Yes, I know I promised not to stuff your inboxes, but I’ve still been a little bit lax to let the months roll by without so much as a peep.
I’ve throttled back on my own writing for various reasons, including getting busy with other things and feeling that I’d almost said all I wanted to say. That hasn’t stopped me from adding a clutch of new writers, and maintaining a healthy turnaround speed for any new submissions sent in by our contributors.
As previously, anyone who would like to join the club need only email me at email@example.com …
The counsellors surprise me when they come out of their respective lifts. Damon Runyon I can understand after just a moment’s thought. A writer, just as I’ve always wanted to be. I like his perpetual present tense style of writing and the persona of his narrator. Someone who is never at the centre of any of the action. Always on the periphery of whatever scam he’s describing, observing, analysing, but staying emotionally uninvolved. I like that, I can empathise with that. So, Damon Runyon — good. But who is this buxom peroxide blonde who comes out of the lift on…
Background to this conversation right here:
— What’s the thing that shocks you most when you look back at our era?
— You’re not the first to ask that, and I’m reluctant to answer. I get mixed responses.
— I’m curious. Promise I won’t be upset.
— It’s how little life matters to you. Like it’s a throwaway commodity.
— You don’t have wars in 2042?
— I’m not talking about wars.
Sometime towards the end of the twenties, fertility is going to fall off a cliff. Globally, I mean. All of a sudden people stop conceiving babies, even in…
— My friends think I’m weird, a Neo-Luddite, because I still use a keyboard.
— They’re using voice recognition?
— No, they’re all chipped. They only have to think of a query and they get the answer in front of their eyes. I was a holdout on the chipping programme. I’ve got plenty of tech, but it’s all external.
— Chipping sounds great to me. When does it come in?
— You won’t have long to wait. I had an unusual childhood though — my Dad used to read paper books. You can’t find them now, outside of a museum.
The rash impulses that occasionally shake me out of my senescent torpor are, I’m now sure, the interventions of my younger self, calling to me across the ages to wake up and live a little. I’m also starting to think that the voice of reason which I tried to ignore as a youngster was my current self trying to put a brake on my wilder excesses.
These inter-generational interventions always go the “wet route”, via thoughts, imagination, spiritual paths if you will. All deniable by a dispassionate observer in the cold light of day.
I’ve just had one experience of…
First part is here, if you feel you need the preamble.
— You called me here. You must have a good reason.
— You’re pulling all the strings. I wanted to meet you to see what plans you have for me.
— Assuming you are right, how would it help you to know that?
— It’s a question of saving time. Not investing too much effort in what you know are going to be blind alleys.
— I don’t think I can help you. If I have a grand plan in mind, it’s not coming back to me for the…
The Dreamer asked me to make it clear that what follows is a work of fiction.
I suppose technically I have honoured his wish.
In hindsight I think that developing lucid dreaming techniques was a mistake.
I could have stopped at recording naturally occurring dreams, and just pondered their significance, if any, as I have done all my life.
But no, I had to push the boundaries, with the result that I no longer clearly know where the edges are between dreaming and real life.
There’s nothing more tedious than listening to other people’s dreams, so I’ll spare you the…
Second part of the story, so you may want to get caught up here first.
— Shouldn’t we have blown up by now or something?
— What, just because we’re meeting? No, it doesn’t seem to cause a problem. It’s a moot point what would happen to me if I killed you, but I’m not planning to try. In fact it’s fair to say I’m fully invested in keeping you alive and well. And I need to start you on your training.
— What sort of training do you have in mind?
— Survival skills mainly. …
In the quieter reaches of the road which circumnavigates Lake Geneva, a number of unmarked lanes and drives diverge from the main highway, heading down towards the lakeside. At the end of these discreet roads you may find the mansions of the wealthiest citizens in Europe, as well as the boltholes of a swathe of despotic rulers from around the world.
The taxi driver is reluctant to let me out, sceptical of the welcome I may receive at the end of the drive I have indicated. I’m not dressed to mingle naturally with ultra high net worth individuals.
Writing about family, trading, spirituality and popular culture. Speculating in my fiction and investments. Made more mistakes than I’m admitting here.