I have been looking all day – intermittently, tough – for something interesting to read. The fact is, I do not have at present a whole lot of money to spend on books… or any other non-basic necessity for this matter, and then, the books I really want to read and for which I’d be willing to shed some bucks, I can’t find; not without paying a hefty shipping fee.
In any case, since I have not yet found something interesting enough to read, I just decided to break the now long silence and try to come up with something I might, just might, even want to re-read later on.
Actually, I remember this one time: I decided I would write a book. I mean, how hard could it be? right? right? (Never mind I didn’t even have a fairly well-structured plot) Of course I was young and naive; I’m still naive, just not as young. In any case, ignorant an over enthusiastic as I was, I started writing ‘my novel’. I did manage to finish to chapters, I think, but that’s not the commendable or interesting part. What happened next was. I left ‘my novel’ rest for a while, coming back to it a few months later. As I read through the pages I had written, I was suddenly overcome by this desire to know more, to know what would happen with the characters. Of course I did know or, if I didn’t, at least it was completely in my hands to create what would happen to them next. And then… I became just too lazy/unmotivated/writer’s blocked to do anything about it. On the one hand I was truly eager to get to the end of the story; on the other, knowing I had to make the effort to write it, even at the risk of not liking the results and of course, with the inconvenience of lacking reading material – right then and there – for me to enjoy, took away any possibility for ‘my novel’ to ever see the light.
The moral of the story? Hmm… there’s no such. I was just remembering the one time when what I wrote ended being quite an enjoyable text for me to read, as if for the very first time, fostering through the process emotions such as intrigue, eagerness, hunger for more and eventually disappointment at the sudden loss of my thirst quenching literary source.
I am not so sure writers have that experience quite often. I mean, if we’re honest, most of us do write in order o be read… by others. At the very least, we write to get the thoughts, the words, off of us; to know we have poured in paper what cannot remain locked in the depths of our beings for it must be shared. Then, I can’t quite see how a writer would read his or her book again just for pure enjoyment. Maybe some do. Perhaps… perhaps some of us write the stories we would like to be told?
Whatever the case, I came here to write something I might enjoy reading again later on (just like this short piece I delight in reading to this day). It is now late, however, and I have spent a rather long time just getting to the heart of the matter and I might disappoint. And still…
A short piece, for a short dream, on a short – perhaps sleepless – night:
There he was, in his seventies and half bald… I assume, since his dark, shepherd hat covered his head. I observed him barely for an instant; almost as quick as the snapping of a camera. No, I did not have a camera and that’s fine anyway. Had I captured his picture, I would probably now talk about the pipe which wasn’t, you know, just like Magritte’s. I would not be telling you of the man, standing a few yards from my eyes, gymnastically moving his arms in both, gracious and ridiculous movements, attempting to… stay alive?
One might conclude he was feeding pigeons, armed with as sophisticated weapons as a black well-worn umbrella and a brownish coat to fend for himself. My theory is, however, he was in reality waging a fierce battle against times long gone by, swiftly moving through the crisp winds of a warm spring back in Lisbon, proving to all those youngsters in town he had still the right to breath, to live.
Nothing happened between him and me. He kept feeding pigeons, in his seventies, with his hands, an umbrella on one side, while I was whisked away by my companion, looking for our next great ‘find’; an old, rusty ‘tasca’ where to ponder life.
We found none. That is, neither tavern nor much pondering to do. Life? we found tons of life. We lived life; and perhaps that is the reason on nights like these, I get hold of memories from my personal data bank, daring to believe, for a fraction of a second, life gave me the greatest chance of staring at that man, at that precise moment one warm July afternoon at the Portuguese capital. It might not amount to much right now. I am not writing no novel, not even a decent plot, but I’m passing on to you this picture of this fragile gentleman. Think, dream, tell yourself the story you would like to be told. Maybe, one day, when you write a book and I read it and I recognize a story prompted by a blurry man depicted on a blog, I will finally be told a story my lazy self has so been longing to hear but prevented me to write.
Remember, he was in his seventies and he had a woolen cap. He danced with an umbrella and methodically fed birds. Brownish clothes, fragile frame. A small park bench as his stage. There, he’s all yours, the story is laid… what’s next?