On the Wisdom of Carrying Books By Jay Ess

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A homeless individual living in the cosmopolitan city.

Submitted: October 30, 2008

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 30, 2008

A A A

A A A


 
“His vision of men”
comments Robert Lynd
reviewing a Joseph Conrad new story collection,
 “unfortunately, is of the cosmopolitan, the homeless person.”
 
If a guy, going towards the park, is carrying a book in one swinging hand, it helps that it is an Irving Welsh book. Irving Welsh, even now, is hip. Or, should it be said, still is hip. Taking Irving Welsh to the park could, On the Wisdom of Carrying Books...
however, be counter-intuitive. Shouldn’t he be read in pads? Strongly male smelling pads with a mess of sweat stained clothing, sheets and shoes indiscriminately and aromatically intermixed with packeted roll-up papers and other items of smoking paraphenalia, foil waste, used subway transfers, pizza cartons and food encrusted styrofoam. These books fit smoking rooms with darkened corners. The tap of computer keys going on somewhere, wafting slightly a sound reminiscent of the self abusing hand. A click of remote devices echoing triumph furtively chuckled, or defeat exhaled.
As a hand possession Irving Welsh speaks volumes for any lad on the lounge. Here all the right messages are being sent out – it is the Irving Welsh with the one word title – Rot, or Snot, or Grot and floridly painted a pulp face, a face porcine in a blown rose smear on the cover. Irving Welsh marches in step with his possessor, a supremely brandable item, literarily worthy for a callow youth in a lope over interlock forecourt and its steps to the park.
Somewhere up there is an instrument spinning off in a string of husky, fluted notes. Two girls enjoying late summer’s sunshine sprawl out over the grass, one is hunched over her saxophone, working its sonorousness. Her companion lies alongside. A grass stalk twiddled in the fingers of one hand as her face downturned, is towards a book. No way the title of that book, propped up against a backpack can be seen. But it is the book of the moment, the book everyone is reading.
“The Cosmopolitan” has taken the world by storm, causing publishers to rub hands glistening with glee. Michael Stantorin is the new man. A personna who brings together such a diversity of strands. A man molded of clays various in texture, furnace cast from assembled assorted metals. His an essence distilled from elements hitherto extraneous and contrary, of substances never previously intermingled or seen even as things compatible.
“I am a man with a whole slew of personnas”. He lets us know from the very first page. ‘Slew’ isn’t that from ‘sluice’? Or is sluice from it? Swirled and drained liquid, all mixed up. How he wants it, though, sewer as to some it has been. Oscar Wilde often quoted for saying pithily “An open mind is like a sewer”. For Michael Stantorin it is something taken from history to be resewn into a togetherness.
Born on Cyprus, of a Balkan’s state’s minorities parents, Michael has grown up at times on the Greek side of the island, and at others on the Turkish. Educated in Christian schools with an English curriculum Michael speaks five other languages with fluency. He has smatterings of others. Venice’s American International University shepherded a further stage in him of learning. His has been an education of classical proportions. He knows his Georgics, his Mythologies and his Metamorphoses. He has come now to polyglot diplomatics with New York’s United Nations. Part of a UN mission concerned with Divided Settlements.
In his apartment Michael shows us his many costumes. Some are of national dress. Greek.Turkish. Pants baggy on the leg, tight at the cuffs, with drawstrings running round, up and down. Embroidered pleated shirts have full loose folds of fabric to fall from the arms. There are skirts too, some edge hung with tassels and beads which sound delicately as he walks around in them, with a dappling of his calves and ankles. Various hats, fezzes and turbans, head wraps and veils. He likes to get into character, he could be either male or female, youthful ones at least. His is a body slightly-built, and hairless, except at the scalp where there is plush thickness, neutral in colour and mid-length. His eyes with their long lashed have a cats-eye tawniness. He has the high cheekbones of his forebears and the fullness to his lips is almost womanly. He might be a man in a woman’s dress but still he likes to look at himself and wonder if this is really something so very different. And if so what that difference represents. Michael, or was it Michaela? he asks into the mirror, as he twirls round and round, his repeating a ceremonial.
Sometimes Michaela would go out in high boots and the current thigh clinging jeans, lipstick bow painted on her mouth, eyes shadowey mascara, to scour the streets in search of looks. Recognition and achnowledgement which never seem to happen. Perhaps, he, Michael, did not know what to look for, but it seemed people were busy, purposeful. The trenchcoat at hiplength wrapped him securely, he knew he was a fine young woman.
In a bar he gazes out, softening his look, making himself receptive. He lets himself become languid, twisting a drink gently in the length of his fingers. He speaks only briefly, his tones husky and confiding, mostly stating his name. He sees himself as one of the actresses he had studies in movies he had seen as a child. It feels good to be this other, warm and gracious and a little unobtainable. My husband.. on his way.. she’d say, a little sorrowfully to an admirer. Later she’d slip back out into the darkness, a solitary figure that vehicles would at time slow down for, running alongside her at the kerb for some moments until finally with an exasperation of exhaust they pulled away.
All the things she could be, Michael thought. Or he.
He took Michaela with him when he went on weekends to play football, or soccer, as it would be termed, pick-up soccer in the park. He liked to think of Michaela there with him ashe ran and passed and tackled, dribbling the ball along and directing it away from one player to another. There were no loyalties here except to the ball and keeping it in motion. Above high buildings overshadowed them and their antics had the effect of mice at play, scurrying after a crumb. Sweaty and triumphant with exertion they would towel off and sit in the forecourt of some cafe being men together and exchanging their jargon.
Michael liked his anonymous look, suited for assembly business, the crowd representing him and he it. Merging it could only mean daily emergence. Perhaps it was when most clearly he felt who he knew he was. Separated from them.
“Michael” Don Wiseman, press secretary for the lesser status nations hails him.
“Are you coming to the press briefing, on economic status surveillance ordinances?” Michael hadn’t thought about it.
“Is it important” he asks.
“Not really, that’s why it’s worth going. Social chit chat. Savouries, too.”
It is here Michael meets Trina. Assembly Observer on the Southern Cross Initiative. This is a division new to him. A maybe global addition by way of its multiplication in state preservancies, newly equated and without any of the previous subtractions. Trina sees such projects ushering in a whole new era in lesser state subsidisations.
“No reason we couldn’t oveturn things,” Michael tells her, “what is lesser today could be great tomorrow, it wouldn’t be the first time. Though overturn wouldn’d be the word to use, so much as re-orient?” And he smiles down at her questionningly.
“You think?” Trina raises an eyebrow, her sleek curls, oiled black and shiny as coal, he would slide through his fingers as another form of energy in substance, but he shrugs back, merely, not to look eager.
“There’s power, and there’s power” he says, adding a sombre note to his tone.
“Sure is.” Trina grins back, ruefully, and slippery as hell.
They hold each other’s gaze for a moment. Someone taps one of them on the shoulder and the moment is broken. Movement sweeps them away from one another.
That is how things go in the melee that is work relating. They are like fishes in a pond. Schools of them like minnows flashing past, almost interchangeable. Just one more aspect of their initiatives. But who could miss that gloss of curls, ebony dark and holding all the lights, hostage and separate. Michael hopes she will hold an image of him in her mind but if she did, what would it be? Him? Some image, he has hopes of, which has to be good enough. Along with doubt, the hope which allows for all our sins, whatever such may be in this world of evanescences. But also not to be pinned down. Butterfly in an amber of one dimension. Yet of all this, of one thing does he remain sure, the power that resides in him to become one, great, statesman.
 
 
 
 
“His vision of men”
comments Robert Lynd
reviewing a Joseph Conrad new story collection,
 “unfortunately, is of the cosmopolitan, the homeless person.”
 
If a guy, going towards the park, is carrying a book in one swinging hand, it helps that it is an Irving Welsh book. Irving Welsh, even now, is hip. Or, should it be said, still is hip. Taking Irving Welsh to the park could, On the Wisdom of Carrying Books...
however, be counter-intuitive. Shouldn’t he be read in pads? Strongly male smelling pads with a mess of sweat stained clothing, sheets and shoes indiscriminately and aromatically intermixed with packeted roll-up papers and other items of smoking paraphenalia, foil waste, used subway transfers, pizza cartons and food encrusted styrofoam. These books fit smoking rooms with darkened corners. The tap of computer keys going on somewhere, wafting slightly a sound reminiscent of the self abusing hand. A click of remote devices echoing triumph furtively chuckled, or defeat exhaled.
As a hand possession Irving Welsh speaks volumes for any lad on the lounge. Here all the right messages are being sent out – it is the Irving Welsh with the one word title – Rot, or Snot, or Grot and floridly painted a pulp face, a face porcine in a blown rose smear on the cover. Irving Welsh marches in step with his possessor, a supremely brandable item, literarily worthy for a callow youth in a lope over interlock forecourt and its steps to the park.
Somewhere up there is an instrument spinning off in a string of husky, fluted notes. Two girls enjoying late summer’s sunshine sprawl out over the grass, one is hunched over her saxophone, working its sonorousness. Her companion lies alongside. A grass stalk twiddled in the fingers of one hand as her face downturned, is towards a book. No way the title of that book, propped up against a backpack can be seen. But it is the book of the moment, the book everyone is reading.
“The Cosmopolitan” has taken the world by storm, causing publishers to rub hands glistening with glee. Michael Stantorin is the new man. A personna who brings together such a diversity of strands. A man molded of clays various in texture, furnace cast from assembled assorted metals. His an essence distilled from elements hitherto extraneous and contrary, of substances never previously intermingled or seen even as things compatible.
“I am a man with a whole slew of personnas”. He lets us know from the very first page. ‘Slew’ isn’t that from ‘sluice’? Or is sluice from it? Swirled and drained liquid, all mixed up. How he wants it, though, sewer as to some it has been. Oscar Wilde often quoted for saying pithily “An open mind is like a sewer”. For Michael Stantorin it is something taken from history to be resewn into a togetherness.
Born on Cyprus, of a Balkan’s state’s minorities parents, Michael has grown up at times on the Greek side of the island, and at others on the Turkish. Educated in Christian schools with an English curriculum Michael speaks five other languages with fluency. He has smatterings of others. Venice’s American International University shepherded a further stage in him of learning. His has been an education of classical proportions. He knows his Georgics, his Mythologies and his Metamorphoses. He has come now to polyglot diplomatics with New York’s United Nations. Part of a UN mission concerned with Divided Settlements.
In his apartment Michael shows us his many costumes. Some are of national dress. Greek.Turkish. Pants baggy on the leg, tight at the cuffs, with drawstrings running round, up and down. Embroidered pleated shirts have full loose folds of fabric to fall from the arms. There are skirts too, some edge hung with tassels and beads which sound delicately as he walks around in them, with a dappling of his calves and ankles. Various hats, fezzes and turbans, head wraps and veils. He likes to get into character, he could be either male or female, youthful ones at least. His is a body slightly-built, and hairless, except at the scalp where there is plush thickness, neutral in colour and mid-length. His eyes with their long lashed have a cats-eye tawniness. He has the high cheekbones of his forebears and the fullness to his lips is almost womanly. He might be a man in a woman’s dress but still he likes to look at himself and wonder if this is really something so very different. And if so what that difference represents. Michael, or was it Michaela? he asks into the mirror, as he twirls round and round, his repeating a ceremonial.
Sometimes Michaela would go out in high boots and the current thigh clinging jeans, lipstick bow painted on her mouth, eyes shadowey mascara, to scour the streets in search of looks. Recognition and achnowledgement which never seem to happen. Perhaps, he, Michael, did not know what to look for, but it seemed people were busy, purposeful. The trenchcoat at hiplength wrapped him securely, he knew he was a fine young woman.
In a bar he gazes out, softening his look, making himself receptive. He lets himself become languid, twisting a drink gently in the length of his fingers. He speaks only briefly, his tones husky and confiding, mostly stating his name. He sees himself as one of the actresses he had studies in movies he had seen as a child. It feels good to be this other, warm and gracious and a little unobtainable. My husband.. on his way.. she’d say, a little sorrowfully to an admirer. Later she’d slip back out into the darkness, a solitary figure that vehicles would at time slow down for, running alongside her at the kerb for some moments until finally with an exasperation of exhaust they pulled away.
All the things she could be, Michael thought. Or he.
He took Michaela with him when he went on weekends to play football, or soccer, as it would be termed, pick-up soccer in the park. He liked to think of Michaela there with him ashe ran and passed and tackled, dribbling the ball along and directing it away from one player to another. There were no loyalties here except to the ball and keeping it in motion. Above high buildings overshadowed them and their antics had the effect of mice at play, scurrying after a crumb. Sweaty and triumphant with exertion they would towel off and sit in the forecourt of some cafe being men together and exchanging their jargon.
Michael liked his anonymous look, suited for assembly business, the crowd representing him and he it. Merging it could only mean daily emergence. Perhaps it was when most clearly he felt who he knew he was. Separated from them.
“Michael” Don Wiseman, press secretary for the lesser status nations hails him.
“Are you coming to the press briefing, on economic status surveillance ordinances?” Michael hadn’t thought about it.
“Is it important” he asks.
“Not really, that’s why it’s worth going. Social chit chat. Savouries, too.”
It is here Michael meets Trina. Assembly Observer on the Southern Cross Initiative. This is a division new to him. A maybe global addition by way of its multiplication in state preservancies, newly equated and without any of the previous subtractions. Trina sees such projects ushering in a whole new era in lesser state subsidisations.
“No reason we couldn’t oveturn things,” Michael tells her, “what is lesser today could be great tomorrow, it wouldn’t be the first time. Though overturn wouldn’d be the word to use, so much as re-orient?” And he smiles down at her questionningly.
“You think?” Trina raises an eyebrow, her sleek curls, oiled black and shiny as coal, he would slide through his fingers as another form of energy in substance, but he shrugs back, merely, not to look eager.
“There’s power, and there’s power” he says, adding a sombre note to his tone.
“Sure is.” Trina grins back, ruefully, and slippery as hell.
They hold each other’s gaze for a moment. Someone taps one of them on the shoulder and the moment is broken. Movement sweeps them away from one another.
That is how things go in the melee that is work relating. They are like fishes in a pond. Schools of them like minnows flashing past, almost interchangeable. Just one more aspect of their initiatives. But who could miss that gloss of curls, ebony dark and holding all the lights, hostage and separate. Michael hopes she will hold an image of him in her mind but if she did, what would it be? Him? Some image, he has hopes of, which has to be good enough. Along with doubt, the hope which allows for all our sins, whatever such may be in this world of evanescences. But also not to be pinned down. Butterfly in an amber of one dimension. Yet of all this, of one thing does he remain sure, the power that resides in him to become one, great, statesman.
 
 
 
 
“His vision of men”
comments Robert Lynd
reviewing a Joseph Conrad new story collection,
 “unfortunately, is of the cosmopolitan, the homeless person.”
 
If a guy, going towards the park, is carrying a book in one swinging hand, it helps that it is an Irving Welsh book. Irving Welsh, even now, is hip. Or, should it be said, still is hip. Taking Irving Welsh to the park could, On the Wisdom of Carrying Books...
however, be counter-intuitive. Shouldn’t he be read in pads? Strongly male smelling pads with a mess of sweat stained clothing, sheets and shoes indiscriminately and aromatically intermixed with packeted roll-up papers and other items of smoking paraphenalia, foil waste, used subway transfers, pizza cartons and food encrusted styrofoam. These books fit smoking rooms with darkened corners. The tap of computer keys going on somewhere, wafting slightly a sound reminiscent of the self abusing hand. A click of remote devices echoing triumph furtively chuckled, or defeat exhaled.
As a hand possession Irving Welsh speaks volumes for any lad on the lounge. Here all the right messages are being sent out – it is the Irving Welsh with the one word title – Rot, or Snot, or Grot and floridly painted a pulp face, a face porcine in a blown rose smear on the cover. Irving Welsh marches in step with his possessor, a supremely brandable item, literarily worthy for a callow youth in a lope over interlock forecourt and its steps to the park.
Somewhere up there is an instrument spinning off in a string of husky, fluted notes. Two girls enjoying late summer’s sunshine sprawl out over the grass, one is hunched over her saxophone, working its sonorousness. Her companion lies alongside. A grass stalk twiddled in the fingers of one hand as her face downturned, is towards a book. No way the title of that book, propped up against a backpack can be seen. But it is the book of the moment, the book everyone is reading.
“The Cosmopolitan” has taken the world by storm, causing publishers to rub hands glistening with glee. Michael Stantorin is the new man. A personna who brings together such a diversity of strands. A man molded of clays various in texture, furnace cast from assembled assorted metals. His an essence distilled from elements hitherto extraneous and contrary, of substances never previously intermingled or seen even as things compatible.
“I am a man with a whole slew of personnas”. He lets us know from the very first page. ‘Slew’ isn’t that from ‘sluice’? Or is sluice from it? Swirled and drained liquid, all mixed up. How he wants it, though, sewer as to some it has been. Oscar Wilde often quoted for saying pithily “An open mind is like a sewer”. For Michael Stantorin it is something taken from history to be resewn into a togetherness.
Born on Cyprus, of a Balkan’s state’s minorities parents, Michael has grown up at times on the Greek side of the island, and at others on the Turkish. Educated in Christian schools with an English curriculum Michael speaks five other languages with fluency. He has smatterings of others. Venice’s American International University shepherded a further stage in him of learning. His has been an education of classical proportions. He knows his Georgics, his Mythologies and his Metamorphoses. He has come now to polyglot diplomatics with New York’s United Nations. Part of a UN mission concerned with Divided Settlements.
In his apartment Michael shows us his many costumes. Some are of national dress. Greek.Turkish. Pants baggy on the leg, tight at the cuffs, with drawstrings running round, up and down. Embroidered pleated shirts have full loose folds of fabric to fall from the arms. There are skirts too, some edge hung with tassels and beads which sound delicately as he walks around in them, with a dappling of his calves and ankles. Various hats, fezzes and turbans, head wraps and veils. He likes to get into character, he could be either male or female, youthful ones at least. His is a body slightly-built, and hairless, except at the scalp where there is plush thickness, neutral in colour and mid-length. His eyes with their long lashed have a cats-eye tawniness. He has the high cheekbones of his forebears and the fullness to his lips is almost womanly. He might be a man in a woman’s dress but still he likes to look at himself and wonder if this is really something so very different. And if so what that difference represents. Michael, or was it Michaela? he asks into the mirror, as he twirls round and round, his repeating a ceremonial.
Sometimes Michaela would go out in high boots and the current thigh clinging jeans, lipstick bow painted on her mouth, eyes shadowey mascara, to scour the streets in search of looks. Recognition and achnowledgement which never seem to happen. Perhaps, he, Michael, did not know what to look for, but it seemed people were busy, purposeful. The trenchcoat at hiplength wrapped him securely, he knew he was a fine young woman.
In a bar he gazes out, softening his look, making himself receptive. He lets himself become languid, twisting a drink gently in the length of his fingers. He speaks only briefly, his tones husky and confiding, mostly stating his name. He sees himself as one of the actresses he had studies in movies he had seen as a child. It feels good to be this other, warm and gracious and a little unobtainable. My husband.. on his way.. she’d say, a little sorrowfully to an admirer. Later she’d slip back out into the darkness, a solitary figure that vehicles would at time slow down for, running alongside her at the kerb for some moments until finally with an exasperation of exhaust they pulled away.
All the things she could be, Michael thought. Or he.
He took Michaela with him when he went on weekends to play football, or soccer, as it would be termed, pick-up soccer in the park. He liked to think of Michaela there with him ashe ran and passed and tackled, dribbling the ball along and directing it away from one player to another. There were no loyalties here except to the ball and keeping it in motion. Above high buildings overshadowed them and their antics had the effect of mice at play, scurrying after a crumb. Sweaty and triumphant with exertion they would towel off and sit in the forecourt of some cafe being men together and exchanging their jargon.
Michael liked his anonymous look, suited for assembly business, the crowd representing him and he it. Merging it could only mean daily emergence. Perhaps it was when most clearly he felt who he knew he was. Separated from them.
“Michael” Don Wiseman, press secretary for the lesser status nations hails him.
“Are you coming to the press briefing, on economic status surveillance ordinances?” Michael hadn’t thought about it.
“Is it important” he asks.
“Not really, that’s why it’s worth going. Social chit chat. Savouries, too.”
It is here Michael meets Trina. Assembly Observer on the Southern Cross Initiative. This is a division new to him. A maybe global addition by way of its multiplication in state preservancies, newly equated and without any of the previous subtractions. Trina sees such projects ushering in a whole new era in lesser state subsidisations.
“No reason we couldn’t oveturn things,” Michael tells her, “what is lesser today could be great tomorrow, it wouldn’t be the first time. Though overturn wouldn’d be the word to use, so much as re-orient?” And he smiles down at her questionningly.
“You think?” Trina raises an eyebrow, her sleek curls, oiled black and shiny as coal, he would slide through his fingers as another form of energy in substance, but he shrugs back, merely, not to look eager.
“There’s power, and there’s power” he says, adding a sombre note to his tone.
“Sure is.” Trina grins back, ruefully, and slippery as hell.
They hold each other’s gaze for a moment. Someone taps one of them on the shoulder and the moment is broken. Movement sweeps them away from one another.
That is how things go in the melee that is work relating. They are like fishes in a pond. Schools of them like minnows flashing past, almost interchangeable. Just one more aspect of their initiatives. But who could miss that gloss of curls, ebony dark and holding all the lights, hostage and separate. Michael hopes she will hold an image of him in her mind but if she did, what would it be? Him? Some image, he has hopes of, which has to be good enough. Along with doubt, the hope which allows for all our sins, whatever such may be in this world of evanescences. But also not to be pinned down. Butterfly in an amber of one dimension. Yet of all this, of one thing does he remain sure, the power that resides in him to become one, great, statesman.
 
 
 
 
“His vision of men”
comments Robert Lynd
reviewing a Joseph Conrad new story collection,
 “unfortunately, is of the cosmopolitan, the homeless person.”
 
If a guy, going towards the park, is carrying a book in one swinging hand, it helps that it is an Irving Welsh book. Irving Welsh, even now, is hip. Or, should it be said, still is hip. Taking Irving Welsh to the park could, On the Wisdom of Carrying Books...
however, be counter-intuitive. Shouldn’t he be read in pads? Strongly male smelling pads with a mess of sweat stained clothing, sheets and shoes indiscriminately and aromatically intermixed with packeted roll-up papers and other items of smoking paraphenalia, foil waste, used subway transfers, pizza cartons and food encrusted styrofoam. These books fit smoking rooms with darkened corners. The tap of computer keys going on somewhere, wafting slightly a sound reminiscent of the self abusing hand. A click of remote devices echoing triumph furtively chuckled, or defeat exhaled.
As a hand possession Irving Welsh speaks volumes for any lad on the lounge. Here all the right messages are being sent out – it is the Irving Welsh with the one word title – Rot, or Snot, or Grot and floridly painted a pulp face, a face porcine in a blown rose smear on the cover. Irving Welsh marches in step with his possessor, a supremely brandable item, literarily worthy for a callow youth in a lope over interlock forecourt and its steps to the park.
Somewhere up there is an instrument spinning off in a string of husky, fluted notes. Two girls enjoying late summer’s sunshine sprawl out over the grass, one is hunched over her saxophone, working its sonorousness. Her companion lies alongside. A grass stalk twiddled in the fingers of one hand as her face downturned, is towards a book. No way the title of that book, propped up against a backpack can be seen. But it is the book of the moment, the book everyone is reading.
“The Cosmopolitan” has taken the world by storm, causing publishers to rub hands glistening with glee. Michael Stantorin is the new man. A personna who brings together such a diversity of strands. A man molded of clays various in texture, furnace cast from assembled assorted metals. His an essence distilled from elements hitherto extraneous and contrary, of substances never previously intermingled or seen even as things compatible.
“I am a man with a whole slew of personnas”. He lets us know from the very first page. ‘Slew’ isn’t that from ‘sluice’? Or is sluice from it? Swirled and drained liquid, all mixed up. How he wants it, though, sewer as to some it has been. Oscar Wilde often quoted for saying pithily “An open mind is like a sewer”. For Michael Stantorin it is something taken from history to be resewn into a togetherness.
Born on Cyprus, of a Balkan’s state’s minorities parents, Michael has grown up at times on the Greek side of the island, and at others on the Turkish. Educated in Christian schools with an English curriculum Michael speaks five other languages with fluency. He has smatterings of others. Venice’s American International University shepherded a further stage in him of learning. His has been an education of classical proportions. He knows his Georgics, his Mythologies and his Metamorphoses. He has come now to polyglot diplomatics with New York’s United Nations. Part of a UN mission concerned with Divided Settlements.
In his apartment Michael shows us his many costumes. Some are of national dress. Greek.Turkish. Pants baggy on the leg, tight at the cuffs, with drawstrings running round, up and down. Embroidered pleated shirts have full loose folds of fabric to fall from the arms. There are skirts too, some edge hung with tassels and beads which sound delicately as he walks around in them, with a dappling of his calves and ankles. Various hats, fezzes and turbans, head wraps and veils. He likes to get into character, he could be either male or female, youthful ones at least. His is a body slightly-built, and hairless, except at the scalp where there is plush thickness, neutral in colour and mid-length. His eyes with their long lashed have a cats-eye tawniness. He has the high cheekbones of his forebears and the fullness to his lips is almost womanly. He might be a man in a woman’s dress but still he likes to look at himself and wonder if this is really something so very different. And if so what that difference represents. Michael, or was it Michaela? he asks into the mirror, as he twirls round and round, his repeating a ceremonial.
Sometimes Michaela would go out in high boots and the current thigh clinging jeans, lipstick bow painted on her mouth, eyes shadowey mascara, to scour the streets in search of looks. Recognition and achnowledgement which never seem to happen. Perhaps, he, Michael, did not know what to look for, but it seemed people were busy, purposeful. The trenchcoat at hiplength wrapped him securely, he knew he was a fine young woman.
In a bar he gazes out, softening his look, making himself receptive. He lets himself become languid, twisting a drink gently in the length of his fingers. He speaks only briefly, his tones husky and confiding, mostly stating his name. He sees himself as one of the actresses he had studies in movies he had seen as a child. It feels good to be this other, warm and gracious and a little unobtainable. My husband.. on his way.. she’d say, a little sorrowfully to an admirer. Later she’d slip back out into the darkness, a solitary figure that vehicles would at time slow down for, running alongside her at the kerb for some moments until finally with an exasperation of exhaust they pulled away.
All the things she could be, Michael thought. Or he.
He took Michaela with him when he went on weekends to play football, or soccer, as it would be termed, pick-up soccer in the park. He liked to think of Michaela there with him ashe ran and passed and tackled, dribbling the ball along and directing it away from one player to another. There were no loyalties here except to the ball and keeping it in motion. Above high buildings overshadowed them and their antics had the effect of mice at play, scurrying after a crumb. Sweaty and triumphant with exertion they would towel off and sit in the forecourt of some cafe being men together and exchanging their jargon.
Michael liked his anonymous look, suited for assembly business, the crowd representing him and he it. Merging it could only mean daily emergence. Perhaps it was when most clearly he felt who he knew he was. Separated from them.
“Michael” Don Wiseman, press secretary for the lesser status nations hails him.
“Are you coming to the press briefing, on economic status surveillance ordinances?” Michael hadn’t thought about it.
“Is it important” he asks.
“Not really, that’s why it’s worth going. Social chit chat. Savouries, too.”
It is here Michael meets Trina. Assembly Observer on the Southern Cross Initiative. This is a division new to him. A maybe global addition by way of its multiplication in state preservancies, newly equated and without any of the previous subtractions. Trina sees such projects ushering in a whole new era in lesser state subsidisations.
“No reason we couldn’t oveturn things,” Michael tells her, “what is lesser today could be great tomorrow, it wouldn’t be the first time. Though overturn wouldn’d be the word to use, so much as re-orient?” And he smiles down at her questionningly.
“You think?” Trina raises an eyebrow, her sleek curls, oiled black and shiny as coal, he would slide through his fingers as another form of energy in substance, but he shrugs back, merely, not to look eager.
“There’s power, and there’s power” he says, adding a sombre note to his tone.
“Sure is.” Trina grins back, ruefully, and slippery as hell.
They hold each other’s gaze for a moment. Someone taps one of them on the shoulder and the moment is broken. Movement sweeps them away from one another.
That is how things go in the melee that is work relating. They are like fishes in a pond. Schools of them like minnows flashing past, almost interchangeable. Just one more aspect of their initiatives. But who could miss that gloss of curls, ebony dark and holding all the lights, hostage and separate. Michael hopes she will hold an image of him in her mind but if she did, what would it be? Him? Some image, he has hopes of, which has to be good enough. Along with doubt, the hope which allows for all our sins, whatever such may be in this world of evanescences. But also not to be pinned down. Butterfly in an amber of one dimension. Yet of all this, of one thing does he remain sure, the power that resides in him to become one, great, statesman.
 
 
 
 
“His vision of men”
comments Robert Lynd
reviewing a Joseph Conrad new story collection,
 “unfortunately, is of the cosmopolitan, the homeless person.”
 
If a guy, going towards the park, is carrying a book in one swinging hand, it helps that it is an Irving Welsh book. Irving Welsh, even now, is hip. Or, should it be said, still is hip. Taking Irving Welsh to the park could, On the Wisdom of Carrying Books...
however, be counter-intuitive. Shouldn’t he be read in pads? Strongly male smelling pads with a mess of sweat stained clothing, sheets and shoes indiscriminately and aromatically intermixed with packeted roll-up papers and other items of smoking paraphenalia, foil waste, used subway transfers, pizza cartons and food encrusted styrofoam. These books fit smoking rooms with darkened corners. The tap of computer keys going on somewhere, wafting slightly a sound reminiscent of the self abusing hand. A click of remote devices echoing triumph furtively chuckled, or defeat exhaled.
As a hand possession Irving Welsh speaks volumes for any lad on the lounge. Here all the right messages are being sent out – it is the Irving Welsh with the one word title – Rot, or Snot, or Grot and floridly painted a pulp face, a face porcine in a blown rose smear on the cover. Irving Welsh marches in step with his possessor, a supremely brandable item, literarily worthy for a callow youth in a lope over interlock forecourt and its steps to the park.
Somewhere up there is an instrument spinning off in a string of husky, fluted notes. Two girls enjoying late summer’s sunshine sprawl out over the grass, one is hunched over her saxophone, working its sonorousness. Her companion lies alongside. A grass stalk twiddled in the fingers of one hand as her face downturned, is towards a book. No way the title of that book, propped up against a backpack can be seen. But it is the book of the moment, the book everyone is reading.
“The Cosmopolitan” has taken the world by storm, causing publishers to rub hands glistening with glee. Michael Stantorin is the new man. A personna who brings together such a diversity of strands. A man molded of clays various in texture, furnace cast from assembled assorted metals. His an essence distilled from elements hitherto extraneous and contrary, of substances never previously intermingled or seen even as things compatible.
“I am a man with a whole slew of personnas”. He lets us know from the very first page. ‘Slew’ isn’t that from ‘sluice’? Or is sluice from it? Swirled and drained liquid, all mixed up. How he wants it, though, sewer as to some it has been. Oscar Wilde often quoted for saying pithily “An open mind is like a sewer”. For Michael Stantorin it is something taken from history to be resewn into a togetherness.
Born on Cyprus, of a Balkan’s state’s minorities parents, Michael has grown up at times on the Greek side of the island, and at others on the Turkish. Educated in Christian schools with an English curriculum Michael speaks five other languages with fluency. He has smatterings of others. Venice’s American International University shepherded a further stage in him of learning. His has been an education of classical proportions. He knows his Georgics, his Mythologies and his Metamorphoses. He has come now to polyglot diplomatics with New York’s United Nations. Part of a UN mission concerned with Divided Settlements.
In his apartment Michael shows us his many costumes. Some are of national dress. Greek.Turkish. Pants baggy on the leg, tight at the cuffs, with drawstrings running round, up and down. Embroidered pleated shirts have full loose folds of fabric to fall from the arms. There are skirts too, some edge hung with tassels and beads which sound delicately as he walks around in them, with a dappling of his calves and ankles. Various hats, fezzes and turbans, head wraps and veils. He likes to get into character, he could be either male or female, youthful ones at least. His is a body slightly-built, and hairless, except at the scalp where there is plush thickness, neutral in colour and mid-length. His eyes with their long lashed have a cats-eye tawniness. He has the high cheekbones of his forebears and the fullness to his lips is almost womanly. He might be a man in a woman’s dress but still he likes to look at himself and wonder if this is really something so very different. And if so what that difference represents. Michael, or was it Michaela? he asks into the mirror, as he twirls round and round, his repeating a ceremonial.
Sometimes Michaela would go out in high boots and the current thigh clinging jeans, lipstick bow painted on her mouth, eyes shadowey mascara, to scour the streets in search of looks. Recognition and achnowledgement which never seem to happen. Perhaps, he, Michael, did not know what to look for, but it seemed people were busy, purposeful. The trenchcoat at hiplength wrapped him securely, he knew he was a fine young woman.
In a bar he gazes out, softening his look, making himself receptive. He lets himself become languid, twisting a drink gently in the length of his fingers. He speaks only briefly, his tones husky and confiding, mostly stating his name. He sees himself as one of the actresses he had studies in movies he had seen as a child. It feels good to be this other, warm and gracious and a little unobtainable. My husband.. on his way.. she’d say, a little sorrowfully to an admirer. Later she’d slip back out into the darkness, a solitary figure that vehicles would at time slow down for, running alongside her at the kerb for some moments until finally with an exasperation of exhaust they pulled away.
All the things she could be, Michael thought. Or he.
He took Michaela with him when he went on weekends to play football, or soccer, as it would be termed, pick-up soccer in the park. He liked to think of Michaela there with him ashe ran and passed and tackled, dribbling the ball along and directing it away from one player to another. There were no loyalties here except to the ball and keeping it in motion. Above high buildings overshadowed them and their antics had the effect of mice at play, scurrying after a crumb. Sweaty and triumphant with exertion they would towel off and sit in the forecourt of some cafe being men together and exchanging their jargon.
Michael liked his anonymous look, suited for assembly business, the crowd representing him and he it. Merging it could only mean daily emergence. Perhaps it was when most clearly he felt who he knew he was. Separated from them.
“Michael” Don Wiseman, press secretary for the lesser status nations hails him.
“Are you coming to the press briefing, on economic status surveillance ordinances?” Michael hadn’t thought about it.
“Is it important” he asks.
“Not really, that’s why it’s worth going. Social chit chat. Savouries, too.”
It is here Michael meets Trina. Assembly Observer on the Southern Cross Initiative. This is a division new to him. A maybe global addition by way of its multiplication in state preservancies, newly equated and without any of the previous subtractions. Trina sees such projects ushering in a whole new era in lesser state subsidisations.
“No reason we couldn’t oveturn things,” Michael tells her, “what is lesser today could be great tomorrow, it wouldn’t be the first time. Though overturn wouldn’d be the word to use, so much as re-orient?” And he smiles down at her questionningly.
“You think?” Trina raises an eyebrow, her sleek curls, oiled black and shiny as coal, he would slide through his fingers as another form of energy in substance, but he shrugs back, merely, not to look eager.
“There’s power, and there’s power” he says, adding a sombre note to his tone.
“Sure is.” Trina grins back, ruefully, and slippery as hell.
They hold each other’s gaze for a moment. Someone taps one of them on the shoulder and the moment is broken. Movement sweeps them away from one another.
That is how things go in the melee that is work relating. They are like fishes in a pond. Schools of them like minnows flashing past, almost interchangeable. Just one more aspect of their initiatives. But who could miss that gloss of curls, ebony dark and holding all the lights, hostage and separate. Michael hopes she will hold an image of him in her mind but if she did, what would it be? Him? Some image, he has hopes of, which has to be good enough. Along with doubt, the hope which allows for all our sins, whatever such may be in this world of evanescences. But also not to be pinned down. Butterfly in an amber of one dimension. Yet of all this, of one thing does he remain sure, the power that resides in him to become one, great, statesman.
 
 
 


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