The move is, taken as a whole, a good thing. However, it has been a challenge to my writing practice. I did manage nearly a hundred and fifty pages of my new manuscript, as well as an article for JAB and an artists’ book (Little JAB Book), assisted in writing the first episode of a TV series based on my novel Missing People, and a few short pieces of fiction such as this character study:
He lifts his head to see her walk in. She wears a bright yellow skirt, her tan knees flashing as she quick steps to the counter. For Harris her entrance is like the first bright rays of the summer stabbing through the oppressive gloom. His mood is immediately lifted.
He sits taller, considers his wrinkled outfit, tries to smooth his hair with his hand. He leans his head to smell his own armpit. Not offensive. He takes up his napkin square, crushes it in one palm and holds it over his mouth as he quietly clears his throat, taking the opportunity to gauge the relative strength of his stale coffee breath. All preparations made, he is ready to discover her name.
She turns and moves back to the door, a paper cup with a tea tab dangling from under the plastic lid.
He draws breath to call to her. He has nothing to say.
She leaves, turns the corner, vanishes from his view; from his life.
Harris is destroyed. He slumps and knocks his forehead back on the hard, cold marble tabletop. His mood that much darker after the momentary flash of hope.