lundi 27 avril 2009

The Poor List Ch. 8 'Moving on up.'

Transcript 1 - Line-drop mobile/pda no.’s […]1498sec3(i)5/04/p.t.12 23:07:52 length of conversation 1mn 30 sec. Transcript:
[Background noise from A’s pda – heavy traffic/in car radio? (light classical)/woman’s voice, Southampton accent, at 1 min 15, 1 min 25 resp. /pneumatic drill.

Voice A (unidentified): ‘May is the most merciful of months.’
Voice B (Thought to be that of Warren Green currently henching in the Central Political Unit of the ISD): ‘But the scars of April must leave their mark.’
A: ‘Did the material get through?’
Green: ‘The concert will go ahead as planned.’
A: ‘Good. My people will be pleased. They are expecting a perfect performance. Are all the other pieces in pace?’
Green: ‘There are still some bodies, some players to be found. But we’re not expecting there to be any shortage, any problems…
A: ‘What? Warren, you should have had this all tied up by now.. [indecipherable]…yes…The conductor wants things brought forward. A month maybe more.’
Green: ‘Why?’
A: ‘What’s that?’
Green: ‘I said ‘why’?’
A: Just to make sure, all the instruments made it didn’t they?
Green: ‘There’s been a bit of a delay but…’
[drilling noise over shouting]
A: ‘…wit. Green, you do know who you’re working for here? I mean. Come on.
Green: ‘Look, percussion instruments are delicate things and…’
A: [indecipherable]…take a right here…Don’t fuck with us Green. We know all the fucking games ok?
Green: ‘I. What? Look. Everything’s under control, everything’s cool. Look why are things being moved?’
A: ‘Cool? Green Cool? I don’t want to have to inform the conductor of any delays. This is of utmost importance…
[Woman’s voice]: ‘ECH on the blue line sir.’
A: ‘About bloody time.’
Green: ‘I still need, the, er, notes.’
[Woman’s voice]: ‘Something about Friday…’
A: ‘Just get things sorted out Green.’

Studds folded one end of his mauve striped tie round and under the shorter end and frowned.
‘It depends on what you mean by ‘freedom’ of course. At a minimum that would mean the virtual absence of control and domination. But I don’t think you’re going to get that past your editor.’
The interviewer smiled and stroked a stray strand of polished hair behind her ear. ‘You might be right.'
Studds tied a Windsor knot and straightened it.
‘I know I am. John Stretham isn’t it. Your editor I mean?’
She tilted her head and half smiled.
‘It’s for the supplement - limited but very discerning,’ she said.
The Prof laughed and opened one of his desk’s drawers.
‘Just one last question. Something to, you know, round the piece off. Will you be buying any of the shares?’
‘I think you’d write, ‘He refused to be drawn on the issue..’. Anyway, I wouldn’t think your country’s, Financial regulator would let me. I don’t want another,’ he smiled, glanced out of the window at the steady rain and neon tinged crepuscule and closed the drawer, ‘…drama.’ He sighed and looked back at her.
‘Dismal place. Those towers the gas works out there. How do you, you know, keep up your famous spirits?’
‘O, we get by.’
Studds smoothed his linen suit and took his over-coat off the chair .
‘Well, you could accompany me to the ugly academics’ ball if you like. They’re opening up the new quad tonight, official function, Deans, Principal, mayor all the local dignitaries. But there’s free drinks if you’re not wowed by the social side of things…’
Caroline looked at her watch and raised her eyebrows.
‘Why not? Might be a story in it, who knows,’ she sighed and closed her ipad.
‘I doubt it. Get your things together and we’ll drive over there, anyway.’

As she started to put on her jacket she stopped to look again at the print of the Straightway Bank building that took up a large portion of space on the wall between the two bookshelves. The dramatic bottom-up perspective made the immense building loom and fill the sky with its broad gleam. It had been taken at dawn or dusk because the luminous low grey cloud was cut through with blood red light which shone in brilliant reflection all half way down the tower’s length. A large seagull had been caught in mid flight wheeling away over to the building’s right. There was a blurred outline of someone half turning their back from the window some fifteen floors up and the reflection of a jet stream splitting the sky glowed in higher gigantic windows.
Studds put his coat on and moved across the room. There were lesser buildings in the background and, underneath, written in large TNR, “Live for the moment. When you live in the belly of the beast, there’s not much else you can do.”
‘You’re still feel as if you’re in the belly of the beast then?’ she said standing up.
‘I could extend the metaphor…,’ he said and opened the door. ‘…but I think John would put a line through it.’
She leaned towards the picture and squinted.
‘You took the photo?’
‘It’s a hobby. No great skill required.’ They left the office and made their way out of the building.
‘I once nearly bought a photography book. It was called ‘Photography in a Week’ something like that and I thought “What? That long?”. It’s cheap, instantaneous.’ Their steps echoed in the bleached light of the long corridor.
In the car as they drew up into the new old quad’s car-park, ten minutes later, Studds said,
‘Caroline. There’s something…’
Caroline Duffy took Studds’ hand from her knee.‘Let’s not even fly over there, M.’