I got on a train in town and it didn’t move. Eventually, the driver announced over the speaker that there had been a fatality on the track between Musselburgh and Portobello”
I called home and said “Someone’s been hit by a train” which caused others in the carriage to look at me.
One by one they made their calls home and I swear it trickled down the carriage… Every single one of them said “there has been a fatality on the track between Musselburgh and Portobello”
Soon enough, we had to get off the train and wait. An announcement came over the PA system saying that, due to “an incident near Musselburgh” the train was postponed. Again, that strange thing as people picked up their phones and made their alternative plans… Each one saying now that there had been “an incident near Musselburgh”
This stuck with me for a few days. Then a friend called and said that they were out of town treating an uncle who simply wasn’t dying quickly enough. The line was “I’ve been deeply engaged in palliative care these past few days”
Writers are different. It was only recently that a very gifted writer (though he doesn’t perhaps know it) said that he had “trimmed his father’s moustache and combed his hair for him so that he was comfortable and dignified”
Writer’s, despite themselves, are always out to create a response. Not hide in the proscribed text for the moment at hand. It would be a mistake to think of writers as being bound to the written page, after all.