Writing revisited. Man of Sorrows-a fragment of writing from 10 years ago written as part of a novella.


He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.

Isaiah [53:2-4]

As David Trent crawled out of bed, waves of nausea assailed him.  The strong lager he had taken to drinking had turned the furniture of his mind, in the morning, into hanging masses of grey snot. He spat a globule of grey into the toilet bowl.  Hawked again, broke wind with a ripping arpeggio of a fart and reached for his razor.  He could not but notice the strange colour of his eyes in the morning's mirror, the yellowing signature of a drinker’s liver and the pupils the rotten purple of dead leaves in a puddle. His skin looked grey and his nose was reddened with beer and whisky rouge.  He stuck out his tongue lathed in off-white mucus and scraped it distastefully with a soup spoon which he washed under the tap, listlessly watching the  clotted snot spiralling down the plughole. Suddenly he noticed a yellow post-it note stuck to the wall.  In big letters it declared-DUTY!
'OH SHIT!'  He shouted, at the fucking relentlessly mute, yet all-observing, mirror.


I hate this piece of writing which is round 10 years old.  I hate its vile grittiness.  Its inherent disgust. Its removal from the subject.  As if the writer sits in her laboratory staring through the microscope with distaste at her creations.

So we shall write it again as if we love the creature.

David woke to the wailing alarm with a horrendous hangover.  He thumped the beeping button into silence and slid out of the bed.  He groaned and stumbled down the steep narrow stairs to the kitchen to make a cup of strong tea, flinching at the racket of the kettle and the chink of the spoon hitting the cup.  A hefty teaspoon of honey and he climbed back up the stairs to the bathroom to shave.
He regarded himself in the mirror with some concern.  A red spot had rouged the end of his nose and blood vessels pressed agains the skin of his cheeks.  His eyes were a strange mix of yellow and and a red roadmap to last night's excesses.  His gaze rolled over the bathroom cabinet and suddenly focused on a post-it note stuck on the mirror on which the word DUTY! had been written in shaky capitals.
'Oh noooo...' he groaned and hastily began soaping the shaving brush with water and cream mixing it to a lush paste with which he then coated his face and quickly shaved, drawing the safety razor down in long measured strokes.

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