Instantly he’s in the doorway, face pale with concern.
“I was just about to email my story,” I say. “And I’ve realised I got the fucking theme wrong!”
“Oh,” he says. “Can you re-write it to make it fit?”
“That’s not the point!”
This bloody story! I even downloaded Rhapsody in Blue to help – I loathe those blaring trumpets and that stupid circling clarinet at the beginning – listening countless times, pretending – hoping – to be inspired.
And all I kept seeing in my head was the black and white opening sequence from Manhattan.
“Write a story about how you got the theme wrong,” he calls out, safe on the other side of the house now.
“I hate this-is-a-story-about-how-I-can’t-write-a-story stories,” I say. “It’s a hack’s cop out.”
I glare at my laptop. I’m to blame. No one made me mistake v for c. Or c for v.
For two days, I bashed out words with grimacing fingers, wrenching images from my whining consciousness – a weak, lumbering, uninspired piece – and now for what?
I thump my fist on the desk, like so many of my characters, and stare at the keyboard.
Urban concert. All those fabulous images I hoped would inspire me – skyscrapers, bridges, traffic lights, traffic jams, parks and gardens, freeways, taxis, rubbish trucks – all stuck nowhere, lame and hopeless and wrong wrong wrong.
No. Urban convert. Whatever that means.
The deadline ticks closer, outpaced only by my lack of enthusiasm.
Blank blank blank.