Vive la difference!

I’m doing some market research this week, and as part of it I’ve been asked to complete some online diary-like exercises. Apparently, the same research is being done in France at the moment (albeit one hour ahead). As I’m rather inclined to be impressed by the culture-loving ways of the French, I can’t help but wonder about the possibility of a vast difference between the two sets of diaries.

It was raining. Went to work. Had a couple of drinks with the lads after work, and got a kebab on the way home. Think I sent my ex a text message or maybe even called her from the pub just before we got thrown out, but I’m not sure. Some tosser was mouthing off on the bus, so I lamped him. Was sick in a skip outside next door’s house. Fell asleep watching ITV Play.

Spent the day in a café with Luc, smoking Gauloises and drinking coffee, and arguing about literature. He insists on the importance of Perec’s influence, but I disagree, and refuse to accept that anyone other than Baudrillard has any true and lasting merit. We agree, though, that Proust was an effete dilettante, and that Sartre, whilst important at the time, is now merely a poster-boy for students and would-be intellectuals, which is only right, as existentialism remains fundamentally adolescent in both its concerns and outlook. We drank wine, talking late into the night, ignoring the rain outside, and when we were finally thrown out of the café, I walked the streets for several hours, my steps inevitably leading me to the street corner beneath Marie’s apartment. Taking a pencil stub from my pocket, I wrote a brief but heart-felt villanelle about love, loss and destiny on the wall, there beneath her window. I know she will see it, and I fancy it might bring a tear to her eye and perhaps even regret to her mind. I made my way home then, smoking the last of my cigarettes and enjoying the sound of my footsteps on the rain-slick pavement as the new day threatened to dawn.


REVIEW: ‘Helltown’ by Dennis O’Neil


Corduroy pillowcases could create better headlines, frankly*

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