Monday, August 18, 2014
Sometimes I find passages, written as fiction, that return me to real life. Here is a boy and the paragraph I wrote for him inside a novel I never published. The place is San Miguel.
Nothing was neutral in San Miguel. The place was full of opinions—the murmur of fountains behind padlocked doors, the inscription of grills high on windows, the casual flamboyance of the mariachi men, the coruscation, in the distance, of abandoned mining towns. The lintels above the ornate doors were carved with news of vanished families, rose spires pierced the sky, the smoke of the helotes carts was weather, and every day a boy wearing a yellow cabled sweater and shiny shoes carried a moose puppet across the cobbles of the town.
“Where do you think he’s going?"
“I don’t know.”
“What do you think he wants?”
The failure here? The static quality of the dialogue. Too much like a poem, which is not how real people speak.