22 June 2012

late nights and shallow graves

We sat around a wooden table in a bungalow in the suburbs. 

I don't know how many glasses of red I had, but there were four bottles on the table and only three of us. The Doors played through the speakers while I topped us up using the the careful precision of a drunk. My friends rolled cigarettes as the grey light brightened through the window. Like the glasses of wine, I've no idea how much they smoked but the room looked as though a low fog had rolled in. The cat joined us for awhile, but left when our chat got bad. 

I sipped the nth glass and we spoke about the future and old times and explained just what we were all doing wrong to each other. Beads adorned the doorways whilst old beermats adorned the doors themselves. A lifetime or two's accumulation filled the house with bygone trinkets and energy efficient bulbs cast it all in a sepia light. 

Day arrived and still we drank and chatted, though the pauses became longer and themes shifted with rambling fluidity. The ashtray filled with the scrunched ends of rollups. 

We finished the wine and gathered our things. I was in the kitchen when she discovered the cat. It had died on the porch, in a pool of its own urine. Less than an hour before it had sat on my lap as I scratched its ears. Shortly after that it lapped fresh milk from its bowl. And then it died, ears scratched and full of milk. It wasn't her cat. It was her flatmate's cat. Her flatmate was on holiday in Portugal. 

The other guy and I offered to dig a grave. It was the least we could do. She was upset. He and I were trying not to laugh. It was horrible and hysterical, and there was nothing more we could do than dig a grave and try not to laugh. 

We found a spot shaded by trees and set about it with a shovel and spade. There were roots everywhere, and we were drunk. It was slow going. I nearly took my toes off a fair few times. The earth wouldn't break. Before long we were sweating. The hole didn't seem to get any deeper. Birdsong rang out and the odd car drove by. Eventually we got it dug.

She put the body in a bag and noticed that rigour mortis had set. She lay it in the hole and while we helped to fill it in, she did most of it herself. Then she disappeared inside for a moment, returning with a bottle of silver tequila. Her eyes were red on her pale face. We swigged straight from the bottle and took a moment to pour some over the freshly-filled grave. 

21 June 2012

The bright yellow ball has disappeared and rain peppers my window. Outside, on the harbour, the swans appear to have lost a cygnet, and are down to only two. Inside, my desk is covered in mountains of paperwork. Some of it is hand-scrawled, some typed; all of it demands some sort of attention. Among it all is a little too much correspondence from NHS Tayside for my liking. I can't choose what letters I receive, just the ones I reply to.

19 June 2012

bright yellow things

A bright yellow ball hangs in a sky that has taken on an unfamiliar 'blue' tint. I can step outside and not get wet. I'm not sure what to make of it all. 

Confused by this lack of weather, I've been mostly writing and/or intending to write. Chapters take shape and as they take shape, their problems become apparent and I note them down. I fear and loathe rewrites. They raise second-guessing oneself to dangerous heights and sometimes there is no coming back from them. As with most things in life, balance is important and difficult to obtain. I've instituted a rule that I can't start rewriting a chapter until I've finished it and am writing the next one. It's a simple rule, but important, as it means I move forward regardless. 

There's one particular piece that needs rewriting now, quite urgently. It's not part of the book, but it's sort of essential to it. I should probably be working on it instead of blogging and reading about the Red Sox. I need a bit of distance. It's bad, and there's always hurt pride when something you make is bad. It's not that it's poorly written, it's just not fit for purpose. I wrote one thing when I should have written another. The more I think about it, the more I feel the need to start from scratch. 

Which is a good thing.

Because starting from scratch isn't really rewriting.