This is a piece I wrote a while ago for a course on Experiments in Creative Writing. The original idea was to pick some words based on specific guidelines (shown below) and then craft a paragraph with roughly one of those words per sentence, and hopefully end up with something that makes sense. We were given 5 minutes to complete them. This is not my first one of these, but it’s the one I like the best. In this one, my friend Abby picked the words. I’m not exactly sure if I came out with what she was expecting, but here it is.
- Because there is something that I want to say
- Because there is something in my head that I want to figure out
- To pass the time
- To document something
- To impress somebody special
- For fun
- For work
- For money (TBC)
- Because there is not much else I’m good at, and that’s scary
- Because there is something in my heart that I want to figure out
‘I am sorry for the lack of posts these last few days. Work has been getting the better of me. Between the library, the gym and the stove, I haven’t had much time to write. Or think. Which, as I’m sure you can guess, is not a good sign for my work. Writing a dissertation on the Relative Contributions of Churchmen and Laymen to the Invasion of 1066 has given my life that dull edge to it that it clearly was in dire need of. Once it is done, I will be back, and the the writing will return. Thank you for watching.‘
The above is an apology of sorts that I felt duty-bound to write. Any extended period of vacancy is immediately followed by a noticeable drop in readership. You would become impatient, worried, enraged! I must check in and explain my doings! Up for this you shall not put. It just won’t do. Think of the Readers! The People expect posts! Whatever are they to do without them?!
Thankfully, the wiser voice of my admittedly ill-witted brain spoke up, and pointed out that perhaps I only felt the need to apologise or explain as a way to validate my ego’s belief that I have readers. Yes, I can see you on the stats page, but he also went on to add that ’my dear boy, I do believe that they have far, far better things to do.‘ In case you’re wondering why the wiser voice of my brain sounded rather posh, it is because he is, well, wise. I picture him in a smoking jacket by the fire, reading Dickens and looking disapprovingly at me over his glasses over his pipe, because he is as alien to me – the goof – as an ice-cream is to an elephant. He is also, of course, correct. You do have better things to do. And so do I, but they are often less entertaining, so here I am. I promise to you, er, me, that I shall only write when I’ve got something to say. Now, I know what you’re thinking. ‘But, Kieran! We don’t care about this, either!’
Hello, town that we’re in!
Sorry about the wait, I had a bit of a night last night, so, front row, you might be in the splash zone! I’m just kidding. But geez, it’s bright in here. I’m just going to put my sunglasses on even though we’re in a lecture hall. Ha, that guy over there in the shades, too, he knows what I’m talking about! [The student will nod his head a few times, without saying anything.]
So how about that local rival teaching institution, eh? Sure, the proximity would make cooperation an easy and beneficial task, but screw them, right?! They’re not even a real university! What was it, a small number of places between this university and theirs in the leagues? No? It was a large number! Well, well, what do they expect? It’s just a university of jocks, there’s no way they can touch you academically. Or they’re a university of nerds, and you’ll thrash them at the annual competitions! Or they’re all ‘artists’, but you could do better if you really wanted to. Or they’re all three, but you’ve got the better drugs, am I right? Honestly, this university is one of the best in the country. I say ‘one of’, because then there’s no way you can figure out if I’m lying. And what about your student’s union? They do a great job, people, I’ve heard things. Viral. They get the job done, yet they’re also so lazy! Oh, students.
What about that meeting they held recently, on that important moral issue that warranted complicated thought? Man, who went to that? And thank god that motion about non-alcoholic AGMs wasn’t passed, right? This is a university! Everybody went to that.
Anyway, enough jokes, time to get down to the real reason I’ve come to talk to you. You know that big header on the pamphlets by the door? Oh, you didn’t grab one? From right there? No? Well, it’s important. You don’t need me ranting and raving at you, there’s plenty of info in the pamphlet. But I have to emphasise how important it is. We know what is best for you; can’t you see how well designed it is? So, come talk to us. Or work for us. Or vote for us. This is the future! You are the future. Don’t be stuck in the past. That’s not cool. You’re not like that local rival academic institution, are you? They told me I wasn’t welcome to talk for ‘moral and ethical’ reasons. Free speech! We support that. So come to us.
I’ll be in the union pub after this (yeah, that guy knows!), so feel free to come and ask some questions later. But I won’t answer them.
A couple of days ago, a good friend of mine asked me this:
When you’re going about your daily life, would you say you ‘do what comes naturally’? Or is it more considered? I’m thinking especially in terms of interaction.
This question started a very interesting conversation that kept me thinking for quite a while. Between you and me, she’s extremely good at these kind of conversations and getting me to think; it never ceases to be a wonder to me. Now, I could simply transcribe the conversation we had, but as it was via text message (oh! the wonders of handy and imperfect communication!), it wouldn’t be a very good read. I’ll do my best to do it justice below. Continue reading