Hiccup. It’s only a – and repetition is for?

I’m not sure what I’m…

‘You need a patron is what’, J said. Breaking up the chunters of half spoken sentences, unworded signification, and rupturing the thick of gestures and reticence began a theme the rest of us picked up on, more or less, and generated an environment.

J leaned back in his chair, that led to myself and L adopting similar postures of ease, though the odds and sods out from the fire place flicked rocky burns into the arm and elbow of his jumper and I watched it a while before he pulled back his arm and, ‘knack’, and rubbed the embers off, sat back forward. Though we the rest remained at ease.

And J’s nodding and smiling grew more energetic like a record looping at wrong RPM, and I know he was having a laugh, but no one’ll touch my sculptures but the dole office, and that’s with the caveat I lie and don’t tell them I spend my time softening up wax and forming small human legs and arms roughly around copper wire, but that I have a CV and have given it to at least four McDos this week. I sign the little touch-screen box that doesn’t work very well, so my signature is malformed to ‘X’, and they don’t seem to mind it, and ‘see you next week, X!’, and shortly after I’m in my room wondering about the garden.

‘Innit though? Do they still have that?’, J followed up and L looked like he might intervene but his shuffling was to fetch a baccy pouch from his inside pocket rather than to fetch an opinion on the matter. The hubbub around us rose and rose as it tends to in public places as evening amasses and you wonder where these sections of voices are coming from looking round the room and noting the slight increase in people doesn’t so align with the dozen or so conversations I now hear layered within one another, that you can switch between channels with a receiver of some sort but without due attention blur into a rolling chunter like air slipping past an object at wildly different speeds.

An object I sit within, y’know what I mean?

And I went out into the garden to pick fingernails from the limbs out sprouting from the ground and walked too far with my handfuls of reds and purples, but there was no wall, just a sort of static, as I’d not gone further than that, so it all just falls off and off unless I go back inside and crush my colours into yellowy, orangey flesh and begin to push eyes into a lump the size of a fist and now we’re outside and J has his own, but myself, L has given a rollie to thankfully and the voices are so loud we no longer try to talk, but later J buys shots of Patrón, and tomorrow I worry, you see, as I have to be up early to meet with my own and sign my ‘X’, because I can’t write at all in the medium, but I drink it all the same.

Andrew Robert Hodgson is author of the novel Reperfusion (2012), the forthcoming novelesque Mnemic Symbols (2019) and monograph The Post-War Experimental Novel (2019). He is translator from the French of Roland Topor’s Head-to-toe portrait of Suzanne (2018) and from the Danish, Carl Julius Salomonsen’s Modern forms of art and contagious mental illness (2018). “Patron” is an extract from Mnemic Symbols. He tweets at @andhodgson


Image: wax face by valentin.d (Creative Commons)