The gall of it

Friday October 1, 2004

I closed Man of Montmartre late yesterday evening and experienced that familiar sadly delicious pang of regret that the book had to come to an end. It’s been a long time since I felt that and I’m grateful.

What to say about the book? Not a formal book review, that’s for sure—I don’t do them. It’d be possible to rip the thing to pieces on several counts but I don’t do that, either. For three days it has given me a wonderful boost, dusted the cobwebs away from my memories of the last time I read it, and leaves me with the pleasure of knowing that I can go back and read it again some time in the future. So, for all its flaws and inaccuracies, I still love the book. You can’t say fairer than that, now can you?

Then, early this morning, I got my act together and took myself off to the supermarket in Boston for a reprovisioning, about two days later than I should have been. The cupboard was looking really bare and, yesterday evening, Harry Cat and I had to share a can of Ambrosia Creamed Macaroni for our dessert. I’d run completely out of Carnation Milk and Harry was giving me hell for my neglect. Can’t say I much enjoyed it but Harry relished every last drop, going so far as to lick up the wafers of sliced macaroni and eating them with every sign of enjoyment. He’s never done that before. Normally he licks around them carefully and leaves them arranged higgledy-piggledy on the rim of the dish. Ah well. There’s no accounting for the doings of cats.

So, back from Boston, lunched and watered, I sat looking at my still-blank canvas once more. I picked up my pencil and held it in the air between me and the white void, slanting it this way and that, establishing the shapes I’ve been building in my mind’s eye. Then I put the pencil down again.

“It’d be a lot easier to just sketch the thing as it is rather than the way I want it to be, Harry,” I sighed. “Art is all very well but getting it out of your head is worse than peeing a gallstone.”

Harry gave me a big, tonsil-waggling yawn in reply.

“Ah,” I said. “You have the right of it as always. Let’s go and have a nap.”


Stickford, Sep,'04
Ready to go



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