Day 20

5.02: It’s the end of the week, and time for the first installment of the occasional There Before Light Any Other Business Recap Meeting.

First up, my friend Beth has proposed a solution to yesterday’s imbroglio: “I think the answer to sex writing – and maybe the act – is always do it in French,” she says. She may be onto something.

And secondly: Piano update. It hadn’t vanished at all. It’s just been swiveled round so it’s skulking in some bushes. I spotted it the other day, now with it’s top ripped open, so the rain fills it up like a fish tank. Someone, surely should put it out of its misery. The humane oldtime pianist would at least have the good grace to slip on the yellow wellies and reach for the boltgun.

It’s been week of debunking pseudonyms. First there was Belle de Jour, who’s actually a scientist called Dr Brooke Magnanti, and then yesterday footage emerged of Lady Gaga performing back when she was only known as Stefani Germanotta (presumably before she married Lord Gaga). Both must have been at their Satre, and worried about the sheer mauvaise foi of it all. They don’t want to be waiters.

But mauvaise foi is all about self-deception. As someone who gets up every morning to spend a couple of hours making stuff up, I’m quite into other-people-deception. I wanted to believe in Belle the call girl and Gaga the luminary of the Muppet noblesse.

Arguably being both a call girl and a scientist makes the Belle story even richer; actually, it definitely does. I jut get nervous when people start killing their characters for no apparent reason, and especially when it happens in the Sunday Times.

6.34: Am I going mad? Which is what Philip Martin in Neighbours used to turn to the camera and say, making him a skin-of-his-teeth entry into my Pantheon of TV heroes. The only criterion is being the sole character in an otherwise-straight television programme who is allowed to talk to the camera. The other inductees are Lovejoy and Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell.

But this is beside the point which is: Am I going mad? I seem to have imagined a chapter. I’m convinced I wrote it months ago, when I first decided to crack on with this. But it’s gone; schlepped off into the sea like the Lord Lucan. Except people will confirm at least that Lord Lucan definitely existed to begin with. He had friends, family, creditors, concubines and so on, who’ll vouch for his not being a figment of my imagination.

But my chapter has taken off, leaving no trace of its ever having been here in the first place. The clever, clever Keyser Söze-emulating bastard. Like that, it’s gone. And yet I’m sure I wrote it. I remember some of the details. There was a bit about stealing shoes. I wouldn’t have imagined writing about stealing shoes, would I? What kind of perverted behaviour is that?

6.57: Needless to say, this morning’s progress was hampered by the mystery of the missing shoe-stealing motif. I’ve been hunting it down over hard drives and old emails, envelope-backs and boxes of paper, but not so much as a sniff of the goods. It feels like a conspiracy, but maybe I’m paranoid. Paranoid schizophrenic.
Everything I thought I knew is wrong. The sweatbeads are chasing each other’s tails across my brow and I think the floor’s starting to move. What happened to the missing shoes? The light is taking me to pieces. Rosebud.

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~ by David Thorley on November 20, 2009.

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