A Man Called Paul

The house has never been this silent. No voices, or footsteps on the stairs. No stereo’s beat or television’s cackle or mobile’s grinding chirp – the white-washed walls are relaxed. Paul lies down beside the sitting room’s calor gas fire with the intention of reading, but within a few minutes of attempting to do so it dawns on him that the words are just floating over and through him and instead of reading he’s oh-so intently studying the jangling rhythm of his own heartbeat reverberating at the base of the back of his head.
What now? The question is sublime: for the first time in a long time Paul knows his lines and can saviour their consequence. Without really considering it, Paul unleashes the question into past fields of reference – watches it roll and swell and snowball into that old forgotten sense of possibility as it binds with half-forgotten fragments of ageless burning clarity mulched with crude nostalgia – (allows his trail to oh-so briefly plunge into echoes of smells) before (too soon!) awareness of reality’s bind forces sharp reversion and dancing knots unravel as the kitchen door is hurled shut by a rushing gust of wind from the garden.
A glowering boil is growing on Paul’s left temple. It throbs at night despite the Arnica he applies three times daily. It is the stress of the city. The commute to work is a nightmare, and then when he gets there the smells in the shoe factory in which he is employed – a blend of leather, oil, grease, chemicals and sweat – aggravate his already inflamed nostrils that have suffered for an hour on the packed tube. He realises that he must change his life or it isn’t going to last very long. Maybe he should become a cleaner, Paul thinks. A friend works for a company called Bromley cleaners, and another for Chiswick cleaners. He should ask if they have any positions available.

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August 5, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Uncategorized


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