Tunneling Through Soylent Green
Blog Post by Brad Green - Aug.29.2008 - 11:28 pm
I built a tunnel for my daughter tonight that goes nowhere. She loves it. The long box that the new bathtub arrived in drew her attention. I pried all the staples out with pliers, dropped them in my shirt pocket. She crawled back and forth, back and forth, for nearly 30 minutes. At each exit which was also entrance, she cackled before crab-crawling back in to do the same on the other side. Each thing about the movement was repetitious except her laughter. That was fresh and enthralling as a slow pull of blue taffy each time it happened. Less reading tonight. More editing. Sharpening the text on a story here, blurring it at the edge there. I'm looking forward to James Salter. Forget putting in the tub tomorrow, I want to say. Let's go to the bookstore. He probably won't be shelved though. It's unfortunate that the authors that heed the sound of their words are often only appreciated by those that write themselves. I grow closer each day to declaring television an evil thing and banishing it from our house since that's what's removing the elastic from the English. Of course such a thing will never happen. What would we do with the kids then? It is the image of a tunnel that's prevented me from sleeping thus far tonight. It's late here, nearly 2. That's late for me now that I'm decrepit and cane-worthy. I wonder at my daughter's joy at being enclosed. Layovers from the womb still - at 10 months? I think that she, much like me, finds the edges of the world's presentation rough and bright. The lurch and scratch of the tools that I'll use tomorrow when working on the bathroom will startle. They startle me and I'm the one pressing the trigger. The noise of their violence is always unexpected. I put a book over my face; she crawls in a box. I think the box becomes a filter for her the way words slow down the rendering of the world for me. It's the reduction of the input that makes things manageable. Perhaps this explains my trending toward the minimal, at least compared to the bald extravagance of my youthful prose. Pfft. I say that I'm trending minimalistic, but all I've heard from the few online critique clubs I've had the guts to join is to tone it down. Cull it. Cut it out. It's distracting. We just want the story, they say, don't let the language distract. Have some Soylent Green then. I've heard it's a square of necessary nutrition. Nothing you don't need.