I wandered lonely as a beer can on a railway line today, around an empty town. I sat and read my book at a deserted station, propped up against old wood and pigeon muck, long legs stretching across both platforms. The sun peeked at my face but seemed preoccupied with other things. Walking across an empty square of grass, water shooting up from a fountain to herald the arrival of a heartbeat, strange music playing from a huge screen above me – the image of a man with a moustache staring down, looking like a man with closets full of bones and mischief. Ill-be-gotten gains. Master cheek.
Into the art gallery, past rows of silence and barriers. Into the strange cave, filled with bubble gum and women doing handstands, legs splayed and birth sac balloons. I’m not sure I understand it, but I love the oppressive atmosphere – feeling that the very presence of my genitals is an affront. In the corner, a woman hammers away at a typewriter and from a vinyl record the sound of anxiety. The poor woman is a volunteer, but is now part of the exhibit with a finger jammed in the ear nearest to the noise. Taking care not to make unnecessary bluster in the cacophony, I stand in the darkest corner before a large screen and scare the fuck out of someone who instantly reminds me of a character from Ocarina Of Time, the one with all the dogs in the town square who later run amok and terrify the residents into locking their doors.
From art to shop to pub. Sitting and reading my book alone as everyone else mingles in the next room. The walls are painted red, and covered in severed heads of animals, musical instruments and jars of unspeakable things. I always smell cigar smoke in my nostrils, like my head is permanently consumed in a memory. A deep breath, a flash of sunburn.
Later I drive out to the beach and walk the wooden la jetee. A man in a wheelchair stares out over the sea, irritated by another man trying to photograph the surfers on their ironing boards, ducking under waves and pushed back to the shore. Beneath our feet and wheels, we feel the sea crashing against the metal supports. The wind whips hair into my eyes. I taste salt and sand and remember kisses on the mouth on smoggy streets, grimy fingers through hair and the faintest trace of sweat mingled with perfume – one of the sweetest smells – the tangible aroma of nervous excitement. Diluated pupils, forming triangles on the face from eyes to lips to eyes again.
It’s sad to see my netbook barely used and gathering dust on the floor. This once powerful weapon; the visual representation of a personality – The Tool Of The Writer – finding every surface from cafes to bars, trains to cars, fields to forests, now forgotten and unused. I’ve covered the ground before. The identity crisis. A writer who doesn’t write anymore. No need to rake up dead ground.
Tomorrow, more photos will be taken. A new town to explore. I need to think up some words as well. Start thinking like all you writers with your clean hands and winning smiles. I’ll think of some good words that can be put into good sentences to make people cry. Like – Detritus. Foreboding. Deliquent. Magnificent. It’s not quite a shelf-busting novel, these four words, but we all need to restart from somewhere. You can’t control-alt-delete me, without placing your fingers into some dreadful places.