Litkicks Message Board Archive
Proetry extracted from...
"Look into your mind, upwards...and breathe."
He had spoken the words to an imaginary man, as part of a short visual monologue... "Look down, read." In reality, Smiths was coated in classic rock, with beer dripping from the bar in beads as the group of workers moved to a table near the windows onto the street whilst the babble of the retreating ripples whispered quietly on Peregrine Bay. Reality, and Imagination. There had been three hours, as the ocean trembled on full-tide, before the mass began to return to the horizon, saluting the sands as it went - John raised his pint glass to Andy, and "clinked", energetically... "Cheers", he said to Andy. Andy, a workmate, had been in a dream of his the night before, a dream which had woke him in disgust, as he saw the ugly belly, a blood-blotted naked ankle of society, the grime! the malaise! A setting sun shot crimson streaks through the sky, the same sun which turned to flame across the waves, a fire of slithering snakes, a sun, golden too, off the billion dimples of clean white sand.
"I wasn't expecting you here," Andy said, smiling in unpredicted pleasure.
"Just came into town for a pint; didn't know what else to do."
"Well, now that you're here," Andy began looking round the table... - "you know my sister, that's Jeff; that's Dave, and that's Jeff's girlfriend! Vicky," Andy winked approvingly.
"Cool!" John said, instantly forgetting their names, nodding at Vicky politely, and her boyfriend. She wore possibly too much make-up. And yet there was beauty beyond her mask, hard to find with the dire sheet of artificial colours in the way. Even so, he suspected Andy was indicating this very mask in his leering. This socio-sexual activity was rife amongst men. Far out to sea, the shadow of a dolphin could be seen to arch and vanish, only once... like a trick of the eye - one could almost hear the distant splash... her mask, however, was clearly of 'the modern/professional/liberated woman'... plenty of mascara, and dark, explicit eye liner... obvious, and forcefully flirtatious. Overall, she - her mask that is - attempted to exude the concept of "Power - Control" (whether this was to be taken as genuine, or a complete joke, was a different question... entirely). To John, however, She looked altogether outside of herself - a delicate soul in burdensome, ugly armour.
The air pushed into freshness by an onshore breeze massaged the gossiping reeds on the rolling sand dunes further back, these round rising rumps - the wild gold and green background of a silent, uncivilised beach. The table continued to talk, John sweeping in and out of the brief superficial conversations (always insignificant memories, or factual information... like TV!). The majority of the time he was choosing to simply look around the bar, and disinterestedly 'pass' on the small talk. High above, the twitter of an invisible bird went on unheard as she spied for food and kept her nest, just that little bit longer. John was waiting for a deep conversation, choosing to save his ego's limited energy from the vampric consumption of social language - he inhaled, biding his time for some valuable words, something with meaning.
It was so hard to maintain, surrounded by these dreary repetitions.
The bar thumped out New-rock bass explosions. Jeff - the boyfriend - was big, and tough. The new information (that he was a store manager, or the like) made sense, judging that intrinsic muscle-tone and his subtle Physical attitude. He looked confident, and material, and this confidence seemed not be a 'mask' at all... he did not doubt the idea that "he was he"; and he liked what this "he" actually was. In such contrast to Vicky! They barely interacted, John noticed. Confident indeed! He practically overshadowed the table for a while. John mulled over the man's demeanour, trying to uncover the wellspring of such stability, the mystery he was picking up; an interesting trait this man had inside! it was a specific trait, the trait that appeals to the onlooker's attention, that 'nuance' which catches the observer's eye, even if the nuance itself remains allusive.
Out to sea those tiny beach-line ripples grew to more persistent waves in the distance, washing towards the shore, breaking up bit-by-bit back to ripples, teasing in their retreat, so smooth in their seductive declines. To the left: a range of small jagged shoreline cliffs introduce a smooth, rounded hill with pasture, and the dark silhouette of a crucifix at its zenith. This cross, surrounded by twilight air, is Anthony's Grave, the last resting place of a prophet; Andy talks about work, back grounded by a rustic street, glowing in the sunset.
To the right, the bar swarms with poisoned, Dionysian humans, sexy half-stripped women; further down the beach, the shape of a car appears to slowly cross the sand, the single occupant observing the crucifix upon the mount, curious about its Purpose.
The door of the car opened, and out stepped a man wearing black trousers, an emerald-green tee shirt, an open black shirt, and boots. His eyes immediately took to the waves, bobbing over their patterns, across their surfaces until he reached the curved horizon, blushing now in the evening light. Thoughts of twilight enter his mind, of how those others wouldn't appreciate this, of how his job was too much and this was escape (escaping reality?), this was where he should go, to here, to see the ocean before him, take three months and breath again, recover... escape. "Do you want to read the first chapter of my novel?" John asked Dave, a younger man, kind of dainty. A pilgrimage on Peregrine Bay - indeed, a three-month journey, into words, into his mind, into feeling, into Self and deeper. He shut the car door gently and walked towards where water met matter, where the succulent ocean met the parched and salted sands.
John began to talk to Jeff about the 'reality' what his art was about; and found out that Jeff's 'nuance' was in fact an artistic streak - he was, or rather had been, a writer! They talked on such lines for a while, Jeff advising John to 'have more fun' with it.
Dave was talking to Jeff's girlfriend, Vicky. He had remembered their names!
Throughout, becoming more intoxicated, John fought against his disappointment; that he was not alone, as he had wanted, and though he refused to absolutely void-off the night, favouring a sniper-like engagement when a little meaning arose in their words, he still thought of how he could be here alone, watching the anonymous Crowd, at peace, and without the awesome confusion of 'otherness'. Dealing with an 'other' was supposed to be rewarding, nourishing (and it was sometimes), but dealing with others (especially groups) was usually an exhausting affair, with exasperated cluelessness on John's behalf, his inner mind in a stuttering awe at their empty hyper-script, with its ever ambiguous, strained surreal, or electric aggressive sub-script - their words and their meanings made little sense to him as he watched Dave continue to read his novel... Winter, it was called...Chimera.