Monday, November 24, 2014
Crease Me Please Me
Cups of coffee come and go from my desk like a succession of acrobats cavorting on a trampoline, each one secretly borne through the wormhole between Humdrumville and Writing Central by my inner procrastinator.
I dare not test my pulse for fear of reaching 1000 before I place fingertip to wrist.
On my writing slope, words buzz from crisp white paper, traced in black ink with the purpose of a gramophone needle let loose on a polyparobolic groove of indeterminate rpm.
My characters are trapped here, behind swirled bars.
They clutch at ink, rattle the paper, rumble with muffled voices.
No rubber ring strikeouts can save them.
No megaphone corrections can make their stories heard.
No turn of the paper can uncover them.
More coffee arrives, and so pumped is the vessel at my elbow’s crook, I swear a feisty terrier could leap through the hymen of skin twixt blood and bone more readily than a dolphin stunting with a hoop.
I must not look for this dog.
His muddy paw prints will smudge all I have written, his eager tongue will bathe my aching muscles in the saliva of Downtoolsmania.
He may even beguile me into knitting a woollen typewriter from his scraggy fur.
Or bite me on the cock.
My eyes roll to the ceiling, and spin, blurring into one the single lightbulb overhead and the retinal blind spot buried deep in my skull.
“So, am I a dog or a bird — or what?”
Whiskers twitch before me like strands of spiderweb coated in frozen chocolate.
“You’re a figment, a mere figment is all — a sliver of hairy nothingstuff as phantomy of anatomy as all these characters whose words and deeds hang helplessly from obfuscation’s fuzziest hook here on the page.”
The dog winks. “Yeah — but I might just know something.”
We talk — I, with the air of a sceptical 79 year-old negotiating the mis-selling of a dubious pension, and he, with his dopey dawgie look powered down to zero for maximum Sound Canine Advice effect. He fetches a couple of sticks between his orations, which is weird because I neither throw any nor have the faintest clue where he’s getting them from.
Cats don’t pull stunts like this.
When the dog is done, I fold my paper like he said, making triangles, squares, weird obliqueys.
It’s half origami, half screw-into-a-ball, and as the dog woofs further particulars, a figure forms between my fingers — a figure I fall in love with instantly.
“I’ll call him Foldy. He can act like a kind of conduit between the spirit world of my imagination and the real world of punctuation.”
“Sure, if you can get him to stand up.”
“I’ll fix up a stand. From chapter two of this nouveauness-free novel.”
“Why limit yourself? Go for the whole podium.”
I pluck paper from my drawer, eager to transform WIP-fodder into a podium, a skyscraper, a whole world of adventure for Foldy to discover and enjoy and...maraud around in.
The dog flips over with excitement. “I’ll construct an underground labyrinth from all your rejected scripts, and if we make like crazy with maybe your Daphne Du Maurier collection, between us we can fashion a narrative for Foldy and his friends!”
“Sure. We can rustle up a perfectly serviceable sidekick from all your 60s Spidey comics.”
It’s an approach I’d never thought of before.
But I never had a fictional furball-cum-sidekick of an Origami Worlde enthusiast before, licking at my face and burying his cold, black nose deep into the folds of my punctured elbowaic hymen.
If truth is stranger than fiction, it plays in a different cinema today.
I have no need for celluloid or expensive nacho-burger hybrids; less still do I crave a miscellaneous fruit-flavoured mushy-slushy shitswamp.
It’s days like these that make writing worthwhiler than usual.
Dogs, whiskers, Foldy: all is bliss.