CuiousPages - fiction and nonfiction
CuriousPages - fiction and nonfiction
At her desk, she whispered to Melancholy, “So, you see, I’ve got no idea what his intentions are and I don’t know if he’s even attracted to me.”
Melancholy whispered, “Yes, I do see the problem. And you know, if you were to simply ask him: ‘Felipe, are you attracted to me?’ he’d be likely to say something like, ‘Well, I slept with you, didn’t I?’ which would not answer your question at all. Because you already know that he slept with you—” and here, Melancholy looked at her in a doubtful, questioning way and whispered, “That is, unless it was so uneventful that it was difficult for you to notice him in bed with you—?”
Lorna whispered, “Oh, no, it was quite eventful!”
Melancholy whispered, “Good. So, his answer would not really be saying anything. So, whatever he’s likely to say, you will still be left to solve this riddle by yourself. This is the problem we face.”
Lorna started tapping on her keyboard and as she did so, she whispered, “Well, Melancholy, I’m glad I’ve got you here to help me.”
Two hours later, she had still not received any messages from Felipe. She whispered, “He knows I’m here; why doesn’t he message me?”
Agent Melancholy whispered, “There are endless possibilities.”
She whispered, “It’s always left to me to contact him. If I don’t message him, he doesn’t message me. So, how do I know that he wants me to message him?”
Melancholy explained that some men simply do not know what to say, even in the simplest of social situations, and that it was like a great riddle to them—what were they supposed to say?—so that silence did not necessarily mean he was not interested in her. And Melancholy helpfully added: “You see, if that metaphorical cat said something to you in Japanese, and you didn’t respond, the cat might think you weren’t interested. But you may have been extremely interested, only you didn’t understand Japanese. Do you see?”
Lorna’s head was starting to spin. She simply got on with her work.
One hour later, she noticed Felipe getting up from his desk and leaving the office. She whispered, in a told-you-so tone, “Well, there you are. He’s not interested!”
Melancholy whispered, “But perhaps he thinks you’re not interested in him, so he’s given up and is looking elsewhere.”
Lorna whispered, “You mean, he’s got a date with someone else?”
“He might have. Because your silence might have told him you’re not interested, so he might have given up on you. The riddle works both ways.”
“But I still want him.”
“But how does he know that? He might think you’re not interested. So, he might be interested in you and he might not. The fact that he’s going home without having sent you a message, doesn’t prove anything.”
Lorna shouted, “But how do I know!”
Her manager looked at her with concern.
She left the office with Melancholy.
 
In the living room of 52 Niggling Grievance Street, Lily Smithe was sitting in her easy chair, Helen Smithe was sitting at one end of the sofa and Peter Softly was sitting at the other end with his shopping basket placed on the floor beside his feet. Helen had been eyeing Peter from head to foot, and she now started making insinuating comments about transvestites.
Peter lifted the front of his overcoat, pulled out Lily’s letter and told Lily, ‘I’ve come about your letter, Mrs Smithe.’
Helen abruptly stood, said she would make some tea and headed for the kitchen.
Lily started talking, but Peter could not quite get to her meaning. He gave up trying, leant forward, rummaged through the basket and gripped the hatchet’s handle. But then his hand start trembling so much that he wondered whether it was right that he should be contemplating using this weapon.
Lily said, ‘But are you eating enough, Peter?’ She saw that he was bent over that basket, playing with something within it, and she called, ‘Peter!’ He looked up, but distantly—as if he were playing in some playground in his mind, some fantasy playground that was miles from anywhere. She repeated, ‘Are you eating enough?’ He did not respond. She said, ‘I mean, who’s looking after you, Peter?’
He looked back down to the basket and saw the hatchet in his hand. He could now barely hold it; all the strength seemed to have gone from his arm, and the muscles in his arm had begun aching with the effort of holding this great weight in his hand. He dropt the hatchet, took his notepad and pen from the basket and mentioned Lily’s letter to her again. She started saying, ‘There’s crowds of people coming to read the gas meter...’ He wrote this in his pad, so that he could study the words, to try to more clearly understand their meaning. While doing this, he heard her saying something about somebody drinking her tea, and her milk—these people always drank her milk. But he was already frowning at the words on the pad, trying to make sense of them. Then he thought about Sally, about the monster that had so successfully possessed her head, causing them to come to hate each other. He thought about the way it was now impossible for him to battle through her hatred in order to communicate with her—her just shouting incomprehensible things at him whenever he got near her. He thought about her affair with Roland, which he was sure she was only doing to show him how much she hated him. Then he recalled the man he had met earlier, the way the monster in his head had made him try to manipulate Peter into jumping to his tune by trying to make him feel guilty. The man had then said, ‘You’re just the sort of person who causes all the problems. Are you stupid——?’ and he had nodded to indicate that Peter should answer ‘Yes’.
Trying to understand Lily’s words on his pad, and listening to what she was saying now, he knew that she too was possessed by one of those invisible monsters. He looked up at her, and he could almost see the monster inside her head, possessing her personality and working her mouth.
He stood up, placed his shopping basket over his arm and made his way round to the back of Lily’s easy chair. He could still hear her words, which now sounded like mockery, as though the monster in her head were making her mock him—as that other woman who had made comments about transvestites had done. He told her not to worry—he was helping her; he would soon stop them; he knew what to do now——
Lily was sitting with her hands in her lap, smiling proudly and saying, ‘Oh, I am impressed, Peter; you’re so clever now.’
He stood behind her chair, looking down at the back of her head. He could feel the presence of that monster inside that had possessed her, and also all those wrong ideas that were the seeds of yet more and more of these monsters; he could clearly feel all this down there in her head. He reached into the basket and gripped the handle of the hatchet, telling that mocking voice that he knew what to do now—It’s okay; don’t worry. He raised the hatchet above his head, and his hand was now trembling so much that he could hardly hold the hatchet any longer, and he was sure he was about to drop it, but he knew he was about to experience a tremendous release, if only he could keep defying those monsters for a moment longer, only seconds now. He felt his whole body climbing into place up there above him, and just when that weapon had become so heavy that he was sure he could not go on holding it any more, his hand then became steady, rock steady, and the hatchet wedged down into the head, again and again and again.
While this release was taking place, a single thought entered his mind; he saw himself transforming into a malicious dark mist and then engulfing Sally; he could see himself—in the form of this mist—pouring all over her, and he could see the horror in her face as he attacked her again and again and again from inside this mist. But he could not let this happen (—They’re trying to make me behave like them; but I won’t let them; I have to find the seeds before these monsters can make me——), and then he thought he could see the seeds and he started spooning them out with the hatchet’s blade (—Get them out! all of them—stop this horror; you won’t do it again; I have to stop you—it shouldn’t be like this—get them out! out——).
He wiped the hatchet clean on the back of the easy chair and made his way to the kitchen. In there, he saw the back of the second head as the other person stood against the sink. He could hear a woman humming, and also the sound of metal clanking against china. He raised his trembling hand above his head again, and he found that this was so much easier now—now that he knew what that release felt like, and also that he was doing the right thing. Then the hatchet wedged down into this other head, and he tumbled with the head to his knees as the body fell to the floor. He bent over it and continued wedging down into the head, digging for those seeds (—Get them out—stop this horror; it’s wrong! You won’t do it again; I’ll stop you—there they are!—out! get them out! out! out!).

Nonfiction

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>> 

The Trouble with Conversation

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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>> 

 

 

 

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
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