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press my flesh

It’s been quite a while since I updated. A week, pretty much, which is a long time by my standards.

There are a variety of reasons for the long silence, but paramount is the fact that I just haven’t been a writing mood/mode. I find writing a chore, sometimes, even. Which doesn’t bode well for my assignments and my “book” project, I think you’ll agree. Things have improved a little recently, I will admit, but I’m still on rocky waters as far as my writing—and, notably, my confidence—is concerned.

I just don’t feel good about my writing these days.

And speaking of the “book” project, I’ve been re-reading some of the stuff I’ve written for it and I can’t help but feel really… unenthused. There was a moment when I felt really good about my output, but these days most of the things I felt good about seem a bit… sub-par. This is my default mode, I guess, when it comes to how I feel about my own work. When things are going good, I think it’s good/great. When things aren’t, I start disliking stuff. Being objective is something I am totally incapable of.

It doesn’t help that I’m still totally in love with Etgar Keret either. I do seem to mine a Keret-esque vein most of the time and that fact means I often end up comparing my work to his. Always unfavourably, of course. It’s something I shouldn’t do—well, not all the time, at least—and I try not to, but a lot of the time I find myself doing exactly that. Good god.

It seems to have stopped raining so much, too. Fuck. Seems it was only a few days ago I could go to sleep with the rain falling outside my window; tonight it’s “set the fan on number 2 and throw that fucking blanket somewhere far, far away,” and I don’t like that.

You know what? Fuck keeping everything under wraps. Here’s a “new” story for you fucks, as a way of making up for the long silence. It’s still not in a state that I’d call “final,” but it’s close-ish. This is longer than most of the other stuff I’ve written for the “book.”

The Rock

after a couple of years being the darling of the worldwide arts scene i decided that it was time to give something back to the town in which i was born and raised. it’d been a long time since i’d left the town but i still felt a real strong connection to it, as if it was the town that had raised me and not my parents. it sounds illogical, i know, but when your parents used to spend half the day working in the paddy fields and the other half quarreling and bickering about inconsequential shit instead of raising their only child it kinda begins to make a bit of sense, yeah?

it doesn’t? oh well.

i decided to make one of those abstract, surreal sculptures art critics like so much. but instead of painting it myself, i’d let the town’s kids do it. i’d let them paint and draw and scribble and splash paint on it. i’d even provide the requisite crayons, watercolours and pencils. i could’ve done all of that myself, sure, but i wanted to get the kids in on it. i wanted them to be able to look at the sculpture in a few years’ time and say, “yeah, i was part of this.” more than that, though, i just wanted people to like me. the kids, especially.

it took me a few days to find a suitable rock to start with, but once i did, i felt an excitement that i hadn’t felt in a while. for the first time in ages, i was actually excited to begin work on an art project.

without wasting any time, i loaded it onto my rented truck and took it to the beach, humming a tune as i went along. i felt good. real good.

thankfully, there wasn’t anyone at the beach, which meant i could do my work without being distracted by onlookers or passers-by. with sand in my slippers and the sound of waves lapping on the shore in my ears, i got to work.

after a few hours of chipping away and carving and shaping, i was finished. i stepped back to admire my work and, after a while, began to feel something odd within the pits of my empty stomach. it wasn’t gastric pain, that’s for sure, but i couldn’t figure out what it actually was. but soon i began to realise that it had something to do with the sculpture. namely, the fact that i wanted it. i wanted it very, very badly. i knew that many, many rich people with deep, deep pockets would want it as well.

i couldn’t let the town have it. i couldn’t let the kids have it. i couldn’t.

i looked around, hoping no-one had noticed me. i was in luck: it was a sweltering hot day and everyone was presumably inside their houses, trying to avoid the heat. i breathed a sigh of relief, loaded the sculpture back onto the truck and i drove off—windows up, air-conditioning on, radio turned up full blast, cheap knock-off raybans hiding my eyes—barrelling down the road at seventy-five-motherfucking-miles-per-hour.

i arranged to have the sculpture shipped to london, which was, at that time, my base of operations. the next day i boarded a flight heading in that same direction and didn’t look back. not even a goodbye. not that there was really anyone to say goodbye to.

i eventually sold the sculpture at an auction for more money than my parents ever made in their fourty years of working the paddy fields.

Categories: prose and poetry, thoughts
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