‘What I recommend is that we look to elements everywhere that are chosen for their qualitites in old age, surfaces detailed so time’s marks make them more expressive and diverse.’
‘Hmm. It’s an ambitious pose,’ responded Mimi but already her face showed ridges of self-passivating patina which were disturbing and velvety in a rural heritage sort of way on account that it looked as if it was a face only nature can give.
‘It’s a good one though,’ and the next few minutes made out a case for the puddling humility and inundation of beauties that weathered, if you like, were rusted and offered visual depths, like foliage overspilling window-sills and running downpipe channelling water that washes facades and streaks from the lower lip, giving dirt and stains a chance to rise above being aberrant. Old faces, she explained, should not hide their discreet trousseau born under ugly signs of wonder.
‘We’re not inviolable, and shouldn’t pretend,’ she finished. It was greeted with that rare circulation of warmth as if expended from burning roses.
‘Our age aspires to the condition of labradors or pigeons, who look without feeling at any previous history and keep the same age forever until dying. It’s strange.’
And then she realised her seriousness was right on the border of panic, because where was reassurance in it? - and sometimes she needed to realise this, so she knew how hard she was about the truth, and that from time to time she shook herself and got frightened. Anyway, she had submitted to the brazened way of life’s grey spectral infrequencies and alchemical pleasures, of change and rust, a life that accepted rain dripping down a wall, lichen and mold, roughness, porosity, moisture, obligations to microorganisms, brut grooves, copper shade-slicks on concrete, bird droppings, composted leaves, weeds, moss, weathering, decay, garbage, cottony elegance, dirty health-traps, hazy degradation, suffocating kissing, hairy lusts, rugged restiveness, shading importance, hideous boots, vaporous heat, pheromonal lingerings, transpiring filters, and the amorphous fuzz of complicating time and memory and hope, ghosts of accretion and loss, topographies of slime and negative spectacle, entanglements and new nitrogen, chain-link textiles, septic opacities and advanced states and stacks, very sweaty and warm situations, rising sensuality, and abandoned too, luted hardness of black cladding, strength in fragility, the inevitable palpitations between existence and non-existence, middle of the night quiet deaths, abject fertilities, uncertain natalism, moody sunkedness, sapling cuts, livid eyes as dawn comes up and the tears thrash back, bluebottles, mess daubings, oily bubbles, groggy defeat, old spoutings, night spillages, sequestered emissions, obsolete feelings, those that deteriorate as better choices avail themselves into shadow identities, chicken-wire calves, toilets, ghost lives suspended in speculation, love’s cadavar-scapes stinked up with piss and juts into the sky, life as relic, or impromptu shrine, or unsealed shaft, or outcast station, or instant obsolescence, with its attached obduracy, fat leasehold, inhospitable inhabitedness, like lots of daytime sleeping, the sense that inevitably a life can be laid to waste, left abandoned, can settle into a prolonged state of dormancy, and be junked, destroyed, selectively reconstructed, can wipe and ply and wreathe itself to accustomed or fancied legs, like cats do, or be immobile when close human presences just fall away in unmerciful fate, in a dead curve lamenting our most persistent deeds, like blighted and run-down, derelict begging and yelping, where something has happened so that you know that you’re no longer circulating at all, and you’re secreting nothing but solitude from a carcass of flux and spaces of deterrence along pointy emotional terraces that are always a good distance apart, half hidden by dippy trees and connecting gullies of shadowy thinking, so what you have to do in this phase is to stress versatility, intensified vulnerability, weariness, a good deal to be made with your soul below the pines so to speak, catching leaks, grey water, breaking capsules of asbestos aspiration, slow as cold lizards, and hope to rise, but not more than is realistic, like hope made completely out of hula-hoops, that is, expecting a short-life, and redefining life so that, to adapt Frank Duffy, David Hume, John Locke, ‘there isn’t any such thing as a life but several layers of longevity of conscious and unconscious body components with a legal dimension attaching...’
Read the complete novel 'The Ecstatic Silence' here.