Because Monsieur Proust Said So | Section A

Submitted into Contest #94 in response to: Write a story in which a character justifies an argument with: “Because I said so.”... view prompt


American Western Funny

The Los Angeles writer, after stepping over a pigeon that was plopping its body about by the bus-stop on its one leg (the other fowleen appendage, a pink, rattail-ish trunk, hung down, tapping like a broken stick onto the sidewalk, rhythmically, as if it were scratching a little pigeonitch on the tiny stump-tip), boarded the outgoing bus and took his seat. The writer stepped over the pigeon. The Los Angeles writer stepped over the blarmey pigeon that was hopping and plopping itself about here and there, meddlesome and unmerry, in front of the writer's path, blocking, most unceremoniously (for a pigeon), the writer's path through the open, waiting, automatic doors of the bus, and, after saying to it as he stepped over and through its cockneyish presence, nodding downward to it and highly selftickled, "out of my way, Ahab," took his busseat peremptorily. Very selftickled.

He, the writer, not the one-legged bastard pigeon, is on the bus, his sunglasses perched up on his brows, his gray beret slicked on its hind, hungback and slightly to the right, his right ankle stiff and slungup over his left knee.

He sits in the far back to the right (facing forward to the front of the bus), his usual seat, his preferred.

His toes, on his right foot, smash up as if placing themselves into tip-toe form, with the soft ululating gestures of boats tied up at dock, every time the bus breaks or slows down, or the like, as his right foot is resting on his left knee and lower left thigh, and as there isn't much for footroom here on these rickety busses. The writer, as he feels and finds himself going in and out of the top-heavy western sunlight coming in from the bus's windows, as he pleasantly and lazily watches the blueness of the sky through the bus's windowpanes change from blue to blue to blue to blue and tries to think about what he will end up spending the remainder of the beautiful day doing, is further feeling himself rather wayward today.

Shall he read, flamboyantly and boisterously, again, outloud, from glorious T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland, in some horrible part of town, where lie in wait plenty of addicts and cantankerous unfortunates highly given to spectacular shows of regular gang violence? The writer has already done that four times this month, and to be quite very much honest, they, the audiences therefound, well, they don't enjoy it all that much; they enjoy the intro, as in, the first couple of words, "April is the...." and usually after that much it goes south. They don't want to hear about April's cruelty. Especially from a guy doing a reading of the great poem in the dressed and accountable accent of a booshy guy from early 20th century New England.

"April is the-" Que tomatoes. Sin bullets.

But we were to talk of Michelangelo.

Many of his days have been spent wandering with a volume of Proust, or any of James Joyce's stocked pretties, all over, bussing from Atlantic Boulevard on down to Broadway and 5th Street, to watch the pigeons, and blush at young baristas, and sometimes feed wine to the winos.

Today the writer happens to be, again, after stopping for a short coffeegrab at Dukes, on the 20 bus-line, heading westward.

He, rather than immediately take up his Proust after he grabbed his favorite seat in the far back of the bus, takes the said seat, and proceeds, after sipping his coffee ever so slightly, and then slipping it into the slot between his right haunch and the frame of the bus underneath the windowpane, to take out his pocket notepad from the breast pocket of his denim coat, and, having here a second thought, so leading him to take up his Proust for just a moment, opening it to the section of Combray which he is currently moored in, when something else tells him to put the book down, and doing so, he thinks to himself that it may be the coffee speaking, or maybe a genuine bout of inspirational guidance and Muse-ish philanthropy, or, maybe just the simple wish to express himself there in that moment in writing, he lets himself fall back into the spellful douse of feeling which accompanies his person every time he reaches for his notepad and pen to begin writing a sketch, there on the bus, using his Proust volume for support, and, saying aloud to himself, "porque Monsieur Proust said so," he writes in his notepad about his recently stepping over a one-legged pigeon named Ahab.

And later, the writer is writing a fast sketch while aboard the Santa Monica bound Metrorail. He is passing through Exposition park, looking out the window. The neighborhoods smile by the by.

The houses pass in almost-blurshots of oranges and blues and yellows and greens, and it all happens in a beautiful moment, another moment that breaches his languor and says to him in its magicmaking innervoice, "writer, write."

Taken from the writer's pocket notepad: "....& all of this is seen in the space of one moment, one moment of the train's speeding passing, I am looking out the train window at a young man wearing a black shirt and a black hat, backwards, he is across the street from the railline, pacing back and forth on one of the high, concrete porches of one of the painted ladies (beautiful, shelllike houserows), with a bouquet of flowers in his hands, shoddy neon colors in the petals and the paper, probably bought it from a 7/11, as most of the street vendors I know of sell way more plausible floralistic aesthetics; he is pacing back and forth looking down at his phone, and now he has pressed call it looks like, and is holding his phone up to his ear, and, Ah!- passing, traincar passing, enervated young lover- good luck to you, boy! Ah, young love blurs into passing."

It seems that Proust, the writer is now thinking, sitting back on the train, after taking down the above sketch of his beautiful, little moment'sworth, caught and boggled, as it were, it seems that Proust, he is thinking, has taught me one very, very important lesson, I think.

The Los Angeles writer continues thinking, looking out the trainwindow, it seems that Proust has taught me a very important lesson for any modern writer to learn, that being, the fact that, as a writer, and as, furthermore, a Romantic, of this era especially, and all eras subsequent to Monsieur Proust's especially, one must keep a disdainful attitude towards all things Romantic and all and any signs of sundry or superficial Romanticism, all the while procuring the majorest and most beautiful philosophy of Romanticism for one's own self out of all of life, and triumphantly so. The writer sighs to himself, content with his thoughts about such great writers as Proust, and even sometimes, very much, James Joyce, and adds another rather relevant, to him, note to his pocket notepad's jollying contents, endlessly explorative and imaginative:

" pant'scuffs keep gettin' stuckup 'un my bootheels

and my bootheels keep gettin' stuckup in my pant'scuffs

porque James Joyce said so...."

May 16, 2021 02:47

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