that moment the driver, unaware of my presence, put his foot down. It went quickly. I heard my colleague yell; he called my name shrilly many times. I walked. I hurried. The lorry did not stop nor slow, it accelerated. I felt it brush my backpack. In all of my years in this city I have never been so close to being run down. I did not care. If I had been caught properly, there would have been no hope for me. How close I had been and how little I cared! I yelled—‘You silly cunt!’ to the driver who neither heard or acknowledged me. My colleague squawked—‘Fuckin hell, that was close!’ My coffee was getting cold quickly. Maybe winter was coming after all. It has been weeks since I felt any emotion of significance.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blank Template By subinsb.com