The Bitch is Back

Keith Richards
Keith Richards

WHAT IS IT about a little cubicle with two red chairs and a black computer that makes you feel human? Why do we need such inhuman surroundings to tell us what we really are? After three years alone in my little home-office elbows-deep in the living clutter, it’s good to be here, good to be anywhere (thanks Keith). After years alone with cat, dog and window spiders, it’s good to be back among my fellow species—an individual in an unindividuating world. A blue dot against a blue screen—would it know what it was? That was me tapping away at my fictions—I was becoming a fiction too. I just don’t think I was ready for it. The paradox of being an emerging whatever—writer, artist, songwriter—is that you are preparing to disappear. You’ve made the commitment. You see yourself dissolving into your art. Not waving, drowning, and the sooner the better. But you need to ease your way in. Careful tiger, the water’s cold as hell.
My cubicle, by the way has two red chairs, one at my desk and one for visitors. It has a corner desk in beige with a cupboard overhead. It has a black Microsoft computer with a Diamond monitor. Identical workstations stretch ahead of me and behind me but I can’t see them because we are divided by a partition made of textured pinky-red material in a black steel frame. Across the aisle is a row identical to mine. It is silent except for the dampish grind of the aircon and the disembodied crunch of someone eating crisps. Quietly. I swivel at my desk. My bag is on the other chair. I’m not expecting visitors.

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