Ivy climbs a metal post where paint is peeling.
An anthology of French literature which I open today has a hand-written note on the flyleaf. I admit to finding it intrusive. It may seem ungracious but it prompts me to think about the practise of dedicating books given as presents. It is something I have myself refrained from. It strikes me as immodest and presumptuous. On the other hand were the note-writer James Joyce or Graham Greene I realise that it would add immensely to the value the book and my pride in possessing it. As it is I have one book with a note from the author on the fly leaf of which I am duly proud and for which I am truly grateful. It is Gorgon Times by my friend, Roderick Robinson. I am glad that he doesn't share my misgivings.
The hideous, empty cinema behind hoardings on the corner of Church Road and Mount Pleasant will soon become an ancient monument, perhaps a tourist destination in its own right. The people of Tunbridge Wells have stopped complaining about it. They have simply become used to it. Today I pause on the pavement opposite to look up at the broken windows in its mountainous superstructure. I used to photograph the pigeons which took up residence in the empty rooms and auditoriums and which posed for me on window sills and air vents as they emerged from a kip. It seems that even they have abandoned the site, for not one of them is to be seen.
I thought that was a real tree trunk with odd coloured peeling bark - until I read on.
Should I send you another for daily use?
The fact is, between us, GT isn't just a book. It's an asparagus trench we both dug. The shared action is bigger than the thing itself.
And the present short story (provisional title: Gorgon Wings) I referred to will be like an end-of-term paper. Well, sort of.
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