My dear friend Mr Boyle is on the warpath at the moment. He calls me at least once a week to give me the “Why Haven’t You Started Your Magnum Opus Yet, You Are A Genius” harangue. He’s just finished his first book, which is under consideration by a well-known publisher. Talking to him is like talking to a born-again Christian, and none of my feeble bleats or excuses will alter his iron purpose.
“Once you’ve finished a book…it changes your entire life,” he states, as though it were the unshakeable truth. “You’ll never be the same again!” he cries, not wishing to understate the matter.
And only two days after he met with the publisher, I got an anguished call, wanting to know why they hadn’t responded yet. “But I spent six years writing the bloody thing!” he said to my laughter.
Mr Boyle has got it all planned out. I have to sit down once a day in the office and give it a good hour. I have to write at least a line of my book, maybe more. In two weeks, we will meet and he’ll give me his so-humble opinion. Good lord – does he not know I have bad celebrity fashion to catch up on? A trashy blog full of nowt to write?
However, it is not every day your pals take the time to unleash a tirade (it is often the other way around, I find), and I appreciate his bluntness.
“You sit down and write something, and I’ll call you back in an hour,” he rapped.
“Yah, and should I read it to you as well?”
“Certainly not,” he said indignantly. “I’m not that much of a tyrant!”
So, I lieu of anything better to blog about, I post this morning’s effort:
Waking up in the tropics is like drowning in dense black fog. Feeling a dozen shades of grey falling to black. Your stomach heaves, you roll over heavily and expose the secret creases of your body to the air. Still drowning.
Something wasn’t right. I was naked and spreadeagled under the lapping tides of the fan. Arms and legs triangular, trying to disperse the heat throughout my body. Dozing. I patted a hair dancing across my cheek, and rolled onto my other side. Then something rolled back. Then my chest, around my spine and down my legs.
My eyes snapped open and I made a blind grab for my glasses on the table. The lamp tottered, knocked over a bottle of water and books scattered. Snatching up the lamp from the floor I turned it on with one hand, fumbling my glasses with the other.
I loosed a high, keening howl, a sound unfamiliar to me.
A cockroach as long as my palm was making its final exploration of my bed. Smooth, glossy shell, and thin, prehensile feelers daintily fingering my sheets. Scuttling on a thousand furious legs. It changed direction on my pillow and finally disappeared underneath a pile of clothes.
When an insect is that large, getting rid of it goes beyond just bashing it with a book or squirting it with fly spray. It’s like killing an animal. I vaulted over the clothes and fled into the living room.
I know, baby steps.