by Ansgar Allen
For three days he sat on that bench, prepared for him to say something, anything really would have done, as the cameras looked on, themselves readied, burning film, the bench, the man, nothing said, he hardly moved, but leant, and held his lip, and bulged his eyes, as if about to make a sound, the cameras rolled, and they waited, given how so few sightings had been had, of the man, so that his promise to sit, for three days, and be watched and listened to was an event in the world of literature that would give clues and lend significance to his writings, much read but hardly understood in relation to the man, since he wrote without revealing much as to himself, and how it should be read, or taken, given that nothing was known of the man, except that he wrote what he did, and was rarely seen, and then finally offered to present himself for a total of three days, or just the middle part of each, from ten until three, at the bench that was placed there for him, below a specific tree, he had selected it, although the tree itself gave nothing away, having nothing about it that said anything out of the ordinary, in that, as he sat, the tree above did not augment his silence with a different kind of significance, a clue to his work, but offered shade and nothing more, in which he leant, to one side, and regarded his notepad, barely holding it open, glimpsing within for some kind of prompt that would begin things, and justify the excitement that met him on the first day, at ten, as the cameras started up and he put his lips in such a way that speech seemed about to happen, and the clue, finally, to the meaning of his entire literary output emerge, burning film, for fifteen hours, in three sets, the last five of which were the worst of all, since surely, the camera crew told itself, this man was not going to sit for three full days after having promised so much and then finally give them, precisely, nothing, but the transit of shadows across the bench, his face and feet, and the sound of wind in the branches, and the odd bird above, all burnt into film, stored for a while, and then finally binned, the man having returned to obscurity, and his output, so widely consumed, still out there in the world without the words he had promised to add, on the bench.
Image: Cristian Bortes via Wikimedia Commons (cc).
About the Author:
Ansgar Allen is the author of several books, including two forthcoming novellas, Wretch (Schism) and The Sick List (Boiler House Press). He is based in Sheffield, UK.