Figure XVII

July 13, 2006

pim17.jpg

“Did you see? We sold the Pinball machine on eBay at eleven o’ clock last night.” says Jo, her face lit up with momentary enthusiasm.

“Really, wow!”

“Four seven five.”

“That’s great, Jo!”

“We’d have got more for it in the shop, but you know, it’s not bad. They’re collecting it at the weekend.”

“Do you want me to be here?”

“No, it’s okay, I’ll be able to manage it. No interest in the china cabinet.”

Laura checks the item off on her paper list.

“Any of the clothes gone?”

“No, no just the pinball machine.” Jo takes a sip of her tea, “I see the future of course. I see that the shop’s the thing holding me down at the end of the day. Cheaper to hire a lock–up somewhere and do all my sales online really.”

“Do you think so?”

“Oh yes, it’s changing the world, this thing. It’s just down to me to bite the bullet and decide to make the move.”

“Right–”

“It’s okay, it won’t be for some time yet, Laura. But I notice the change. Twenty–five years I’ve been here. I’ve ridden the rough with the smooth, but it’s just not the shop that’s making the money any more.”

A mantle clock deep within the mass of clutter lets out a tiny peel of bells to announce the hour. Suddenly, as if a flock of birds awoken by this shrill alarm call, other clocks around the shop burst forth notes from their roosting spots; boom and cuckoo, boom and cuckoo. Tiny, tinny versions of the Westminster chimes, chorus like anguished blackbirds in the forest of coats and furs, then all is still again, all is calm.

“It’s becoming a different game. Suddenly everyone knows something and everyone’s a seller. I don’t complain; it’s just different. I think of my own parents. Never sold anything. Just bought. Filled their house with stuff. I’d go and visit them and every surface had an ornament. Every drawer filled with the most useless of objects, that just stayed there, just gathered dust. But this–” she says, pointing at the laptop, “It makes people look at the things they have differently. Things aren’t just things to them now, they’re capital. It’s the reinvention of portable property; something you put your money in for a while to free up at a later date. And now, now you can get anything. Anything. Anything you want at the touch of a button, and it’s there.”

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4 Responses to “Figure XVII”

  1. bloglily said

    OOO. I like where this is going.

    Every day, I check in here and I’m always so happy when my computer starts to scroll down a new drawing.

    May I say again how much I’m enjoying this?

  2. Leonard said

    Yes, sorry about yesterday. There was supposed to be an update but… err…

    Hopefully there should be something new every week day. But we shall see how long I keep that up for.

    Thanks for your comments, and I’m glad you’re sticking with it!

  3. bloglily said

    Oh no, don’t worry about having something every day! It’s such fun to find a new post, and when there’s not something, I just have a look over the old ones. There’s plenty of entertainment here already.

    Leonard, are you writing these as you post, or do you have a stash of them stored up?

  4. Leonard said

    I’m pretty much writing them as I post. I know where the whole thing’s headed and pretty much what happens in each of the entries, but in a way writing it like this is a means of not giving up on it. Now and then I have a spurt of getting a couple drawn/written in one go, but then I’ll also have days when I can’t manage to get anything out at all.

    I’m interested in the way that writing it as daily episodes is shaping the structure of it though. I’m not quite sure how that will go, but it sometimes alters my thoughts on the story, the way it fits into these short episodes, rather than if it were written as a linear narrative. Hmm.

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