Sunday, April 15, 2012

Musty Edges

I was beginning to think I had to get out of town for a while. Many callers. Many faces. Too much life going on. The idea of taking a trip had me sweating a little. Like after a walk. On a rare hot day.
Luckily for me, karma combined with events, which meant cancelling the trip. If only in my head. Turns out those intruders had plans of getting out themselves. For real.

The sun shone in through the attic window for most of the week. It usually appears mid-morning around here. Depending on the cloud cover, it throws the old space new shadows to wear before she sets down again for the night. Even a sunset or two off their in the distance, through those power lines and over the rooftops, I imagine.
Apart from the tapping of keys and the odd hum of a passing car snailing its way through the estate, there wasn't much else to be heard this week, except perhaps for the odd caw from a drifting crow. I was lost in the middle of no-where, in a small Texan town - trying to put a jig-saw together.

'You should get out a bit,' Sonny said, before he left for Italy. Over to his brother for a 'time.' I told him Amanda had called. He'd popped by the day after she had been here. As soon as I said she was worried about him, he was out the door like a thief being shot at, and off into her arms. He popped in again the next day to break the news.
'See if me and her can't sort it out,' he said.
Well, isn't it well for some? Sonny's not going under. He's gone under. Has been for a while. Toast. Any mortgage relief that may be coming people's way ain't coming to Sonny Strange. He must be running away. From his problems. Oooh - the freedom!

'Luke's putting us up for a little bit. Until we can think of something,' he explained. Visions of Don Corleone entered my mind, before departing again.
Sonny had lobbed the keys of his house into a bubble wrapped envelope earlier, addressed it to his provider with a note that said 'Sorry' and sealed the lid on his Irish financial coffin.
'I'll post it on the way to the ferry,' he said, saying they were driving south with what they had left that was of any value, wasn't nailed down - and luggable.

We shook hand and away he went. I usually close the door over pretty quickly when someone leaves - like they might take a subtle hint or something - but I stood there leaning against the frame of the door, light a cigarette, and watched as the sun began to fall. It turned Sonny sepia for a moment. He was a shadow by the time he rounded the corner.

The sun began to give me a headache after a few minutes. I was just about to go back inside when around the corner came Gustav's head.
'I leave for home tomorrow. Two weeks,' he said, with another Irish oddity - the smile. 'I come in few minutes. With bottle. I leave instruction for you.'
His head disappeared back around where it had come from.
Instruction. For what?

Turns out it was just three things. Feed the snake next Monday. Feed the dog, Trigger, twice a day. And open the windows every other day.
'To let the breeze through the house. So when I come back - it not smell like feet,' he said, when he came in a few minutes later. It felt like I'd got the bad end of the deal, as I accepted the gift of the bottle from him.
'I leave it with you,' he said. 'I not like flying with hammer pounding on my head.'
Off he floated.
'I'll send you a postcard,' he promised.
Way-hey. The excitement. The anticipation. How am I going to stop myself from jumping out of bed in the mornings?

Now, I could have drank it, and disappeared quickly into another world for a few days, but hell, it was only Monday. Not the best way to be starting the week. Even for a writer.
No, I needed to get out out of town, but I needed to remember where I was going. This called for a more measured approach. Daily doses with tea. It felt right. I didn't even have to hide it from anyone. This is what it must have been like for Leon. Back in the daze.
I went to a small American town in Texas, a place that resided no-where else but in my head.
It's there I've been for the last six days. Locked away from the Irish scene. The one going-on outside my window. Playing with people's lives. Dogging them daily through no fault of their own... mostly.
I missed it all. From Ricky Santorum ending his vile campaign in America to protesters high-jacking Gilmore's party conference in Galway. Did I care? Not a hoot!

It was a while since its been this quiet and I took advantage. Apart from excursions next door to feed Trigger - a friendly beast - and the occasional nap, it's been bum-row. A smelly, gown- wearing, hairy wastage, fixated with words on a screen in front of him, throwing conversations into a silent void searching for voices.

At 6am this morning came the words The End. I highlighted them, made them bold - then decided against it again. Sleep deprivation can do things to the mind. Nope, I'd highlight them later.
I shoved the script into a drawer for a few days. It's smothered in dust and cobwebs. I keep meaning to clean it, but it gives the place a musty edge.
I know the script is finished - for my part anyway. I'll let it breath in mustiness for a few days. Just in case!
I decided to set about cleaning up the Ollie Reed that resides inside me - after I'd slept. I kept that promise to myself 17 hours later. When I woke.

Shavings always the worst part of letting yourself go for a few days. I'm sure that's the case for both sides of the species. Except perhaps for those who see grooming as a lifestyle. I never seen much of a point in that.
'Lord, but you're a dreary fucker in every way,' as Leon used to say. I remember taking offense at the time. I'm not so sure I could anymore.
I think Ireland can do that to people at times. I'd imagine at many times through her history it 's happened. Weary from dreary. Just when people think they have it - that something - whatever that is for individual people - off it goes again, off in yet another wayward direction. Funny how that can happen. How people can go some of the way - and still manage to undo it all again. No. Funny's the wrong word.

Yet, by times it has to be funny - 'for a life without laughter is like a life with drink.' I'm sure there's a point to that - one of Leon's many life philosophies. I might stumble across it someday. We liked our funny in darker measures. The same way as Leon liked his liquor from the top of the shelf.
I re-drafted a script I'd been writing for a few years now. A pretty dark comedy set around murder in a quiet Texan town. A bit of who-dunnit. I had to cut it to pieces first. Hence the abandonment.
Things needed to change. They say it's all about story - so I let that be the guide on this one. As I read, I realised my mistakes. Naming the protagonist a Japanese name for a cheap sushi-joke seemed a little juvenile upon reflection - but that was the point, was it not?
Who'd be a damn writer?
I ploughed through it like a field on a wet day. Digital page after digital page. Cigarette in mouth - window open. A commoner. Turning it in. Then out. Then back in again.
The dialogue was heavy. The plot - 'thick.' The style - 'commerical.'

I questioned it all as the conversations played out - helped on by cheap coffee after the bottle had died - each black mug darkening my teeth a little more. Picturing each scene in my head - in-caffeinated by the cheapest of beans. Laughing at things I shouldn't have been laughing at. Bad boy, Booker. Bad boy!

I sent chunks of cheap talk screaming to dialogue hell and replaced it with some more. The plot tightened - losing none of its absolute ridiculousness - aiming squarely as an off-the-cuff swing at modern contemporary society. And Bruce Campbell, of course. You can't take a swing without Bruce.
The style - to my eternal shame - I left alone. Visions of seedy daytime LA bars, with dimming neon, seen through shades. Deadbeats lining the bar. All with a story to tell. But no-one to listen.
Those swaying effigy's of Harvey and Bob Weinstein. Bruce Campbell. Tequila slammers.

Harvey: This world's not for savin'
Bruce: We gotta try.
Harvey: What you think, Booker?
Booker: I'm with you Harve. All the fuckin' way.

They say entertainment is something that helps get people through recession. That things like bums on cinema seats go up and the such. We've long been fond of our entertainment - us humans. If there is an almighty he has to be saying that we are, at least, an entertaining bunch. Never a dull moment to be had. Stuck in the headlights of capitalism gone skew, blind to
the stark realities of potential eventualities. So consumed are we with the consumption of everything, the possibility of consuming ourselves becomes more the reality with each passing day. I think I'm beginning to under Zombies more these days. Perhaps humankind has peaked - like that oil we obsess over so much. Who knows!?

I've always hated that. That strain on the jaw from a constant yawning that's continually ignored. I guess normal folk just answer that call and sleep. I've known lock-jaw. I think another coma is on the cards.
If the quiet lingers on this week, who knows, the writing mojo might hang around for a while longer. It felt like it was gone there for a while. It's a funny thing. Like thunder in an alley. Perhaps that's just how it goes.

I must open those windows.

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