Monday, 21 January 2013


Distracted as an alley cat, sullen as a horse. Or at least, that's the way it seems to me, or maybe this is stupid and the only distractible creatures are us: the people. I know that I am useless and tugged forever and endless by underwater currents. I know my mind leaps on clicky links like catclaws on mice. I know, I know. But I don't know how to stop this little rat nose pushing the lever for more caffeine. I don't know how to say I've had enough.

You see, maybe if you're a duck or an anteater or a great blue whale drifting through a big ancient ocean, maybe it's impossible to talk about distraction. I'm being metaphysical here; I'm telling you that there has to be a difference between intention and action. Are you picturing a brown bear perched on a branch, half a grin on his face, thinking, how the fuck did I get myself in this situation? Or do you think that is sort of ridiculous? I know. It is sort of ridiculous. But it's a fine imagine to hold in your brain like a sticky gold paper star. You did good. Don't you worry. You did good.

So where was I? Ah. Distraction. Are you forever trying to put pen to paper and all you can think of is that game at the funfair, the one with the mallet and the goofy little rats that pop up out of holes? You have to hit them on the head, quick, knock them back down before they disappear. Before they go back down there of their own accord. Well, this is what bounces around my head sometimes: boom boom boom. Like, if I am not quick enough and don't do everything all at once, I will miss the chance to whack it. Is that a stupid thing to think? Would I be better off maybe just slowing down?

My boyfriend is taking a trip to a quiet place in the German mountains where they will prod him out of bed at 4 a.m. to sit on a mat and think about nothing. There will be no talking and, I must confess, I am scared. Or, rather, I am scared at the thought of what that would do to me. I think he is fine and quiet in that head; I am sure the goofy rats will pop up and out and he will sit still, sit quiet, not even slightly twitching for the hammer.

I will spend the same ten days in this nice house, alone. Did I tell you, in the mountains, they are also not allowed a pen and paper? Or a telephone? Or a book? That all their thoughts must ferment and stagnate, or maybe turn to pearls the way old grit transforms in an oyster's gob? Never mind. I will be here, is what I'm trying to say, and I am going to write like a goddamn motherfucker. I'm going to to talk to myself and I'm going to take a hammer and together me and the hammer and the not-so-quiet flat will start a-thwacking.

Distraction. Hammers. Snow falling on the balcony outside. Another hour of work I promised the day to do. This story, this story I'm writing about the circus. Melted cheese. Space on both sides of the bed.

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