Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Not worth a lot, today. Brain is still AWOL except for occasional reports in to make sure I'm missing it. I don't know if it's age or my more sedentary lifestyle or what, but this job and the travel left me knackered. Of course, it wouldn't hurt if I'd drop some 20% of my weight and focus on reality instead of fantasy, so much. But my mind likes to wander...and lately I've begun to wonder if some day it'll drift away and never come back. Of course, the positive aspect of that would be me no longer being aware of the chaos the world's lost in. I just hope the brain sticks around long enough for me to finish "Place of Safety"...and half a dozen other books...and a dozen more stories...and on and on.

A new ending made itself available to me, on POS. And Brendan's not sure how to take it...or if he even wants to. It's pretty bleak, and I don't know if I could get away with it. This'll have to sit for a while and simmer...but my immediate thought is, it'd work better as the ending to a short story idea I've had. And Brendan seems a bit happier with that possibility.

It sort of flowed out of this scene -- and I'm not telling you the before or after of it because I don't know those, yet.

I lay on the ground flat on my back gazing at the stars, Kieran’s mates standing around me, as if on guard. I didn’t need to look at them to see the confusion on their faces. It was cold, out, and the dirt was surely colder in their eyes, so what sort of fool would kick and bite to be let lie there except a madman. And it’s best to let madmen be. If only they knew how right they were.

Oh, dear God, the heavens were glistening with diamonds on black velvet, right then. Watching. Silent. Heartbreakingly beautiful. Not in the least concerned with the stupidity of men. They’d existed a billion years before me and would exist a billion more after, and who was I to think my sad little seconds of life in comparison were of any true importance, next to them? They were the true alpha and omega. They were the true neverending light. Not even God could own them, let alone man.

I cannot begin to describe the peace I found just looking at them. Just letting them glimmer and shine and wonder at my fixation on them. At my feeling as one with them. Were I to die, I halfway thought I’d join with them to gaze down at other fools like myself, children too stupid to know anything of truth or love or belief. Would I weep as they sometimes do, the hints of their tears streaking across the sky for an instant? Would I watch innocents like Joanna and myself try to build a world between ourselves alone and question their assumption that such a thing was possible? Would I see the same hideous actions practiced in every corner of this pathetic little planet against men of black skin and yellow skin and brown skin and red skin as well as white? Would I even care enough to care?

I actually began to hope that I’d be left there to just lie until the light of day chased the stars around to the other side of the world. I needed no guards. The gentle stars wouldn’t let me move, not so long as they had watch over me. Existence was meaningless aside from those tiny white dots in the black, black ink above me. I almost began to smile and --

Footsteps whispered up, careful, uncertain. I sensed someone squatting beside me then Colm’s face drifted into my line of sight. Concern filled his eyes.

I half grimaced, half smiled and softly croaked, “Colm, please -- you’re blocking my view.”

“What’s this, Bren?” he asked, just as softly. “You planning to claim madness as your defense?”

Defense? Can a true state of being excuse anything? Can loss of your soul mean all is well? Can hate so vicious it rocks your very being be accepted as your punishment? It sounded to me like I’d been tried and convicted, all without a moment of explanation on my part. Not that I could offer any that would be believed. The whole point of this insipid little play was to ignore the facts and laugh at the truth and believe only the tales of idiots. Man’s true fate.

I stared at Colm. “I will not go into a room.”

“Brendan, come along, you’re playing the part of a fool.”

“Listen to what I say, Colm. I will not go into any room. Ever. Do with me as you will, but you will do it in the open.” I shifted my eyes back to the sky. Drew strength from the pinpoints of light so high above me. “You will do it under the stars. So they can bear witness.”

“Then we’ll drag you in.” He started to rise.

I didn’t move. Didn’t even look at him as I snarled, “If you try, me China, I will rip your fucking heart out, do you fucking understand me?”

He stopped. Looked down at me. “Listen to me, ‘China,” and he all but spat the word out, “the only thing standing between you and a bullet is me.”

Christ, he was so serious, so full of his own sense of meaning and grandeur and heroism, so much like that stupid fucking commander -- I had to laugh at him, as well. “Then you better fucking move, lad,” I choked out, “for there’s some have decided I’m taking that bullet, whether I deserve it or not, so save yourself. Step aside. I’m not worth the hell it’ll bring you to back me.” And I kept laughing, lost in the meaninglessness of it.

I'm listening to Loreena McKennit as I do this. It helps my drift keep to the proper current of the ether's whispers and muses.

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