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Sunday, 4 February 2007

Paul Saich 2007

A little late with my contribution this year. I was rather rushed on the day for various reasons and didn’t get out until early afternoon. And it being a Sunday I didn’t feel I had long so I left just three quotes. The first was in HMV, nestled between some CDs by The Waterboys. (No significance to that by the way. It was a random choice based on me feeling rushed and on choosing a moment when I thought I wasn’t going to be seen.)

I went to see if she was still asleep. She wasn’t in my bed. She wasn’t in the studio or on the balcony. She wasn’t in the bathroom or the kitchen. She was nowhere in the house. The night was gone, the day was here; the tube trains were running and the trees on the common were swaying in the cool of a morning that was going to turn hot very soon. Some birds were twittering in a half-hearted way, as if they were working to rule. At that time of day I always have the feeling that if you gave reality a good kick the scenery would shake.

from Amaryllis Night and Day

The next I propped on a shelf in Waterstone’s normally used for promotions, posters advertising for reading groups and upcoming plays. I used the quote last year and thought it could do with another outing…

In the deep chill and the darkness of the Fourth Galaxy, in the black sparkle of deep space, oh so lonely, see a figure in a blue coverall tumbling over and over as it comes towards you: no space suit, no helmet, no oxygen. Is he dead? He can’t be alive, can he? What’s in his mind now? Are there pictures frozen in his mind?

from Fremder

Finally I was going to do another bookshop but it occurred to me that I shouldn’t. As I was thinking, I was passing a line of unoccupied tables outside Starbucks (it being too cold for people to sit outside)…and decided that it was ideal. There wasn’t a good way of hiding what I was doing from the people sitting inside. (I’ve no idea why I feel I should be 4Qating unobserved but it seems appropriate!) So, folded under the ashtray on one of the tables, more from Amaryllis:-

We were climbing then, with lots of sky all around us and was that – yes, it was – the sea, just a greyness, a flatness, a Here-I-amness. We parked at the Beachy Head Countryside Centre, a brown national-park-looking place, THE FAMILY WELCOME, Full menu served all day, 11.30am to 10.00pm.

With our sandwiches and thermos of tea we made our way to the view of the white cliffs and the toy lighthouse and the grey and kelpy-looking strand between us while the sea, grey and dimpled, moved far, far below us like a leaden porridge slowed by distance, advancing in sluggish small wavelines to the base of the cliffs. The joyful little brown dog frolicked ahead of us while the black Labrador continued to urge caution. Reaching the edge of the grass the little brown dog flung himself over headfirst and we were afraid to look but it was not the end of him because he reappeared laughing so it had not after all been an edge of no return.

That was six years ago, and when my mind goes back to that dawn it gives me the vampire wedding, the leaden porridge of the sea, and that meditation of crows.

from Amaryllis Night and Day

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