Tuesday, 28 January 2014
23. A Word Like “Only”
In came this aged man. “Easy now!” I like this character – his propensity for laughter when everyone else is in despair. There is almost a crackling energy accompanying his presence – something like a broad band of warmth & vigour. Aaahh-mmm! Some curious splutterings from an opposite corner. “We live here now” he said.
Are we missing something? It’s not I can’t understand what may be happening – it’s how to cope with it & re-present here for you (whoever you may be, that is). Anyone would want to deal with this; - or else ignore it until it coughs, yes, coughs and sings for our attention. We shall be alert as that old man with his stick and smile. This place is difficult to deal with – but not impossible, of course, or, things would not be worse, they wouldn’t be at all. But anyone who frequents here knows they crowd us in. I’d like to be able to put in some limit to all this – maybe a word like “only”. He could; I can’t. Leave it at that.
I can’t do much that people have now entered loudly speaking Polish. They’re free to go in, go out, whatever. At this there appears, yes, a lack now of control or direction – well, there are at least 360 directions, and control? I’m leaving if you really want to deal in such concepts, stale & stinking as old washing. Whatever’s happening here is more like turning noise upon itself so we’ll say suddenly “This noise now is beautiful. It is music really if we want to call it that.”
Or maybe like raising children, sweet children, to ensure they, you know, speak our language (which could be Polish, or whatever). What you don’t want is a mechanically enforced booming that has parsed & then spat out how we talk – it won’t help us here. Something bright and fizzy, stuff that lives with us, not a hard enamel tooth, buds for future organs as future times. We may even speak some French.
I won’t develop that further. It’s a good image, though – the opposite of the humorous old man, who is, maybe an end point. To do it more plainly, he was when you’ve done it, but you’ve not done it, it is to do – a strange place-holder for actions that stands for every process. When you’ve done it, you can name it – you had performed with a fullness of effect that in fact was what produced it all. At nightfall, the buds are growing & you are someone else.
This turns back, like the weather, into something smilingly kitschy. Hullo, Indian Summer of Our Civilisation – “It must be love” played everywhere. OK – you next. After play, comes what? Relaxation; or serious work. “You are eating my . . . ” – yeah, fill in the gap – without giggling. This high pressure just spaces us all, out, as if we’ve been doing community singing. Can I use a phrase like ‘spaced out’ and have you, my readers &c, actually identify this sensation? The doubt also rests giggling, in post-ludic bonhomie. Can we have some tea now over here? And in the clatter and rearrangement I can quickly tell you this is maybe the third position, the all-important one. “Excusez-moi” comes the voice of the future. It’s French, so it doesn’t sound cheery. More sort of cheepy if it aims at any laxity. Oh dear, un autre rappel a l’ordre. “Aristocrates, hein” the future mutters, with a word-weary Midi accent.
In just a minute or two transmission resumes. It’s all a little bit improvised here. It feels like time we started our coffee – let me get you to sit down here. Shall we be cheery, or dental, or disillusioned, or aged and genial? Tell me, get me to switch over to what you want. OK, yes, I’ll get you a coffee. If I really could, like turn these words to things, you would have a cup – here. Let me put it here. Please let me.
What are waves of playful language? The ripples on your cup of coffee.
Actually this is silent here now. No one speaking French, or Polish, not any language. Noises outside (a little); none inside. Perhaps the little buds are growing, slowly advancing, wavelike. It’s not hard, don’t get that tone in. Just it all goes wrong & yet carries on. You need to get dirty, yes, that’s the better tone to smear against these silent walls. Get dirty! Let’s just get up and do it – follow that little girl on a skateboard in the street outside & now don’t be here. Fall off. Get on. Carry on. Now here then now there.
The time for prose is ending. It is luscious, sweet – a perfect earthy espresso laden with sugar. That wasn’t the coffee I was drinking, or the coffee I made for you. It would be good, though. It would heal us. Then, OK, we’d fit. That would be a good thing, and a starting point. I know – it’s a shitty, broken old world, utterly corrupted by power. We talk about this all the time. But, there’s a point at which you exist at ease: the humorous old doctor (didn’t I tell you?) or that cynical Frenchman. The young Polish girl – she’s here, & now she’s in movement. Done right, it all reverberates and changes & rises. This is alchemy and it’s also cooking. Birds fly, birds grow, cars pass – we can’t say we’re not going to suffer, but here, now, is a potential point of action. And now it is happening. Nik & Jeanette arrive. More people together. Now.