Topic: Probably Real
She woke up at noon and it was 100 degrees, or 37 degrees, whichever you prefer, but whichever way you look at it, it was not a good temperature to wake up to. Everything was pointing in the direction of going solo, playing the game on her own for awhile, or at least until she was in a regular habit of giving herself priority, giving more attention to her own creative pursuits, and less time to the futile attempts to keep group projects going. She supposed for a moment that making a start whilst hot, tired, discouraged and confused was not the most ideal mood for a start, but at least it was a start. She wasn’t even entirely sure what it was she was actually starting, but suspected that it didn’t much matter, in the grand scheme (or lack thereof) of things.
She’d had a moment of inspiration when she started reading a book. She’d only read a few pages and had no idea how the book would turn out, but the format was interesting. Julie had had an idea, simmering on a back burner for years, to write a book. It always seemed to want to be an autobiographical book, and that’s where she always came unstuck because she couldn’t see the point of that, not that she was overly concerned about whether anyone would want to read it or not, but she often came unstuck when she wondered about how all the characters in the book might feel about it, which is why that moment of inspiration in the bathroom the other day seemed like such a good idea.
She could write a book about a probability party, perhaps called ‘Probably Real’, (maybe with the subtitle ‘Probably Not’.) There would be an occasion, the details of which she hadn’t worked out yet, in which various (not all, she soon realized!) of her probable selves met ~ such as in the Atkinson book, in some quiet desolate place with no interruptions (obviously somewhere with no internet connection, although there was always the danger of picking up a freak broadband WiFi), where they had all the time in the world to tell their tales, compare notes as it were.
Which was where the fiction idea came in ~ of course! Just call it fiction! Would just one of the probable selves be telling the truth, relating the only true version of Julie’s life? And if so, which one was the real probable self? All the characters in the book would have probable selves and probable lives; which of them was the real probable self, the official version? No-one would ever know.
Of course, anyone versed in the metaphysical mechanics of probabilities and such would realize that all probable versions are real, at the same time as all being, in a certain sense, fiction ~ made up. The only question was, would that be too unlimiting to contain within the confines of one book, but time (so to speak) would tell.
Procrastination had set in, as usual, not that that is a bad thing, and things pretty much carried on as usual for a few days. Julie noticed the puppy tugging at a particular magazine from the bottom of the magazine rack over the course of those few days, and eventually the magazine was rather pointedly poking out from the bottom of the pile, it’s title clearly showing: a booklet on How To Write FICTION, with FICTION in big letters.
Never the less, the procrastination continued, although the clue was duly noted. It hadn’t been the first time a Writing A Book incident had occured.
It was easy, in this case, to remember that date, because it was right around the time of the 1999/2000 milenium party, right around the time when that particular roller coaster had derailed. While unpacking the boxes of books and putting them on the shelves of yet another rented house ~ a particularly garish and tasteless monstrosity, a drug baron’s dream of unfunctional largeness with hideous coloured glass windows (it’s the sheer randomness of the colours that’s so awful, G had remarked) ~ a book flew off the shelf, quite literally, and landed alone in the middle of the floor some distance away from the bookshelf.
Becoming A Writer was the name of the book, and the funny thing was that she had been thinking of writing a book but didn’t know where to start, and had been toying with the idea of buying a book on writing a book. So she read the book and started writing, a little bit every day, following the books advice to just start writing, even if it’s just ‘I can’t think of what to write’. There was plenty to write about as it turned out, but circumstances changed, another sudden move of house ensued, another rollercoaster ride, and the writing stopped for awhile.
But back to the book, Becoming A Writer. For a long time, Julie had no recollection of buying that book, and wondered by what magic had it appeared at her feet. Many years later she perhaps would have simply accepted the magic, and would have known that she created the book in that moment. But at the time she didn’t, and in due course constructed a memory of buying the book some years previously at a car boot sale somewhere along the coast road.
(We did buy the book, piped up PSJ2, and I actually read it, unlike you, as soon as I bought it. My 5th book is about to be published, a lightweight comedy/detective series about the Costa del Crime)
PSJ2’s interjection reminded PSJ1 (Good grief, we’ll have to think of a solution to the probable self names, she noted) that she had in fact started writing a book about the Costa del Crime, called Peregrino’s, or perhaps that was the name she’d given to the bar, the central hub, of the book. Of course, that was in the days when bars had been her central hub; she doubted very much if she would choose a bar as the central hub of a book now. She hadn’t got very far with the book, and had burned it when PSA1 got busted, just in case. What to do first, bury the (probable, it must be remembered) pump action shotgun, or burn the book. She had buried the gun, under cover of darkness, in the back garden, wrapping it in plastic bags and blankets, making it look for all the world like the body of a dead child. It was dark, it was raining, and there weren’t many neighbours out there in the orange groves, and she could do no more than hope for the best that she hadn’t been seen.
No doubt there was a probable self who did choose to create being seen, but if so she hadn’t arrived at the probability party (yet, at any rate) with her tale.
That it had been a major probability junction was certain. Not just the gun burying incident, which had turned out to be no more than merely incidental, but the events leading up to it.
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