The Finished Article

Strange that so much of new British retail and entertainment architecture is clearly
taken from America, shopping malls and all and yet America looks with envy at the great buildings of London Rome, Paris.  The Journalist and I went to see a film tonight in Alhambra LA. Alhambra is  a sleepy suburban part of LA, inhabited by  Hispanic Vietnamese Mexican Chinese and Latino peoples.  The cinema is called The Theatre, said Thee-A-TOR. We went to the Thee-a-tor to see  There Will Be Blood which is sure to win actor Daniel Day Lewis an Oscar. It’s a tale of the making of America, money family and religion.  Thee-a-tor! This lead me onto a seemingly unrelated matter.

It was inside an Italian restaurant near Tottenham Court Rd that I realised the
relationship was over. Summer in Soho.  I should’ve gotten out a long time ago. I knew
it. But somehow, maybe cause of her beauty, I  just pretended that it was something. It
wasn’t something, it was nothing and this was the moment where what was never a thing became what it was. That she was in the same predicament didn’t occur to me. It’s never easy ending something that is nothing. It’s never plain and simple stopping something that
should never have started.  So it bickered on throughout the meal with both of us knowing we shouldn’t have had the meal in the first place.

At some cutlery down mid growl point the waiter walked over to our table and said “Are we
finished here?”.  In retrospect this is not something that a trained waiter would say.. The writer in the back of my head, startled, woke up and scribbled down the line. “are we finished here”.  Genius said my inner writer. That was about five years ago.  I’ve held that line in my head for five years without doing anything with it.  The waiter hovered “are we finished here” he said.

It’s something a writer does, more often than not when he is not expecting it.  We are not hawks swooping through our personal life and tearing off bits of exposed flesh. It’s more ephemeral. I never did write it down  until now, in this blog.  If a writer does not take the line from the head in some context, whether in a note pad or in a piece of work then it can become a kind of poison to the writer.   The difference between a writer and someone
who has an idea is that a writer works the idea into his writing. Everyone thinks they are  a writer cause everyone has the idea but the idea is simply the kernel. The difference is that a writer plants the kernel and tends the soil and assists its growth until it is virtually unrecognisable but all the more beautiful.

In There Will Be Blood   the film at the Thee-a-tor the central character becomes saturated in wealth having worked himself up from beneath the ground, literally.  The denouement is his answer to an innocuous question like “are you done sir?”.  And  his answer  “I’m finished”.  


2 thoughts on “The Finished Article

  1. That situation you are describing there in the restaurant…i am stuck in that exact situation at the moment. So strange and difficult to get out. Pretty cofrontating to read it like that as well…almost funny.

  2. Hi Lemn,
    Thanks for the postings.
    I'm really intrigued by what you said about how “it can become a kind of poison…” if the writer/artist neglects to make use of these significant moments.
    I wanted to hear more somehow I think there's a lot of truth in that.
    The thing about the creative process you spoke of, you know how anyone can think they are a writer an artist etc, because they have original ideas, but as you say, the point is to act upon them, to make them real bring them into being. I have a question about that, and it maybe tricky to answer. Once you get going on an idea, how do you keep your inspiration alive whilst working through the process of finding the form?
    Best Wishes, Jeana.

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