It taunts me like the muzzle of a gun/it pours into my soul like chilled honey’
– Selima Hill, ‘Desire’s a Desire’
I have been writing into the characters, staying inside for most of the last two days. It is interesting to see what sediment stirs up from the bottom of my dirty brain.
Tick has dreams, more real than life and less frightening than madness, and an alter-ego Theo – his great-great-great grandfather or so – who is a little more suave and coarse than he is. A little more seductive and inhabitable.
The idea of sex ripples through, a fin in the algae-green, unformed waters.
‘Aida too knows what she is doing more than Tick, and delves into acts like water poured into water. She is mixing with Theo and Tick. An odd sort of menage a tois, the resolution of which seems potentially footery.
Somehow, Tick has turned into a physical bridge between the sleeping world and the poorly delineated scrub desert of the daytime. Theo, who Tick must play in his pioneer-era dreams, hovers in the background, in unread journals, in the records of the past. But is he more than that?
The question becomes; has Tick , as an academic and spiritual flailer reconstructed and reconfigured a shady historical figure to explore some side of his psyche (as he tells himself must be so), or is Theo taking over some violent part of Tick’s brain – he intrudes, he takes over.
Some balance has been lost; the tilts in reality are like spinning plates. Fun, and potentially noisy.
On the other side of things, a new character bubbled out of nowhere and is now settling himself in – Arthur, the harsh-voiced, tender ex-jesuit on the trail. Another side of Tick, or not.
This is 18,000 words. It is all thrumming downhill like a river in high flow. Where is it going? Me, in my avatar of a flickering forward line, run at much the same speed, and almost as unaware.