A visit from The Magic Elf

This is an extract from one of my books.

And now it’s the morning of March 15th 2016. One of the things that’s prompted this bit of live writing is my desire to reach 100,000 words. As I type I can see the word-count at the bottom of the screen and it says, hang on, I’ve got to catch it unaware because of course it will increase as soon as I type in the number: The number of words that are in this book so far is 98,951 (including the number 98,951), but of course it’s more already – it’s relentless, nothing really stops, everything changes.

It’s a bit like that with life – as soon as you think you’ve got a handle on it, the second you think you’ve got it sussed – it changes, it becomes something else, that’s one of the consequences of getting older, you lose the certainty of youth, and when I say youth I don’t mean childhood, I mean adulthood, from your early twenties or whenever it is you feel as if you’ve grown up at last, all the way through to old age in your sixties or whenever it is you feel as if you’re old.

It’s different for everyone of course; everyone ages in different ways at different rates and many if not most people in the world never reach that plateau of resignation that is old age.

But the point of this piece of writing is not that – it’s about how you value yourself when no one else does, in the sense that they don’t value the things about yourself that you value, for example I, and I’m sorry to go on about myself, but that’s what this book is about – so, I value myself as an artist and as a writer, I really do, it is my vocation, my purpose, my calling, whatever. But no one else does; for example again I have a blog, a website, and over the past couple of months I have posted dozens of items ranging from short stories, extracts from novels, opinion pieces, photos, paintings, stuff about current affairs, my views on sport, I’ve posted long and complicated pieces and short snaps – tens of thousands of words in perhaps 60 or 70 posts.

The result of all this is more or less nowt – the visitors to my website have not increased in number, those that do come do not actually read anything – I can basically write whatever I want on there – it won’t matter because nobody will read any of it – and yes I have tried very hard to publicize it all on social media etc and by talking to friends in real life – but still zilch.

But, again, that’s not the point, the point is that you are who you are, never mind what anyone else tries to impose on you. For example, hang on . . .

Sorry, I had to answer the door, it was the Magic Elf. He wants to say something to you, so I’m handing the keyboard over to him.

‘Hello humans,

In case you don’t know who I am, I am who the narrator of this book likes to call The Magic Elf. The truth is (if there is such a thing as truth – or if there is such a thing as non-truth) I am not magic and I am not an elf – well not in the senses of the words that you humans normally get from such an expression – anyway there’s no point me labouring over all that – I have a much more urgent message for you, which is that fundamentally you lot have got it all wrong, absolutely everything, from the origins of the universe to the basic laws of physics, from what is real and what is not, from the way you go about your daily lives to the sort of stuff you value – it’s all, every last little bit of it – just plain wrong. None of it is real or important or makes any kind of sense, no matter what world you come from, no matter what culture you were born into – it’s all complete and utter bollocks.

Take work for example, you seem to believe that everyone has to work, get up in the morning and go out into the world of other human beings and do some pointless task so that you can acquire credits in the form of money so that you can then use those credits to acquire stuff, things, that you don’t need in any way except to fill a need that has been created in your minds by the adoption of a set of beliefs and values that are, let’s be straight here – complete and utter bollocks.

To take an obvious example, there’s a huge industry based on the abuse, breeding and consumption of other animal species; you have breeders and farmers and butchers and chefs and recipe book writers and veterinary surgeons and dog-trainers and horse riders and stable hands and leather tanners, and cheese-makers, and beekeepers, well the list goes on – and get this – it’s all completely unnecessary – in fact it does more harm than good – all you need to do is consume a small portion of the food you feed to these animals in order for them to grow to an acceptable killing size and that’s it – the food is grown anyway to feed the animals and even if you count wild animals or grazing animals it still adds up to a complete waste of time and resources.

I don’t know how many people work in the animal-killing-abusing-eating industry and all the ancillary services associated with it but it’s probably something like say 10% of the workforce – 10% of workers getting paid for something that isn’t needed or isn’t even any good if you look at the consequences for your beautiful planet – anyway that’s just a digression but it’s probably enough for now so I’ll stop there apart from saying that 95% of the jobs people do are complete nonsense and the other 5% could be done in a much more intelligent way – you are here on this planet to play, to love, to be free.

I’d better hand you back to the narrator, but I will be back and I will have something else to say. Bye for now.’

Five minutes later: What was I saying? Was there a knock on the door, I thought there was but when I went to open it there was no one there, not even a pigeon. Oh just one thing – there appears to be 99,957 words in this document now, where the hell did they come from?

Actually it’s 99,972.

. . . . . . . . . .


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