silentbob i was seventeen years old when i began writing on men's room stalls. I would add to the graffitti, add to the art, the last great form of expression, the final method of free speech.
I would write the phone numbers of all my friends and suggest people call them.
If you've ever found your number on a washroom stall, chances are i put it there.
As i got older my writing became more political. I would write things like, "REVOLT!" and "FUCK THE USA!" making sure to properly put periods after U-S-and A.
i picked this one bathroom at work i would write in every day. people would write racist or sexist jokes, and every day i respond to a different one, to counter it, to dismiss it as irrational or invalid.
Someone wrote this really bad one that was about black people and i had the greatest response ever, and i wrote it, and i felt so satisfied.
The next day i came in and all the graffitti, all the work i had done had been painted over.
i was so disappointed i almost cried.
No one would ever get to read the great response i made to the joke.
What scared me most was that it wasn't until i started responding to the racist jokes and anyone took notice.
It was like they didn't care.
The day after that there was a new racist joke on the wall.
I quit my job the next day.
As i got older, and the more experiences i had, i started writing more personal things. I would keep them cryptic but they would be very very true to my emotions and how i was feeling.
I would write things like, "Where did you go?" and "i saw you with him today."
Because i am a poet.
I would write these on the mens room stalls of the dorms.
One day there was a response.
"Where did you go?"
"All over your face," someone had written.
"I saw you with him today"
"I guess that means you're gay"
Needless to say i was not impressed.
neesh I hate monologues. Not as a form of art I love narrative monologues but as a way of life. So why is it that I'm trapped in one? I started three books today. It was like being back in France again, when I woke up. I could hear the footsteps outside my door, and I was afraid to leave. So I hid here, and didn't eat.

The other day walking from the station to the piano lesson, I started becoming frenetic, thinking about how to capture the mood of a piece, and how it's something internal, something you have to feel at the time of playing the piece, to convey, but I wasn't sure I could fully comprehend the feelings of a piece, not clearly enough to feel them and put them across. Perhaps enough to hear them and feel them as a result, but causing that result myself? The first bar of clair de lune is feeling enough to elude me, in this drought. But he did say the first line is the best and toughest bit, though people murder it.

And I thought, I don't need to worry about that today, I'm playing the inventions, so I need conflict, conversation, a dialogue, an argument, reason, masculine and feminine, a split of contention. And I started thinking too fast, and joking with myself it's easy for me to perform such a split, with all my internal divisions vying for sounding at the fore of my mind. And I felt a little scared, so I thought, "Focus on achieving a unity of sound first." The rondo, most of my pieces, are harmonies and melodies, only the two are counterpoints. So a gentle left hand and a resonant right hand, an undivided sound, rigorous timing, feel the weight going into every note, so it really sounds, so the piano sings, don't worry about colours, just sonority, you can build up texture later but first you've got to achieve evenness and balance.

And I was still thinking too fast, so I just thought, "Breathe." And puffed a few breaths deliberately. But I was walking fast, and nothing about me was slowing down, however carefully I breathed.

So the lesson didn't go very well. And I was disappointed, because when I had been practising in the three days since the last lesson, I'd come quite far with not just my tone, but also invention number one and the piece called dream. Dream was much better because my tone was better and the balancing of weight between my two hands was better. I did that by playing as quietly as I could late at night, while everyone was asleep, but despite the quietness, trying to get as strong a tone as I could. Like whistle tones on a flute, though that's more for evenness of breath. And the invention was better because I like it so much, so I just keep playing it, over and over.

I couldn't play scales at the beginning of the lesson, my fingers just kept tripping. I couldn't focus. So he lectured me on the importance of scales, and we went on to the first piece. I kept slipping. But I didn't apologise and restart at my slips, in my usual hesitant way, I just pushed on through. And he was very happy with my tone. Especially with dream, I made a mistake every few bars, but continued around it confidently, with a gentle and dream-like tone that really caught a listener's attention, and held them pensively listening.

But the invention didn't go so well. Mistakes were easy to recover from in those pieces, but when you've got two hands going separate ways and doing their own thing, and something goes wrong with one hand, the whole thing immediately stops making any kind of sense. And for some reason, I find it really hard linking the phrases together on the first two lines, and then I find it really easy until the last line, the antepenultimate bar, as Harriet would tell me it's called, because her music teacher used to love the word, and make them practise that bar over and over, just so he could say it.

So when I was playing it, I didn't actually play it, I just kept slipping in the third bar and starting again. "Don't go even faster!" he would laugh, as I tried to correct my error at double the speed, to appease my impatience. But we just left the invention there, and looked at a new piece.

I haven't gone to visit Harriet's sister, who lives down the road, and has lessons with him too, in a long time. I don't feel up to it, and besides, I teach that same evening, so I usually need to come home and finish off preparing the lesson. It's a shame, because she's a great conversationalist and she's lovely. And while I was living here alone, she was pretty much my entire social life, so those brief bi-weekly visits were my salvation from monologues.

Now we have a houseful, as usual, but I'm still trapped in this monologue. Why? Well, perhaps because it's half past three in the morning, and I didn't wake up till the break of evening yesterday, and I'm the only nocturnal human being in this household. There's the very nocturnal black cat, my familiar, but she only talks to me when she wants me to open a door or a can of cat food for her. Or, fool me into thinking she wants one of those so that I get up and she can steal my chair. It's not enough communication to break the stream of consciousness, the stream that quite often battles with its banks, sometimes floods over, sometimes wells up and destroys everything in sight, losing itself along the way. It's not a very peaceful stream. At times it is quiet, but only when it's dried out and all the dirt at the bottom shows through, the thoughts are arid, the words parched, and the only sounds a grating rasp that no one wants to hear, especially not me.

I guess at those times I'd rather hear the piano. "When you hate the world," he says, "you can sit down at your piano and tell everyone a big 'fuck you' " pointing his middle finger to the heavens "and forget about them for a while."

Forgetting isn't something I do well. Feeling forgotten... now that's as easy as three blind mice.
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