So hopefully Sunday night has seen off that recurring dream where I'm about to go onstage as Henry VI but haven't learnt my lines. It's a dream my Dad used to have as well. (Perhaps he still does.) It's not always Henry VI but it is always a play written in verse: I'm staring down at my second-hand copy in the wings when it hits and the lines are always ten syllables long. Now normally the dream ends with me having to go onstage and fake a few cues, then own up and apologize, clamber down into the auditorium and head out the fire exit... not defeated, just disappointed... but on Sunday night it was different.
On Sunday night I finally decided to take the play onstage with me and pretend I was reading the bible. (Henry VI is very into the bible. And I also started reading it a few nights ago... Never realized before how many men in Genesis wait 500 years before settling down to have kids... Also interesting to see God was good enough to run up a couple of tunics for Adam and Eve to wear in exile. Bless him... Very artistic temperament: "OH IT'S ALL RUBBISH IT'S ALL GONE WRONG... etc.") Of course the theatrical lighting meant it was very difficult to make out the words and I kept tilting my head and losing my place - In fact the whole thing was a joke. But when I walked offstage it was back into the wings, not the fire exit. And the show would carry on. (It was always going to be rubbish anyway.)
And this may or may not have had something to do with the fact that Sunday evening had seen me heading out to Mount Pleasant to miss an Indigo Moss gig at the Apple Tree, which was fine, I mean it's fine that I missed it. Better than fine in fact because it meant I could get some walking done: This is the week I have set aside to write - as I mentioned in the last post - so a lot of that day had been spent attempting to... well face up to this fact basically. I didn't, for example, get round to meeting Benet outside the Burmese Embassy to take some photos (and the protest he was hoping to attend had turned into a march anyway so no-one else was there either). I just paced my room listening to Brian Aldiss on Radio 7 and poring over tray-sized compilations of pulp science fiction illustration, getting nowhere...
Because in the end I'm a peripatetic. If I'm going to write, I have to get out and walk. And in looking for the Apple Tree I walked a lot. So that was good. And by the time I found the non-Indigo-Moss, Franco-Irish skiffle group launching into "Ooh La La" within before a happy press of excellent old hippies (you know, "Ooh La La": The Faces, Rod Stewart, I-wish-that-I-knew-what-I-know-now, a sentiment as sacred as Christmas... anyway apparently it's called "Ooh La La") the sad knot of transcribed, amnesiac squabbling that had so far been all I could muster in the name of comedy had blossomed in my head into something a good deal more interesting - something stealthy even - something with mood swings and, at the very least, a middle and an end, if not a beginning. And the beginning's just the bit you end up putting first, I'm sure.
Dumas pere said to Dumas fils: All the talent's in the table, if you put some paper down on it and rub long enough, something's bound to come off. And for me it's the streets... Yeah! The streets!
So, yes, how many interviews does it take to turn a writer into a wanker then. We have our answer. And I should be writing now. And not this rubbish. Here's some more salvaged Heracles instead: "The Twelf Labour - Cerbeus of the Underworld." It's very sad at the end. Brace yourselves.
(At last you can see his face)
- You're a bit heavy for a dead man and if you're not dead I can't take you.
- If you don't take me across you'll be the dead one!
- I'm hungry & blood's the only thing us ghosts eat.
- I'll kill one of those cattle.
- Hey you want a fight?
- Stop this arguing - I'm Hades - I know why you've come here and you can have Cerbeus if you tame him
(I can't even make him sit!)
- I've done it.
- Then keep it.
Back at Thebes:
- I've completed my tasks but where's Megera
- Didn't you see her in the Underworld. I'm afraid she died with a fever sent by Hera
Very Expressive Well Done!