IRIS is book I of Regulars, the novel manuscript I’m working on, told from 3 points of view – Iris, Jude, and Bazza. The entirety of Regulars is set in a dive bar, called the No. 9, at least, that is what I’m attempting. There’s a lot of flashback.
with no further rambling…
You live a long or a short while, depends on how you look at it, and what day it is, and what’s going through your head. That is to say we are never fully experiencing anything, until we relive it in our memories, and then it is usually a warped recreation checkered with delusions and imagination. The things we create through passion, grief, or over-drinking. We overstimulate ourselves even in the quietest of moments where we might find peace. In fact, this is one of the only places peace lives, and we avoid it with the meandering of our mind-sight—peering through opaque iced glass or foggy rearview mirrors.
I like to look at old movie stubs and go back there to each time and place—each date, matinee with a friend or lonely late-night double feature. Sometimes I can’t even see the face of the person sitting next to me in the dark—just a flash of their laughter or a heavy cloud of tension. Like in a dream, when you sense that the other in your dreamworld is your best friend, even though you don’t really know that face or you never see the person clearly.
It’s like that in my dreams all the time—when I’m having a nostalgic exploration of something that never happened. Maybe I wanted it to, or maybe it was a fear—but at some point I look at my dream companion’s face and I realize I don’t know this person. Sometimes their face morphs into another person’s. Sometimes this individual is a stranger. Or perhaps not; I must know him from somewhere. Can we create whole new people to inhabit our dreamscapes?
Even waking life feels unreal. —No, I’m not one of those people that supposes: Maybe this is all a dream and someday we’ll just wake up. No, perhaps my sense of it all is more like my life is a film, an old projector flickering on and off on the screen in my head. With new scenes being set up and shot all the time. I must have an endless archive of film reels up there, taking up rooms and rooms. Sometimes to make more room, I lock up some doors forever.
Don’t get me wrong—I don’t feel like we all have a script and it’s destined to be played out. I don’t believe in any of that. I believe in me, and in my head, I could be a great star, or at least a likeable character in an interesting story. That’s why I am trying to think about it more this way instead of less. I am trying to be an actress in the film of my own life, saying the right things and having the moment be the most enthralling thing going on. It’s the only way I can find right now to get through it.
Stay tuned for more Regulars teasers. If you’re into that.
art credit: (1) Edouard Manet – The Bar at the Folies Bergere
(2) Christian Schloe – A Midsummer Night’s Dream