An extract from something (a novella? a long-short story?) that I've been writing, but keep forgetting I'm writing. I hope by posting it here, it will remind me to keep going with it. 'Cos some of it is really quite good.
Richard is twelve years older than me. He doesn’t let me forget this. I move to change the radio station on the car stereo, and he swipes at my hand.
‘This, my love, is pure Americana. We have to listen to it, absorb its cultural power, its lamenting blue-collar dream-soaked working-man symbolism, otherwise... otherwise what's the point of taking this road trip?’
I just want something I can sing along to.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
A piece of micro-fiction. By me.
I’m sat in the Dutchman’s office. I’m wearing a plaid shirt in red, white, and black; cord jeans; Vans skate shoes. What I’m wearing, it’s not that important. It’s just what was on the floor. It could have been ripped jeans and a Quiksilver hoody. But thanks to my inability to put clothes away, today I’m more Seattle grunge than Waikiki surfer.
'So, your T-shirt. What does it mean?'
It’s a Sonic Youth tee. This apparently is important.
'It's a band. Sonic Youth. I like ‘em’
'It's an interesting name. Sonic Youth. The Sonic Youth. The sound of a new generation. A nascent sound. The development of a primal scream. Not the cry of a baby, but the rebellious yell of adolescent humanity. The Sonic Youth’.
The Dutchman chuckles at himself. I don’t know whether he thinks he’s being funny or clever.
‘So, The Sonic Youth. Wonderful. Tell me, is their music an utter disappointment compared to the ideological and philosophical sophistication of their name?’
Does he care? God knows. But fuck, if I don’t have to talk about me, I’m game, innit?
‘Ah, y’know, New York alt-punk grunge. Noise. Avant-rock. I like a lot of what they do. Some of the albums, anyway.’
‘Indeed, always with you it’s the early albums, the debut novel, the first season, before they were cool...’
‘For once, no, it’s the mid-period, Dirty, Experimental..., Washing Machine, they’re so much better than the early shoegazey nonsense of the first few LPs. They have like, proper choruses. And tunes, melodies.’
‘But how do they make you feel, The Sonic Youth? You put the CD in the player, or you press play on your Walkman, are you excited, filled with the trepidation? Do you feel anything?
I wish I’d read the Wikipedia entry on Sonic Youth, rather than piss around on Facebook all morning. That would have kept the fat fuck from asking me personal questions for at least another two or three minutes.
I hide behind music, choosing records to listen to in order to inform and support my state of mind. I use music. I use other people’s lyrics and hopes and dreams and guitar playing and drumming to reinforce my world view, and I steal them to make myself interesting. This is what I should tell him. He probably already knows.
‘It depends on the song, depends on the album, I guess.’
'No, it depends on you. Now then, last time we were talking about your family life when you were growing up. Important things in childhood happen, no? Let's continue.’