Wednesday, October 12, 2005

integrity (mahalia)

She's all that I can think about. Her beautiful, wounded, kind blue eyes. They are superimposed over everything I see in my waking life. All I can think about is looking in those eyes, moving inside her, making love, making love, making love. Taking care of her. Healing her. Loving her, truly loving her. It makes me happy just to think about her. I want to make her smile. I want to kiss her smiling mouth, I want to heal the scars upon her arms. I want to make her come, slow & sweetly. I think of her, & I do not touch myself, I just think of her eyes & her smile & it warms me inside, in the heart I thought was dead for so long.

One day the other week she lent me a book she said she thought I would like by a famous & highly regarded author who shall remain nameless. He died a little while ago & nice things were said. Some big name film director made a film of some of his short stories. People said nice things about that too.
I had only heard good about him so I took the book home with me. It was a collection of some of his short stories, poems & essays. I never made it so far as the essays, but I began to undertake some of the poems. They bored me. I turned to his short stories. I really tried with those, but they were murky & muddy & slow & danced about to the point. There was no energy in the words, no beauty & no youth. They were ordinary words that, when put together, only described ordinary lives, ordinary people doing ordinary things that did not seem to me to even bear recording. Which a good story should never do. You can tell any story well if you only do so with some freshness & a love of truth &/or, failing that, some imagination. Everyone in the book seemed to be going fishing. They were either going fishing or just coming back, but either way, there was a lot of fishing going on. I took that to mean that he liked fishing.
The characters were all numb & slow & very very dull, like dead bodies being run off 2 small batteries. When they spoke, they seemed to have barely the power to get to the end of their lines. And when they spoke, the way they spoke was unnatural & unlike life.

I'm not saying it was all bad - when something actually happened it was okay, every now & then a little line would glow & you would be there with him, on the page, again. But when nothing happened, and most of the time nothing did, it was just plain awful. You had your little flickerings of light for a moment or two, here & there, but then there were pages & pages of darkness once again, like the lighting in an old, damp, haunted house.
A fog descended between me & the page, between me & the characters on the page, & even between the characters themselves, who laboured on regardless, like actors in a play with the smoke machine going wild, & terribly implausible lines to recite, even though they could no longer even see one another or remember what they were doing there anymore.

Why do so many of our writers write like this? And why do so many of our readers make do with it?

I thought he was meant to be better than this. He wrote like a writer from the 1920's: tight, constrained, mannered, unnatural, hiding, scared.. I searched at the front of the book for the dates of when he was writing, when his stories first appeared, in hopes that it was at the most the nineteen fifties. You can make allowances for that, for then, you can make excuses. People are only human, after all. You can say they were a product of their time, that they were bending to the limits of their time, bowing down to the mores of the day, forgetting how those things will change, will always change. But these stories were written in my lifetime. And I don't see how there's really any excuse.

WHAT WAS SHE DOING READING SHIT LIKE THIS? And what was I doing hungering for a woman into this kind of shit?

I've had to dramatically reconsider our relationship. I hope this doesn't kill things off before they start. What if this is just the tip of the iceberg? What if she's like this all the time? What if she wants to read to me when we're in bed? What if she asks me what I thought of the book & I can't in all good conscience not tell her the truth? What if this leads to terrible weeping arguments over books & films & GOD & music & I can't bring myself to back down?
I mean, I love her & everything, but you've got to have some kind of integrity, sometimes.


Post a Comment

<< Home