Thursday, January 29, 2004

Funny comment overheard on leaving the office. A cleaner, entering the building, was saying to her nodding friend "We have a history of cancer and heart attacks in our family". Who doesn't? It's almost like saying we have a history of death in our family. An hour later, I overheard an angry woman telling a man trailing behind her "I've never spilt anything on that carpet". I wonder what he did? The carpet, no doubt, is ruined. Maybe they could get the cleaner who made the first comment in to do a bit of stain removal? And why are cleaners - all lovely people nevertheless - always the most unhygienic looking folk? They're a filthy lot and no mistake.

Two writers living together. Can it work? Sylvia and Ted, Halliwell and Orton and Verlaine and Rimbaud would probably say no. M's great fun and we laugh a lot. But when we both have our writer's heads on get out of the way. Both of us want access to the best computer, the best room to write in while the other has to tend to the cat and feed the washing machine. And when one of us is writing and the other isn't, it's even worse. The idle one will bug the hell out of the other one. "What are you doing? I'm bored!" And, weird for two people that can talk others into submission, we're both so inarticulate when it comes to discussing our own work. M does things that I can't even dream of when she's writing and on top of her game. She can craft the most perfect plays, come up with real, dazzling stories about stuff I'd never touch. Smoke Screen is an amazing piece of work. Together, if we were one person, we'd be the greatest playwright that ever lived. I've got quite high hopes for us both individually so the genetic engineering might not be necessary.

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