… this is how it goes.
But here is a redrafted first page for the short story that was a novel.
I drift from place to place and from year to year with such ease, now. But, despite what they think, I usually know that I am drifting. It’s just that I can’t come back quickly so when they put me on the commode, or help me drink my tea, or get me ready for bed I don’t always make sense, at least not to their way of thinking.
Just now I said to Bethany, ‘Isn’t the cherry blossom beautiful?’ Of course I meant the spindle whose leaves are heartbreakingly scarlet today, but I was still in the middle of a bright spring day; I was still sitting under my favourite cherry blossom, and so, when she asked me what I was looking at, I told her what was in my mind and not what was actually out there, what she could see, by the pond.
But I know I heard someone playing the piano in the studio last night, I wasn’t drifting then. The sound woke me up. It came through the window. It drifted in across the garden from the other side of the pond, under the bright full moon, and I lay there staring at the ceiling, willing it to stop, hating it for the flood of memories it brought with it, trying to staunch the flood.
I wouldn’t mind hearing music if I could still dance, or at least make some kind of movement, but hearing music and not being able to move is unbearably painful. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. I despise my feeble attempts to move when I hear music these days and, because my mind rambles along paths of its own choosing, I often see my young self dancing when music invades my broken-down being. It infuriates me. And it breaks my heart.
I’ve been editing my head off for the last ten days or so (so my bank manager’s got a nice surprise coming), but I’ll be back to writing, after one last bit of editing, early next week.
I’d love to know how you feel about this redrafted first page, if you felt like commenting.