We had a conversation this morning. It was one of those not quite awake conversations that happens on Saturday morning when there is no work to put a stop to them.
“Don’t get me wrong,” she said. I knew that there was some honesty coming. “I like your blog, but it’s not going to support us. It’s not that tunnel that you are looking for.”
In the last twenty months or so, the writing has been coming thick and fast. It’s as if all my old injuries and wounds have set about healing themselves, all at once. It’s a Doctor Who thing; complete regeneration and a new-build exterior. I have been careful not to become all nice and good about the world, as a born-againer would likely be. The world still exists in its pre-breakdown mode, shit and getting shittier, so no amount of glossy- over by an inner ‘positive-mindset-self’ is likely to change it. But what I am doing is expurgating myself of the false beliefs about my life and its values.
“I wish you would rewrite The Piper. I loved that book. It is as real to me as yesterday.”
The Piper was my first novel, an imperfect issue that came kicking into life just less than a decade ago; on the eve of my father’s death. The book was my way of showing that I wasn’t a dreamer, that I had real talent. So, I chose a book about the coming apocalypse, set in a school, led by an imaginary Piper who was based on Pan, an Anti-Christ type boy, an animated corpse that had turned to leather and the holy trinity in the form of three brothers. What type of dreamer would dream that up? Anyway, my father escaped having to read it as a result of him dying. And I escaped any redemption.
“I want to rewrite it. It’s just finding the time.” But I knew that I was lying.
I have a friend who didn’t want to upset me when he told me that he thought my writing now was much better than the writing of The Piper. That was my baby he was talking about. It may not have been perfect, but it was mine. It’s a thing that is rarely done, offer an honest critique about the appearance of another person’s baby.
“Your kid is as ugly as a mule’s arse! If you don’t mind me saying.”
That’s why I have kept it in darkness. My ugly mule-arse baby sits on my bookshelf, lonely and wanting to be loved.
“I love it,” my wife said. “I love it.”
Now I am being asked to become Victor Frankenstein. My little imperfect issue needs a face-lift. It needs rewriting for a modern world. It needs to be accepted.
Liam Flowers, come forth.