Write In 1

Everyone has a book in them. I was born with a pen in my hand. He had the scars to prove the first one and the photographs to prove the second. He was baptised in ink and now it slid over his skin like a memory. He wrote everywhere that he could – his house was one big wipe clean surface that he scrawled over – a neverending, ever-changing epic poem of randomness masquerading as cohesive thoughts. He started the tattooing off with quotation marks on his shoulder blades – waiting for the perfect words to leap out at him and find their place in the cupped hands of this beautifully rendered punctuation.

He hated those two lines – they were cliched. The first was patently untrue: he knew people who barely had a post-it note in them let alone anything substantial. The second statement – well, exactly how many people used longhand anymore which is what he felt that remark was supposed to imply? He felt that he was the exception that proved the rule. Mind you that kind of thinking was his own particular brand of arrogance – if something was becoming less true of people in general then he nominated himself as an exemplar of it. If something bad was sweeping the nation he was the hero that stood against the tide. He was valiant.

Giving birth to a child was easy; giving birth to a book was a commitment. He had gone through several midwives in his time; women who soured like milk in the heat of birth pangs, contractions, dilations and the like. There had been certain abortive attempts that he kept stored around the place like pickled punks; souls that had suicided even before they had made an entrance, possibly because they had glimpsed some presentiment of what they were letting themselves in for. Non viable was what they said about some things he produced – they could have been talking about him. He preferred to think of himself as being a genetic testament to built in obsolescence. The book would last – would represent a legacy that he himself was incapable of generating as something physical. He didn’t want permanence in the sense of some patrilineal line cast out into an uncertain future. Books could be translated and thrown through time in any number of formats; was dna such a reliable carrier of information? He doubted it.

There were countless titles, synopses and character sketches collected in a folder which disgorged notes and shed random bits of itself at will. Things had taken on a life of their own – he had created an ecosystem in his house that mirrored the dilapidated internal structures of his haphazard and constantly spiralling mind. And the world outside? That seemed to be taking colouration from his ideas and images … he had perhaps infected reality with his own seditious information.

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