Richard Pierce

Life, Writing

Day 301

To be frank, it’s so late now (though I suppose not as late as it was last night when I started writing my daily entry when I was on the train) that my brain is starved of ideas, real ideas anyway. I am still pondering if I should do a live show in the morning, a sort of live pre-record that we can add to our library of pre-records for future use, especially as A is working from 8 tomorrow morning, so I’ll be up anyway. There are a million and a half things that I feel that I need to do, to prep for O’s return to the bosom of his family, and for God knows what else. I feel a creative urge that’s somehow not finding fulfilment, although I have two unfinished novels on the go (and here I realise that I haven’t worked on The Mortality Code since the week or so after we got back from Agios Nikolaos – the first week of that blessed holiday is already four months ago; I hate the running quickly and more quickly of time). I also need to go through all the poems I’ve written this year that I haven’t posted on here to see if there are any that are good enough to enter into the National Poetry Competition. And write the couple of new ones that have been spinning around in my head for weeks).

At least I wasn’t unintelligible on the radio this morning, although I do realise the tiredness made me very hyper. Even though I was remarkable sensible for me (going to bed a mere 30 minutes or so after I got in), I didn’t really get that much sleep for a whole variety of reasons, the main one being that my internal young man persists in fighting my internal older man – and I was seriously buzzed last night anyway. I miss the period in my life when I did lots of gigging because I crave that limelight rush from my gut into the rest f my being. There’s a vanity about it as well, of course, being the centre of attention, the lone figure on a stage with everyone’s eyes on you, and the rush of the reactions and the applause. It seems shallow, looked at in the brightness of self-reflection, but it’s not really. It’s just yet another primeval need. Maybe that’s why I can’t give up the radio although it eats so much of my time.

And yet I get so easily distracted. And sometimes things that I want dealt with in seconds take hours instead which I find infuriating and frustrating. I’m taking the positive angle on this – that my impatience and rage are a sign that I’m almost back to being normal after having been so damn ill and exhausted. Perhaps the solution to all this is to make better lists.



‘But you don’t kill people, Aggie.’ He leans close in to her. ‘That’s what you’re always telling me.’

‘I can give up my principles for a lot of money.’

‘Can you now? Prove it.’

‘I can’t prove it here.’

The cabin crew are fanning out now, ready to serve the first meal. It will be a hearty breakfast, no doubt, to start everyone’s body clock moving towards London, five hours ahead.

‘I’m sure we can find an imaginative way, when everyone’s asleep.’ He pulls away from her, leans back, his slender hands folding together over his stomach, his eyes closed. He makes her jump when he sits bolt upright again thirty seconds later, eyes wide open, and grabs the bottle to fill his glass yet again. ‘It would be a good game, wouldn’t it?’

‘All games are good,’ Aggie says. ‘They have to be.’

‘Like the game you’ve been playing with me. Killing my machines?’

‘Deactivating them.’

‘Except for that woman you stole from me. She was prime.’

‘I don’t think you’d want to have anything to do with her. She used to be a soldier.”

‘That’s the attraction,’ he says. ‘Imagine the six pack.’

‘I’d rather not.’ The lie slips out of her mouth easily.

‘You’re such a prude.’

She’s relieved he doesn’t know everything, or at least appears not to know everything. ‘That’s why none of your machines work, Valentine, because they have too much of you in them. You need be calm, clear-headed, to be a real fighting machine, not have your brain muddled either with your own obsessions, or the obsessions of your master. You’ve bred imperfection into your machines, because you mix your desire for power with your desire of the flesh.’

‘You’re getting evangelical on me now.’

‘No. I’m just being honest.’

‘Where do you know so much from?’

‘It appears I had a good teacher, something I’d forgotten about.’

‘Like you’re going to forget about your principles?’

‘I’m not going to forget about them. I’m going to ignore them. … If the price is right.’

‘And what would that price be?’

‘Twenty million. Pounds.’

He stifles a yawn and a laugh at the same time. ‘You really think I’d give you that much money, never mind actually have it?’

‘I think you’ve got a lot more than that,’ she says. ‘All these machines, all this manpower, all these machinations. They don’t come cheap. And you’re not going to waste all your money on trying to make the perfect robot. You’ve got stacks of money to spare is my bet.’

‘You’re an evangelist and a gambler? A very odd combination.’ He drains his glass. ‘You’ll have to go through with this game of hours if you even want just half of what you’re asking.’

‘Take that as read.’

‘But it will be light soon. How are you going to do that?’

‘I’m not sharing my secrets with you before the fact. You’ll just have to watch and learn.’ She smiles at the attendant who brings out real food on real plates, takes a nip of her champagne, still on her first glass, and works out the next stage of her plan.

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