or how to become a ‘feuilletonist’
I am a struggling writer, yet to bask in the glory, the glitz and the glamour of literary festivals. The only luck I have had so far is that I was invited to volunteer for a poetry-fest in my hometown. Many gorgeous women poets were high profile invitees and I was to be the personal assistant of two of them. While walking with the older of the two on the shores of a sandy beach, an unexpected wave burgeoned past us but drenched only her feet. I was reminded of the ineffectiveness of certain stories I had endeavored to tell as do I dare … do I dare rumble in my head to ask her do I dare… to ask her for advice about my literary career.
She was a woman of ready sympathy, not only an acclaimed poet. She said never exhaust the cache of images you have, never repeat them, and use them exactly once like a cheesy pickup-line you try on damsels in distress.
When we were in her hotel room I said, ‘’Last night I read in an article, that ‘feuilletonist’ had become the nastiest insult in the German language”.
And we wrote together a ‘feuilleton’.
Here is an excerpt:
Which part of me do you like best?
Your feet are the best. I am reminded of my mother.
What? She giggles.
You know India is the land of snake-charmers.
Can you play the flute?
You could try
Show me your one-eyed snake.
What? I gasped for a moment.
But you need to use your feet.
She had awesome dexterity with her feet.
Her skin wasn’t as soft as it would seem.
I was able to hold-on and write this.
When she was in the bathroom, I opened her red notebook and read her last note there:
Mary Wollstonecraft said,
‘The mind has no sex’.
Short story chosen by Emilia Mirazchiyska