The Writer

He looked different, more substantial somehow, filled out. He is satisfied with himself, or at least that is how he appears. He is chatty, open, confident that we all know who he is and what he does. A celebrity in a small town, a small world. And he was brown. He’d been sitting in the sun, clearly. An unexpected thing, for I see him as a night creature, a burrowing, underground sort of animal. A mole, a fox, a badger, a earth smelling being. And dark. An denizen of dark places. And one who’s skin remained pale. I like him though, there is an openness to him amongst the guardedness. And were you controversial? I asked him after his interview. I’m always controversial, he replied.

I do what he does. I do it, I’m doing it now. I make words appear on the page. There is no mystery, no alchemy to it. I just do it, as he does. I make no bones for what I do. I’m serving my apprenticeship with it, as I do with all things creative, just learning. Don’t mind me I’m just learning.

I like his work. I like it’s intensity, it’s stubbornness. But it is always the same thing. The same darkness, the same taciturnity. That’s OK. Didn’t someone say we write the same book over and over again. And that’s OK. I suppose it takes a lifetime to get it right. And who’s to say what is right.

It’s a beautiful morning. Cloudless. There were many kids on the beach this morning as I walked. Kids as in young people, students, trippers all japing on the sand, shoes off. A young man sat on the wall facing South Beach on the phone. He was on the phone as I walked down to the Perygyl and still on it when I walked back. His voice was loud. Outside The Angel a lad was sitting on the pavement, his feet stretched out before him. A friend was holding his head as he cried. I wanted to kill myself but I didn’t have the strength, he shouted. A large girl in short white dress scuttled down Great Darkgate Street her arm linked through that of a boy on her left. She threw her head back to laugh. At the same time a seagull squawked. The two sounds became one. She laughing like a seagull.

She said yes, she’d do it. So kind. Now I have to begin making sense of it. A good process. My confidence ebbs and flows. So be it.

I thought of her last night. Why is she still there? Why can nothing be done to release her? I tried to imagine being in the cell with her and sitting with her, a companion, a witness. Would it help? I cannot begin to think what she is going through. Do something, please. Now.

And I thought of her. It’s so exciting, she said. And it is genuine, that excitement. Every new step to be cherished. She gives herself over to it, to her. And I am glad. Truly.