Fragment #211 – 11 February 2020

It’s true that, until now, there was little in the way of discourse surrounding Joseph’s behaviour.  Some-someone must have slammed the door – what’s that?  NOTHING.

Joseph was not trustworthy.  We knew that.  We would never write: Joseph wasn’t trustworthy.  ‘Wasn’t’ is a word used either to obfuscate meaning or when discussing matters of friendship.  It wasn’t for Joseph.

 

HE

IS NOT

OUR FRIEND

 

And yet he’s there each month now.  We all are, we make the trip.  Marshall should have been dead by now.  He isn’t.  Nobody thinks he is being selfish, but how many times can we hold a last long boozy dreadful lunch?  It’s always the last one at the time, and now nobody has a healthy liver.  We’re ageing visibly, catching up to Marshall.  At least he has an excuse.  Cancer is an EXCUSE.

Oh we met when we were young.  We’re all friends now and have been for decades.  We know the names of each other’s CHILDREN, and have even been to their parties.  What’s that?  A car backing up?  Why is it so loud?

Joseph and Marshall either always hated each other or were the closest of everyone.  Depends who you ask.  Joseph says one thing.  Marshall won’t be able to answer soon enough.  But just don’t ask me.  I can’t take SIDES.  I can’t even decide between ice cream flavours.  I am not supposed to be the leader.

 

WHAT WAS THAT

 

We’re all dead eventually.  Marshall will be the first of us, I suppose, unless there’s some kind of an accident to one of us before – when?  Then.  What?  An ACCIDENT you say?

* * *

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.

Fragment #20 – 15 August 2014

It’s the drinking, Patrick said.  It does me in every time and yet I can’t seem to stop it.  There’s a glamour to it, or there was.  There was.  No longer.

To our left sits a young couple, the man timid, withdrawn, his shoulders bent inward as though they would touch if his collarbones vanished.  The woman was stunningly beautiful and effusive in voice and gesture, talking happily about her day while her partner slouched.  They were eating ramen, great bowls of it steaming in front of them, and by their chopsticks, beer.  There was nobody else in the little side restaurant except for the smiling fat cook, who came from behind the curtain door to the kitchen, passing out ladles of ramen soup and chortling to himself.  As was the case every time I have been here, money never seemed to change hands, people ate and ate, and the beer was always cold.

Patrick wasn’t eating, though there was a bowl in front of him.  His lips, cracked, opened to take in the neck of the seventh or eighth bottle of beer for the evening.  His nose was red and already webbing from the effects of alcohol, and his forehead was pale, dotted with eczema, his hair lank and greasy.

I start each day the same: today will matter.  At first I am aspirational, vowing to wake early to seize every minute.  4, 4:30, 5 – really early, with hours to spare before work, or my wife, or anything.  It’s time for me.  But then I can’t get out of bed, my mind is fuzzy from wine or beer, and so I bargain with myself, reason that perhaps night-time will be better.  I think of Proust, or Pamuk, or any of the thousand writers who stayed up late.  And so the day passes.  And then it is evening, I am thirsty, the day was long, the first glass is poured, and – bargaining again.  Tomorrow will be different, tomorrow I can wake early, tomorrow is a new day.  And then I fall asleep, and then the cycle starts anew.

Patrick looks at the couple, her so beautiful, him seemingly downtrodden and badgered, though there has been zero indication that such behaviour might come from her.  She catches our eye, stops talking and tells us with great venom to mind our own business.  I swear I hear her say ‘drunks’ as she returns to talking about her day.  The man glances briefly at us before lowering his eyes again.

It’s killing me, Patrick said.  And I can’t seem to stop.

* * *

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.

I Remember – #988

I remember Noah Antweiler and his Spoony videos, and also spending a lazy evening watching videos chronicling his downfall and disappearance.  And then going back to rewatch his videos (particularly the one on FFVIII) – they do not hold up.

-6 June 2017

This post is part of the I Remember series.

I Remember – #986

I remember Eloise and I sending one another recipes and screenshots/videos of the food we made, food that would invariably be forgotten by the time it came to eat such things for ourselves, because of seasonal drift.  I would send her summery recipes when it was cold in London, and so on and so forth.

-3 June 2017

This post is part of the I Remember series.

I Remember – #985

I remember becoming interested in the Brandon Sanderson method of success with fantasy writing, which meant: office hours for writing, strict production and word count above all other metrics, plotting and planning to the utmost.  But, oh, his books!  Tired, cliched, absent of any kind of sophistication of thought or feeling, juvenile in terms of relationships, and ultimately they all read as though they are video games come to life.

-2 June 2017

This post is part of the I Remember series.