Fragment #39 – 19 October 2014

About six months earlier A had left her parent’s home in order, she told everyone, to find herself.  She had not, as yet, defined that and had no real idea what it would look like when she found her new identity, or how she would know it had occurred.  Nevertheless this was an important moment in her life, and she left the town where she had spent the entirety of her life and made her way to the largest and greatest city she knew: New York.

She would have picked Paris but her French was non-existent.  She would have picked Beijing but she worried she would stand out for being tall and blonde.  She would have picked Rio de Janeiro, but the news reports frightened her.  She recognised herself as conservative in her choice, and derided her decision, but nonetheless she did not change it, either.

So it was to New York she went. Immediately she felt as though her potential had diminished, because she couldn’t truly find the greatest expression of herself unless she was doing the highest, greatest, best thing possible.  But what was that?

I don’t know anything at all, she said over the telephone, her voice crackling in her ear and sounding as though she was at the bottom of a deep, dank hole.  Her friend, who had stayed, responded with soothing words but the quality of the line made it seem as though she was speaking from somewhere too far away to offer any real advice.

I don’t know anything at all, she said to the musician after he had performed at the little bar on the same block as her apartment.  He smiled and shrugged and didn’t offer much else, though her bought her a few drinks, and commented positively on the books in her bookshelves, and for a while he returned her calls.

I don’t know anything at all, she said to herself while opening Austen’s Sense and Sensibility at one of the great libraries in the city.  She marvelled at the poise of Austen’s prose, and wondered if she could ever attain such heights, and did she wants to?  I admire, I admire, I admire.  But I don’t want to write like this.  But what do I want?

I don’t know anything at all, she said to herself, very early one morning, a morning without the musician, a morning where Austen’s books were on their shelves in the libraries across the city, and her own books stood unread.  And she smiled to herself while she fried an egg.

* * *

The above piece of writing comprises part of my fragments project, some of which are available on this website.  I intend to add new fragments piecemeal, not in any particular order, and as the occasion take me.

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