Friday, 8 February 2013

The Gods and the Pool

I've just discovered 750 words. It's awesome, another thing in a long list of trick your-brain-into-writing, Jane.  I am now writing 750 words + a minimum of 500 writeordie words a day, which is a lot, even if many of them are terrible. I am also editing. Finishing a 6700 word story about one thing and a 3600 word story about another, and I was always so short with stories, isn't that kind of impressive?

Here is the other thing: I am writing through the hangovers. I am ignoring the part of my brain that says: there is nothing for you to tell the world today, be quiet, you are kind of a dick.

I recommend everyone read this post by Michael Fitzgerald, creator of the awesome Submishmash.
I relish the times when it’s super miserable, when I haven’t slept or am hungover. If you can sit down and write when you’re completely uninspired, completely miserable, hating everything you’ve ever written or thought, and just stay in the chair until something happens, then you know you’re going to be OK.
So wise.

I do not know how much you have to write to call yourself a writer. Nevertheless, I have an idea I'm getting closer.


The think to think about today is a cold, clear swimming pool and a brain that squints and squirms with the excesses of yesterday. Remember that martini, slaloming down your throat at 4am in the kitchen? Recall your hands, spread out on the bar like they were waiting for a knife trick, but really just propping up this sad sack body of yours? It is warm outside and the whole sky is blue, corner to corner, a silly kind of colour upon which to hang your hat. And, I know, it is tricky to face it. Tricky to spin your legs into action and step out onto the patio and turn your face upwards to the sun, tricky, ablutions, that's what we're talking about now.

Whenever I hear you yawn, I think of African prairie beasts howling as the lion's teeth snap down. I am sure you are not endangered, but that is how it seems to me.

Give me your hand and I will pull you outside as if this were tug of war, or as if you were a tug boat being harried out to the ocean. You would rather pull that feather duvet down over your eyes, but I'm having none of it, so I destroy this fort you have created to curl in, Shabaam! Sometimes I like to think I am Thor. It's a fun game to play, Greek-Godding around, thunderbolts hitched to my tool belt, boots made of cloud dust and velcro and lightning, BAM.

You shiver. Haven't I already told you it is hot outside, haven't I made the path of the sun clear enough? Bucket blue, that's the thing, bright as a starling, wallops of azure across the sky, as if a gobby slathered paintbrush as big as a hillock has been tracked across the heavens and blanked out the airplanes.

So, stop shivering. Don't make me come in. I have reached out my hand, and this should be enough, so take it. We are going to take a long walk to a cold place under this hot noontime sun. We will ignore the tarmac and the squidge between the bareness of our toes, we will ignore the bakers and the butchers, especially the butchers, this is not a day that has time for red crimson blood. Don't look. Don't turn your face over there, it's the wrong sight for the right day and we are here to have fun.

Yes, fun. Why do you look so askance? You think that I am doing this to torture you, to bring sadness on your shoulders like a peculiar kind of melancholy cape? What a ridiculous accusation. Don't you know I am doing this, not just for your own good, but for your own pleasure? I am an expert in pleasure; in the past, I have made a child smile with a mountainous ice cream cone that was barely melting. It was covered in red orange yellow green blue purple pink sprinkles, and it was delicious, as I stood in front of him and devoured it with my tongue.

Here we are on Main Street. Here we are crossing the road. There is a fire truck ringing its big golden bell. Aren't you enjoying yourself yet? Aren't you just having a blast?

There are cures and curses for people who refuse to see the beauty in a summer's day, you know. I do not like to hurt people's feelings, but I have feelings too, and I have taken you here in the hope that you will open your eyes and your heart to the world and partake in the pleasure of this afternoon. Partake and take part, two sides of the same coin, which I have thrown in the air before now, so don't think that I won't.

Here we are at the outdoor pool. Look at it, just look, the quivering water, the sunlight, stop shivering, isn't it sublime? There are people who would kill for an opportunity like this, you know. We are going to walk over there now, come on, you first, you ahead; it is waiting for you and there is no need to be afraid, have I said that already? Stop shivering.

Here we are on a diving board seven stories high looking down at the curvature of the earth. Run, you crazy beautiful wildcard, run like the wind. And leap. Don't stop falling until you hit the water.

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