August 08, 2008

Fiction for a Friday

It was almost post-time as I took in the scene. The dirt was dry and spiff'd by wind gusts, the horses smelt of Eire and the breeze was accompanied by pipe, tobacco, and whiskey punch, along with a faint pitch of peat-smoke. Graffiti near the entrance: "Ask not for whom the turnstiles turned, they turn for you."

I longed for novelistic approaches to novelty shortfalls. I hungered for it having reached the saturation point of conformity, including the conformity of rebelliousness for rebellion's sake. "Beauty is underrated," she told me, "for it masquerades as non-utility."

By week's end the newsprint was getting on my hands. I was relieved to read, apropos of nothing: "Once he gets it [...] then he'll also probably start to notice that the water doesn't actually taste like water where they are. More like Dewar's single malt whiskey. Only better."

It was buried in a post that read like fiction, at least to eyes longing for sprites and the numinous wonders of Yeatsian Ireland. I remember, just last weekend, lounging in the sun-dyll with a summer ale in my hand (they'd run out of porter, necessitating a change). The fiddle players played jigs and reeled in sustaining succession while I pondered the mystery of the jig versus the reel: who could tell them apart?

The horses were in the gate, my ticket stub in hand. How marvelous they looked!

As a kid I took no aesthetic notice of the race track. It seemed a betting place with horseflesh as mere adjunct. Now it seemed a green space with horses and betting as the adjunct. Then it seemed a dismal affair, full of unshaven old men with bleary eyes looking for an excuse to gamble. Now the gambling seemed the excuse to leave the office and see green grass and glamorous horses...

No comments: