I’ve just done 300 words. Starting out with an idea that I would demonstrate how blogging shows only a small part of our true character, I started off on a quick tour of my inner life with the intention of discussing the hidden depths that lie behind the public facade of Quercus, the cheery salad-dodger. It’s a sad thing when, after 65 years of life, you realise that you haven’t any. So I drastically self-edited.
My main thoughts are (a) my beard, after being trimmed, is at an awkward intermediate length. I’m not sure if I want to grow it again, or trim it more. The first option risks a reappearance of the inner tramp (hobo, for you users of American English) but the second risks making me look like a round-faced hamster. My secondary thoughts are much the same. With the additional worry that if I met Kylie Minogue in the street it would be terrible if she looked at me at a time when my fine masculine profile was marred by imperfections of beard length.
I would obviously have to tell her that my heart was taken by another and that despite her elfin charm and undoubted talent in the singing line she will always be, in my mind. a pale substitute for Julia, but it would be better coming from a man with a decent beard. She is unlikely to mind one way or the other if these lines are delivered by a man who looks like a hamster with well-filled cheek pouches, and my great romantic gesture will be wasted.
Yep, definitely no hidden depths.
But it is proof that you shouldn’t talk much. When silent I am a man of brooding mystery with potential hidden depths and a hint of the Lord Byrons. When I talk I am a man that thinks about his beard far too much.
Hemingway muttered something about seven eighths of a story being below the waterline, so I am merely following in the footsteps of greater men.
I will be going on to develop this idea as I gradually distill my ideas of nothingness in writing into the world’s greatest sonnet – Fourteen Lines of Nothing. Julia vetoed my earlier, more alliterative title. Here it is (with apologies to John Cage and 4′ 33″).
Fourteen Lines of Nothing
What did you think? Powerful and moving? The work of an idiot? It is, I admit, slightly more than 14 lines, but you do need space before and after. I’m seriously thinking of submitting it to a real editor and seeing what they say. I have one in mind.