Friday, 6 January 2017

Where am I?

So, that was Christmas and what have you done? That's what John Lennon asked me (More or less) and the answer is not very much. This however does not mean I'm quitting, just that I had a lazy Christmas.

So chapter two of the book 'Back to Creative writing School' has another exercise to test me with. The chapters themselves are short and friendly things, they get you to the point of the exercise and get you writing with some clear advice that makes you feel that you want to use it right away. In this respect, it doesn't disappoint.

So, the exercise goes like this, write about where you are from the perspective of someone returning there after two very different experiences. Firstly, from the perspective of someone who was held here a prisoner and secondly as someone who took refuge from a mob here. You'll need to buy the book to read the excellent advice and confidence building words in the build-up to doing the exercise. Here goes.

I’m lead in over the too high threshold and stumble foolishly inside, room hurtling toward and around me like some vision of falling into a black hole. I steady myself, see the ordinary domestic scene and my stomach drops into its own black hole. Ordinary cooker, ordinary washing machine, ordinary fridge, ordinary fucking everything. I catch the edge of the table concentrate on the lines in its grain, for a moment I expect the man who lead me in to say something. As if it were a single emotion I’m dreading the intrusion and daring him to speak, I need to lash out at something but he gives me time and space and the moment passes. Heatless sunlight is reflected in from the high walls outside above a white sink that’s like something from a butcher’s shop. I edge around the table to my seat, the childlike sense of possession almost making me giggle irrationally.
‘This is it’ I say and I sit.
‘You sure?’
‘Of course I’m fucking sure.’
At this I stand to leave, I intend to walk out, don't look back, just go. I do look back, it just happens, I look back and see it is still a kitchen, only a kitchen. There is nothing to stop me and so I go.

My actual kitchen!

So, onto part two.

This is the best spot, just here by the bin and the old wood burner, you get a perfect view of the street here through the fragile glass door. Strange things locking glass doors, only secure because the taboos of normal society prevent smashing glass. Anyone living outside of those rules, a sociopath let’s say, would see only the goal of getting in and think nothing of breaking the flimsy barrier. Soft light illuminates the room from at setting sun and it is clear that this is a family kitchen. Cookbooks and apparatus adhere to the wall along the worktops ready to be thrown into the making of a hasty breakfast after a missed alarm. The table stands squarely in the centre, a keep in its castle, it has weathered much and is ready for more.

I enjoyed doing these, the first one seemed to come a lot easier and I’m not sure if that’s because of the subject matter being used twice or the context simply being a bit tougher to tackle.

Until next time.

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