“This is how we go on: one day at a time, one meal at a time, one pain at a time, one breath at a time. Dentists go on one root-canal at a time; boat-builders go on one hull at a time. If you write books, you go on one page at a time. We turn from all we know and all we fear. We study catalogues, watch football games, choose Sprint over AT&T. We count the birds in the sky and will not turn from the window when we hear the footsteps behind us as something comes up the hall; we say yes, I agree that clouds often look like other things – fish and unicorns and men on horseback – but they are really only clouds. Even when the lightening flashes inside them we say they are only clouds and turn our attention to the next meal, the next pain, the next breath, the next page. This is how we go on.” (Stephen King, Bag of Bones)
some of the best writing advice I ever got was from a guy I was so smitten with I didn’t even pay attention to what he was saying to me at that moment. but it somehow stuck to my brain (the very small part of it that was still thinking) and I remembered it lately when I was staring into the blank, hollow eyes of an MS Office page. he said when you don’t know how to start, start by writing about the weather.
it’s been a month or so since I last posted semi-biographical, quasi-literary stuff on za blog. a month filled with crap like a toilet that doesn’t flush anymore. and a month during which I was brain dead, my mind being able to move as far as choosing some nail polish color (sometimes failing even at that) or doing that almost mechanical translation job of mine (sounds almost porny, I know. and it is in a weird way, a profesionally sad and weird way if I may formulate it like that) which requires waking up at obscenely early hours and pounding at a keyboard while your thoughts roam to very distant places. but enough with the ranting.
about the weather then before I end up like Jack Torrance in The Shining.
well, the weather is not fine at all (it wasn’t fine in the novel either when I come to think about it). rain is tapping its fingers fast on my windowsill, there’s a freak season we seem to be stuck in and I feel as if I’m a character in a Bruno Schulz story. you know the ones which seem to start out in the real world only to suck you into this whirlwind of strange, haunting, disturbing images shrouded in beautiful, hypnotizing words that will never leave you for the rest of your life. (say hello to Polish avant-garde)
I walk the streets in the morning when all stores are closed and objects displayed in shop windows look most bizarre and so utterly useless.
at dawn you always seem to be stumbling over the most random things in the streets. the pavement is wet most of the times because it’s raining day in and day out and the street lights are sucked into the huge black mirror of the asphalt and there they would be, my black serendipities: sometimes it would be a shoe, or a syringe, its needle glistening in the dark, a dead cat crushed by a car, its pink-ribbon tongue hanging out through tiny chainsaw teeth, I even had a very cinematographic (aka cliche) encounter with a naked doll which had been discarded on the tram line, then a pigeon that could not fly hiding under a car, a man curled around a subway exhaust pipe, all of them there, crawling or lying with that simplicity of life and death that just guts you and sews you up again after it has replaced your insides with sawdust.
but then the sun comes out and you get tangled in all those little things you have to do, and then it’s noon and you come home on the same route and the streets are now boisterous (yeah, the rain has stopped for a bit) and the dead cat is gone and the man is now drinking from a green beer bottle and for a moment he seems fine. you climb the stairs to your apartment and eat and sleep and talk and then go out again.
PS that’s the best I can do for now. I promise next post will be funnier. Especially if summer actually comes by then.