Tuesday, April 19

Told You So

I suppose it is too much to expect my brain to inspire or to be inspired. It is quite the tired organ. Perhaps if I were to extract it from my cranium and place it on my writing table and poke it with the cactus I keep on my window-sill, perhaps then it would conjure up something worth writing about and something worth reading. I water my cactus and I spray my succulents. The word ‘succulent’ is delightful to me and it conjures up images of fruit in my mind, however it also makes me think of my own glans, strawberry-esque, weeping a solitary tear. Leave a brain alone for too long and it turns to genitals. There is nothing wrong with genitals. There is everything right with genitals. I listen to blind musicians and touch my genitals – just to scratch, you understand – and wonder what everything would be like if I had nothing between my legs. Indeed today, during a moment of stress in the office, I shouted out—‘Just like an Action Man!’ And I found it most amusing. Only my close friends understood me. Then I returned to whistling the theme tune for a soap opera. As a child my mother prohibited us from watching soap operas; quite rightly, she found them stupid and dull. One day she allowed my brother and I to watch a soap opera so that we knew what the other children were talking about. It was stupid and dull and we were drawn in. Then we grew out of it because it was stupid and dull. In the stillness of an office, though, I still find it entertaining to whistle, very loudly, the theme tune to a soap opera and others find it amusing, too. Sometimes they join in and everybody is whistling the theme tune to a soap opera. The office is not quite so stupid and dull. They stop, and silence resumes but for the scattered giggling of my colleagues and I smile widely. Why, only today I was in tow of a director, leading me to a meeting where I was sure to get a seeing-to. He was absorbed in his phone. We were walking very briskly down Victoria and the sun was out, casting beautiful blue and gold on everything, singing colour, a cold spring air. ‘Lovely day,’ I said. ‘What?’ he asked, not looking up. ‘Lovely day,’ I said. ‘Yeah.’ It was a lovely day. I was miserable and I hated my occupation but, for that moment, walking briskly down Victoria and the sun out was the most wonderful thing my heart could have desired. I thought of Virginia Woolf walking briskly down Victoria. She probably possessed a more elegant stride than my own, a class, a style that I could never pull off, a talent I could only hope to emulate, but I thought of her nonetheless. The man we were meeting regarded me as a worm, refused to shake my hand or even address me, but I thought he was pleasant enough anyway. He walked with a limp. I did not think too much about him not wanting to shake my hand. There were strips of sunlight sneaking in around the edges of the board they had tacked up over the windows. It shimmered in the wind. I knew that no one else was looking at the strips of sunlight sneaking in around the edges of the board they had tacked up over the windows. The man did not shake my hand when we left and only said good-by to my director. I wished him good-by. When we were outside I felt good to be back in the sunshine. ‘What a lovely day,’ said my director. It was. Why had I not noticed? We walked along briskly. The buildings were old and ornate. The smell of coffee poured out of cafes. I took what I could.

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