Wednesday, 26 January 2011

I'm sitting on the steps at the waterfront and staring at the numbers in the jacket of this book, 42, 46, 50. And the first few pages described the life of a character very much like mine, and when I mention in passing..."Sometimes I feel like Esther Greenwood" at a meeting, that happens later in the afternoon, I'm greeted with an alarmed response.

From the steps I'm staring down the new cut, towards the gallery, at the harbour size, sparse, cold. Condensation rising from fumes in the water, backs of AC units. 47. And in the next few pages, start to sound familiar. Shared character traits. The love of vodka, the need for water, the feeling that life is passing me by, the blandness of life . And I should probably be writing a thesis, but right now, I couldn't even find the words to fill the back of a cigarette packet. And all I can think about is leaving this city, how grotesque my personality is, the view from Colston Tower.

I imagine drowning in the harbour. The water at my neck, my lips, my lungs. Flooding. Watching my silhouette from the bow of Under The Stars. Struggling. I've poisoned this city.

1 comment:

Tim in the City of Angles said...


I always thought of you as Holden Caulfield, so unless you can find a few more similarities to Esther's experience, like they're going to electrocute a pair of spies or something, I'll have to stay with Holden. That shouldn't be too upsetting as each of them have more than enough angst to go around.

As far as your ability to poison a whole city...well, my hat's off to you. I spent my youth trying to poison Los Angeles, but I seldom made it past the suburbs.