Further Up (or Down) the Road

In Animals, Hautvoir, Revision on July 27, 2011 at 6:33 am

Detachment isn’t the right word for it because it has connotations of distance, as if floating through space, untethered; it carries  shades of “who cares, so what, I’m all right, Jack.” Quite the contrary, “it” is a place of such total involvement in the moment, there is no room for the loss of control you experience when you are anxious, fearful or angry. Any combination of those emotions (or of more pleasant ones) may be present in the mix but attention isn’t on any of them. Attention is on what is going on at the very moment; the unfolding of it carrying that note of expectancy aka curiosity.

In story, at the point of revision, that note of expectancy – not quite expressed yet in the draft – centering on perilous maneuvers involved braking and backing up on a narrow winding road. Yesterday’s real-life spill into a ditch had none of the drama or the nasty consequences you might expect to provide fodder for such a revision. And yet. The Max-Sennett-like scene that followed was enough to wipe out even the car driver’s annoyance with herself and/or what life has been dishing out for her lately.

My favorite moment occurring when the second truck of un-needed firemen showed up, and a huge fellow fell into instant love with my dog. Good thing he wasn’t responsible for writing up the discharge papers we were meant to sign (after refusing medical help, since we didn’t need any); a love fest was going on before our very eyes. As a result, the second truckload of firemen stuck around longer than required while we detailed all of Cybèle’s wonderful qualities, both obvious and less immediately apparent.

So, revision-wise: in a car, in the narrow, winding road leading down to Collioure. What time is it? What happened in Hautvoir prior to departure? Prior to the traffic incident? What is happening at that very moment, other than the obvious pile-up, and the tricky maneuvering it requires so that everyone may emerge better than unscathed: somewhat changed, and somewhat eager to discover what other part of the adventure awaits just round the bend.

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