On becoming gloriously irrelevant again.December 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Posted in writing | 15 Comments
There is some discussion about acceptance and trust going on around the bar but he really doesn’t care. Happily ensconced in some corner watching the endless parade dressed in fashionable isolation and exile to match their partners who grow fruit in village plots to offset their footprint. Unscrupulous is a word that makes him grin, holding the empty glass and wondering where she has gone.
There is laughter near the pool and a man in an immaculate goatee bustles past carrying drinks for three. He is thinking about the poem he started in the morning. He was terrible at writing to prompts or for commission, it had been the bane of his career. Another word that always made him snort in a kind of muffled chuckle, career. It’s not like he hadn’t a few of those, minor irritations, generally speaking.
You’re all mad, and wonders if he is supposed to go the bar himself or if someone at some stage might stop and offer to do it for him. Walking all that way across the room, through the glitter and gossip, he was afraid his mere presence would alert them to their ridiculous vanity. He catches a glimpse of her through the open balcony doors, charming. “Long since forgot the distinction between verbs and nouns,” he hears her say and laugh in that way that leads their gaze downward.
Sunday, I should be at home typing, he thinks. “It’s time,” says some young whippersnapper in a suit chosen for him by his stylist and takes his arm, leads him to the side of the stage. The introductions are being made and he momentarily regrets finding neither time nor inclination to make some notes or think about what to say.
A scattering of applause, jangle of jewellery, he almost stumbles up the step seeing several colleagues he has deeply offended on numerous occasions. The only reason they could be there is some sense of obligation which makes him smile. The same was true for him.
“Thankyou, I have absolutely no idea why you would present with me with this esteemed award. I am deeply grateful, it has long been a fantasy of mine to receive this kind of attention and acclamation, the respect of my peers and so forth. It is a great relief to me, in a way and reaffirms my faith in the power of taoist acceptance…
The bed is comfortable and she is taking off her jewellery. Sorry, he says, couldn’t help myself. That’s okay, they’ve come to expect it and turns. Tom said you look very nice in your new suit, very performative and sits on the side of the bed. Did you finish your poem?
I got as far as ‘I hate New York’ he says and slides his arm around her.