The Negociants

Insomnia. Was it? What was it? The moon. The stars. Room awash with light. Madness in that illumination. Was it her legs, her laugh, quick witted humour. How many times have you turned the light on and off. On and off. Said to yourself that you would like coffee even although its three thirty. Now its 5.57.

Bed is the warmest place. Not the most comfortable for sitting in to
attempt to write.
All the details slip from mind. He blames boredom or anxiety. Both
He sends a message. Checks every so often to see whether the recipient has read it.
The coffee takes me and drops me. I’m crashing. Desperate for an energy
rush. A flow of thoughts. Is it SAD?
Now he wants to avoid social platforms. Success just another misguided
form of materialism. Baby I can’t buy you those shoes. That’s not a
reality. It’s a fact.Reality is not entirely composed of facts
On the back of an envelope a poem. About finding a lover and kissing her
in front of Our Lady of Paris. About standing beneath a blood red moon.
The following evening the rabbit became the black angel.
On another envelope another version of the same scenario. Smells of teen

Cut to: A train station. Somewhere in Paris. Two people. Two women saying
goodbye to each other. One holds an iPhone saying they could get one of
the other passengers to film them as they kissed each other goodbye.

Cut to: red painted fingernails cutting through the paper wrapping of a sugar cube. close up: melting of sugar into the surface of the coffee. drawing in of dark liquid into the white cube.

male voice; You don’t like brown sugar?

female voice; I like to see the coffee being absorbed into the white crystals.

male voice; What colour is your nail polish?

female voice; You are not the nervous butterfly this time. Perhaps it was just an act

Cut to: her lips, her red lips. her teeth, her white teeth.

words and definition

Cut to: his black painted fingernail

Cut to: a woman cutting out paper shapes. we cannot see her face for a veil of black hair.

Practise. Go outside. Let the rain wash you. If you are lucky it might be sunny. I know you like the sun. I would check how much rainfall per annum. I couldn’t give a fuck. I doesn’t stop me from what i want to do. Reflections, meditations, responses.

Today she said goodbye. Why did he pick up the phone? Why did he open the envelope? Why did he go online?

From the top shelf in the kitchen he took down a bottle of vodka. Didn’t bother with a glass. Unscrewed the thin metal top and slurped down a draught of clear spirit. Hobbled down to the workshop. Affected. Fumbled with the padlock and burst in. Kicking the first object in front of him which happened to be a pale blue chair. Beneath the surface of his shoe his ingrown toenail ruptured. Why did he allow himself such moments of anger? Such fracturing eruptions of emotions could be avoided. Avoid the superficial. The indulgence.

You offered the man who always talks about being a man a handshake but he offers a finger. You move off with baggage in tow. Not certain of the area. Unsure where the nearest Metro station might be. You feel insulted. You feel the gesture is a putdown. You cannot see any humour in it.

You offered the woman words that, at the time had some sort of brevity, offered a poetic existence within the confines of the mundane. Mere shambolic offerings of the heart. Little more than self indulgent pap.

Has this text got an narrative or is it merely disjointed fragments that you are trying to piece together to make slightly more cohesive.


Go outside. But say nothing. Talk to no one. Get on with what you think you are supposed to be doing. Concentrate. Obliterate fripperies. Distractions.

Bed is the warmest place.

We are. I am. You are. All this could be. The potential of possibilities. She is poised on a chaisse longue. Silent. Captured. For thats what you do alchemist of images. Catalyst of daydreams and desires.

Pink flower summer gown draped on wardrobe. Your perfume no longer lingers on the fabric. It’s a presence, evoking memory. Awaiting to be gathered around your thin frame.

Do you trust my judgement? We only just met. She said I rely on you. We make adjustments. Within a measurement of a few centimeters we make a small change. Can it be called a correction or is it a matter of opinion? Preferences. I suggest a reason why something be put in a certain sequence. You seem happy with that. And everyone agrees. Everyone being four people. But it gathers consensus.
Outside you lace your arm through mine and we head off in the wrong direction. I ask what you want to do? You say you want alcohol. Bloody Mary. We head down to Boulevard Saint Germain. I feel relaxed with you. Excited. Know that I’ll be even more relaxed after a drink.

The kitchen window of the apartment looks down into a court yard. The living room window down into an alley of Turkish sandwich shops and other tourist traps and haunts. When did the great artist live here?

Adjacent apartments look down onto the river and are offered a view of the great cathedral which began construction in 1163 and was opened in 1345.

Its a quarter to two. Torch song. It’s a quarter to three. Only the lonely. Each place we go. Only the lonely go.

We kissed for the first time on a bridge near to the cathedral. Oh you didn’t finish your Kir Royal in the restaurant. You went for a pee and I ordered another glass of wine. Red.

The kiss is ephemeral. I want more. Six days with you. I ask for more. Whispers between closed hands. I know you’ll send me home.

under a blood moon
our Lady of Paris
gothic architecture of ancient stones.
pages of a love letter cascade from the bridge
dragged along by the river’s current.
veiled in shimmering long black hair
her face to the mass.
I can call her lover
from that night on.

Struggling with coincidental factors as if fate lay within. Knowingly he took a wrong turning as he came out of the metro. Heading left. Aware that he was fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. So he could have ironed his shirt or have spent longer in the shower.

Edith and Harry living in Pigalle, on the same street where all the guitar shop are on one half then the antique shops. And the hipster bars and restaurants. I hadn’t been in the area since Nick had bought that blue Yahama acoustic. Hours of deliberating. I couldnt play guitar then and I certainly cant play guitar now. I prefer the piano. I mean as an instrument. Not that i can play it. Anyway,
I’m looking around. Absorbing the surroundings. Edith has made slow cooked rabbit. I see there is salad prepared and sitting in a bowl on the table. I’m wrong. Its green beans.

I know we are going to get around to talking about the content of the film.

I have these words to ask you. I want you to answer. But i want you to define what the questions. Is it relevant to who or what we are?

Retraction. What had been there? Deleted. Erased. Not a mistake. There is always the cancel button. Was there something within the text that might allude to feelings or the truth.

On Rannoch moor there is a stone, a massive boulder with a tree growing out of it. Oh do you know where I’m talking about. It’s in Scotland. I don’t have an image of it. Google it. You’ll find something. Can you put the kettle on. If I’m not drinking I need to be consuming some kind of liquid. That tiny dribble of saliva that appears from the corner of his mouth and drips on to the pillow as he lies with lax open mouth snoring like a happily hibernating bear whose just had the most amazing dream about mama bear. But the bear is a pervert, he’s dreaming about a little rabbit.

At breakfast he is asked what he dreamt about. Oh you think at my age I have dreams let alone remember them. He cuts a slice of banana bread, cubes it and scoops it into a bowl. Cuts some dried figs and lays them on top of the bed of banana bread which he covers in Yeo Valley yogurt. He wont eat any other brand. He’s like that. True to brands and friends. Beds, blankets. Dreams. Make something up. Keep everyone amused. Everyone. There is no one.


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