CuiousPages - fiction and nonfiction
CuriousPages - fiction and nonfiction
When I got home, I placed it on the coffee table in my living room, sat down and looked at it. “If it was going to explode,” I thought, “it would have done it by now, so at least I’m spared that ordeal.” I felt relieved to still have all my limbs intact. I made a cup of tea. And strangely, while I was making it, it did not occur to me that I would at least have something new to tell Paul. It did not occur to me to start thinking up the sentences I would use to describe to him the boy, the box, and this great burden of duty that had been presented to me. It did not occur to me I would be telling Paul about this, because, I suppose, I knew full well that Paul, being imaginary, only existed here inside my own head and would therefore already know about this box. He existed in my own mind, so, he would already know my every thought. This, of course, did not prevent me from discussing my day with him, from planning the trips we would take together, from recalling how we had nudged each other in the street and shared a joke about some girl whose clothes could hardly contain her—from recalling how this had happened, or would happen; it was much the same, really.
I sat down with my tea, watched the box for a few minutes, then picked up a car maintenance manual to read. I bought it a few weeks before and was methodically working my way through it. I did not have a car, and never have had one. The book was cheap. I bought it in a charity shop. What impressed me was that on one page, there were four oily finger prints. This somehow brought the book to life. I could imagine the car, its bonnet yawning, its owner bent into the abyss, clutching some oily, metallic part, scratching his head and turning the pages.
It was now ten-forty-five and Paul had still not phoned. I closed the book and put it aside. “He will not phone now,” I told myself; “he has forgotten.” I felt a lump in my throat. I was now all alone with that box. The box, it seemed, was all I had in life. And it seemed like an inadequate distraction. You should have a greater distraction, to distract you from “this”, the emptiness that was left when all you had to do was to count the minutes and hours of each day. I looked at my watch. It was now ten minutes past eleven. Soon, I would go to bed. I still had the distraction of sleep. Sleep was perhaps my only comfort in life. But I would not be able to leave that box there on my coffee table. If it was left unattended, it might do anything; anything could happen. I would never be able to sleep. I would lie there, thinking about the box and what it might be doing. I might imagine its lid lifting and some tentacled creature emerging from it, or some swarm of insects expanding from within it and displacing the lid as they spilled out into my living room in the manner of a curious gas picking and poking at every surface and object, testing them, acknowledging them.
I leant forward and began slowly lifting the lid. Again, I was sweating, and my hand seemed to be trembling. I expected some terrible thing to be released, some calamity to befall the whole street, the whole town; I was opening the box and I was not supposed to. This, for the moment, perhaps, was my distraction. I moved the lid aside, placed it down on the table, peered into the box and found it was empty.
In the kitchen of 17 Misconception Boulevard, Sally Softly and the half‑dressed chief constable were standing beside the coffee machine. Above the gurgling machine, the muffled exchanges of the three visitors in the living room could be heard.
Sally was deep in thought about this man on the sofa whom she had deduced (by “scientifically examining the facts”) was Peter’s half‑brother. She then felt Roland Wise’s hand scurrying over the back of her leg. She recalled that look on his face as he got up off her in the living room—got quickly up off her and then sighed with relief. She pictured him with Peter on the golf course, both laughing about her. She shuddered again at the thought of their trickery, then grabbed Roland’s shoulder, said, “Right—we’ll start in the garden,” and pushed him towards the back door.
He seemed reluctant, “The garden—”
She tugged at his arm while warning him, with a playful smile, “We’ll have to be quick mind—”
His legs started to tremble, “But—”
She looked at his reluctant expression which appeared to be expressing disgust at the idea of having sex with her. And something about his expression incensed her even more than usual (—Right. I’ll get them both back for this. Wants to have a laugh about me, does he? Well, let’s see him laugh about this—). And she tugged more firmly on his arm, saying, irritably, “Come on,” and slipping his underpants down over his buttocks with her other hand as she tugged him towards the door.
Roland—holding onto his underpants—appeared to be somewhat flustered, “But, but—”
But she was not having any of this; she opened the door, snapped, “Get out there,” pushed him out through it (Roland still dressed in only his shirt, underwear, shoes and his chief constable’s hat—for he was still apparently unaware he was wearing it) and as they stepped out through the door, Sally’s smirk triumphantly returned at the thought of Roland’s marathon performance around the garden.

Nonfiction

Acupuncture Explained

Acupuncture Explained

Nonfiction. The book provides a clear, easy-to-read account of what Chinese acupuncture is, how it works, and what it can treat – all expressed in terms that can be understood by Western readers. It provides acupuncture students or patients with an overview of the entire subject. Read more>> 

The Trouble with Conversation

The Trouble with Conversation: Nonfiction. Understand what it is and is not possible to communicate about and why unpleasant people are an invention of our own mind.
A fascinating read for anyone who’s interested in everyday communication and the related relationship problems. Read more>> 

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Sketchbook
Nonfiction. My notes on the writing of fiction, on Chinese Medicine phenomena, on travel, people, dreams, and other topics. Read more>> 

 

 

 

Secrets of the Hidden Vessels

Secrets of the Hidden Vessels

Nonfiction. This book clearly explains Chinese acupuncture. It describes which parts of the Nei Jing are fact based, metaphorical, or untrue; identifies the conflicting Nei Jing theories on metabolism, and which are true or untrue; and key concepts such as the Chinese medicine organ functions are also clearly explained in relation to contemporary physiology.

The book provides students or practitioners with an indispensible guide to properly understanding the Chinese medicine of the Nei Jing. And it also enables Chinese medicine to be explained to patients using terms they can understand. Read more>> 

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine
Nonfiction. Articles and Essays on various aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine, mainly focusing on acupuncture. Read more>> 

Sawing up my sofa
An account of... well, sawing up my sofa. Features a series of step by step photos on how to saw up your sofa. Read more>>