Eight years ago, during a deliriously hot summer where I spent the majority of my time at shopping centres and in libraries, in order to take advantage of the air conditioning they had on offer, I decided for whatever reason to read the entirety of Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time. I wanted something, I told myself, to sink my teeth into, and at several thousand pages in length it seemed I would, at the very least, find myself suitably occupied for a sufficient amount of time. I had just come off an extended session devoted to the works of Graham Greene, and consequently I had become taken ahold of by a vicious melancholy that I had been unable to shake. I read the first two Dance books at a reasonable pace, finishing the first one Tuesday afternoon, and the second the following Wednesday morning. But the third had me stumped. The words swam and I couldn’t focus. I found the characters and plot tiresome, and then, worse, I couldn’t remember what had happened to all of these people, or why they had such baffling motivations. Who were these people? What did they want? A lady stopped me and asked if I was alright. Of course, I told her, why? But I don’t think she heard me because she stepped back, put her hand to her mouth, looked away from me, and then walked hurriedly away. Who were these people? I went to the McDonalds and asked the girl for a glass of water, and she screamed and pointed at me, and then a man came up to me and he shook his fist in my face. I’m disintegrating, I said, help me, please. I looked down and my shirt was dark with blood.
And, I don’t know. Today I am much happier. I read less, and I sing very often. I consider myself a bit of a loner, yes, but nothing serious. In the morning, when I wake up, I can hear birds outside my window, but try as I might I cannot see them. I hope they are brown and blue.
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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.