Hard line learning

I can’t make these words stay in my head. It’s weird being back in work mode. I remember this madness. But I can’t make ’em stay, these darn words.

I’ll manage it. I know that. I’ll sort it out. But the old muscle has atrophied a bit while I’ve been chilling out at home along with the rest of the world. It’s shrunk a bit while we were all freaking out about microscopic organisms. This is why you haven’t heard from me the last few days, dear human friends. My communications have been reduced to monosyllables and grunts as I go over and over these slippery thoughts, rebooting myself into work mode. The world is coming back a little bit, drenched in caution…

It’s written verbatim this piece, a transcript of recorded conversations. This means it’s is excellent discipline to learn. It’s how people really actually speak as opposed to the cleverly formed complete thoughts that we’re usually given to utter when the lights go on. If you turned these scripts in in a writing room for fiction you’d lose your seat in that writing room. These thoughts are beautiful and messy, contradictory and honest. A lot of the meaning is in the intention rather than in the text. Written on the page, this stuff occasionally defies logic. Spoken in the mouth the logic becomes more apparent.

But first I have to find it. I have to unpick the thoughts. A reminder of the way we substitute gesture for words. These nuances of communication that are lost in a zoom call. How we abandon a sentence when we know it has served its meaning from observing an almost imperceptible nod on the part of the listener. How we weave through ideas as we speak, dancing on the shifting patterns we observe in our interlocutors, riffing on the unexamined content of our own mad minds.

I’m going to try one last push before I go to bed. Sleep arranges these things. It’s just gone midnight and apart from the worry that the returning heat might keep me awake all night, I’m hoping that one more half hour blitz will burn in enough for me to wake up early and ninja the last of it. We film in the afternoon tomorrow.

I learnt something today which I’ll share in case it stops you getting hot potato all over your hand. You know the way we sometimes do things without knowing why? I used to make a hole in the side of a jacket potato with a fork before putting it in the oven. I stopped as I put it down to an inherited superstition. This evening the thing exploded at my touch. Not completely but enough to have me running but the cold water. You couldn’t write that either. Exploding potato as a plot device? They wouldn’t buy it. The truth is weird. We prefer fiction because there’s justice and logic in fiction, mostly. People talk in complete sentences. Potatoes don’t explode.

I still ate it. With some fish. Yum.

Now I’m going to learn this hard stuff again and then roll around mumbling for hours.

At least I took a brief break for the sunset in Battersea Park.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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