Speculations Sans Domicile Fixe

Speculations Sans Domicile Fixe

A Story by Raef C. Boylan
"

True story...

"

NOTHING gets me choked up more than the impenetrable barriers that exist between people all day and all night long is what I’m thinking as I step into the subway down the slope with all the other wage slaves making their way into the city centre you can tell most of us come from an office because of the suits and the excess weight and the way they bark into their mobile phones for f***s sake Lara can’t it wait until I get home and s**t like that not me I’m in trainers and a thin sweatshirt and it’s seriously f*****g cold the kind where if you inhale through your nose you can feel the nostril hairs stiffening up to breaking point it’s my own fault for not wearing a coat except that a coat would make me sweaty so really my body’s extremism is to blame

 

REFLECTING on the cold makes me glance up ahead to where the stairs block the view of inside the subway tunnel but if you see the crowds veer to one edge you know there’s a homeless person sitting on the opposite side and they curve as one like a flock of geese or gazelle evading a predator so the process of searching for change in pockets and battered rucksack begins and I catch the guy’s eye so he has advance notice that I’ll be approaching him so that he doesn’t think I’m trying to nick his sleeping bag or something

 

TWO QUID followed by a cigarette and a brief conversational exchange and I’m feeling bad because two pounds isn’t going to solve his life and I’m on my way to collect a parcel of Taking Liberties dvds from the post office that I’ll give people for xmas and they probably won’t even watch because it’s a semi-political documentary and I go through this guilt nearly every day and every subway because I’m cursed with overactive imagination which re-constructs the lives of others in my head and my friends wonder how I can feel pity for the whole world well it’s because I’ve been the whole world which surely makes it selfish

 

ALTRUISM doesn’t exist because objectivity is a human impossibility which seriously sucks and that kind of thing makes me cry too

 

A SIGN in a subway window not the kind tainted with urine where a man without residence sits and ponders the icy gravel digging into his buttocks the kind of subway that sells sandwiches tells me that it’s £1.29 for a coffee and I think about the homeless guy and how he can afford coffee now because I gave him money but he probably won’t see the sign since he told me the best shed in which to bed down is in the opposite direction and he shouldn’t spend that on coffee anyway even if it is warming because it’s less substantial than say a foot-long sandwich and suddenly I’m angry with all the office workers who could surely spare £1.29 even if it is two weeks until xmas and I’ve almost passed the bright lights of the subway caught up in my rant when I realise that it’s time to drop faith in my species and practise what I preach

 

[inwardly]

 

SHAKING badly close to dropping the coffee I carry the steaming cup back to the other type of subway pleased with the free cookie that came with it preparing for the awkwardness that always accompanies these scenes where I try to divert from the idea of charity and make it seem like they’re doing me a favour he seems grateful for the gesture and I walk back up the slope for the second time leaving him to balance cup and cookie in his lap

 

HATING myself as usual whenever I’m in the presence of other people I continue towards the post office in slightly more of a rush now to make it before closing time and the whole time I’m asking myself does this make me a decent person that I did what they didn’t and I get so pissed off with myself because it took barely any time for the self-interest to infiltrate like it always does and the overactive imagination kicks in as a distraction from all the people and I start trying on all the different ways that I’ll recount this to my girlfriend which gets me even madder because here I am looking for reward already why the hell couldn’t the act itself be enough

 

I VOW to never tell her because that’s what decency is being able to suppress the urge to share a burden or bask in praise and if you can feel good without someone having to inform you that you are then you’ve achieved an ideal and now I’m telling you so I have a long way to go but I went four weeks and it’s a start


© 2008 Raef C. Boylan



Author's Note

Raef C. Boylan
NB: "sans domicile fixe" is French for homeless ('no fixed residence')

Does the lack of punctuation cause problems, or does the style work? Thanks.
The upper case words don't spell out a message by the way...at least I don't think they do...

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I don't particularly care for the lack of periods and so forth. I believe that the writing here is more important than that. Or am I just an example of the person you speak of. Maybe we should just accept things as they are. Do what we can and get on with it without the auto-trumpet blaring what we gave today.
I suppose that is what it means in the bible when they say, give your alms in secret.
As usual, this author is far more than he realizes. In my epistles to and from you I sense a man who is defeated, reduced to a spectator. A loser of love and money.
Yet, this has touched me. much in the same way as Average Issue.
If you never make a dime with your work, it will be no fault of mine, but I really like your style, Mr. Boylan.
You have a formidable voice that is not so common among the tables in this Cafe.
This writing is particularly special to me because I have a real knowledge of the Bum on the Street.
........where a man sits and contemplates the icy gravel digging into his buttocks...........
Really, who do we know who takes that long of a thought about the less fortunate, or homeless, or stupid, or dangerous?

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I knew there was something else about this... been bugging me since I reviewed it -
Hitchcock says: `if you introduce a gun - someone must get shot`
and this is very cleverly achieved here - you introduce the `gun` of altruism, and kind of shoot yourself in the foot with it ... yeah?
brilliant really innit? It may not've been intentional... but the end result...
seek and find - nice
blogging or reviewing? - I don't care - but interesting all the same

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

`xmas` I just question whether you would actually think this word as `X-mass' - certainly has a kind of down-playing effect being a commercialised way of saying Christmas. Just a thought but in view of the homeless guy, using Christmas would give a little more to the story-line? As you're about to get the prezzies in ... then I can see maybe you wish to avoid and religious context... hmm, interesting
`time for the self interest to infiltrate ` - self-interest(?)
the narrative conveys a great sense of insecurity which extends to that of humankind:
`the impenetrable barriers that exist between people`
`ALTRUISM doesn't exist because objectivity is a human impossibility which seriously sucks and that kind of thing makes me cry too`
this is an interesting presentation of `complexity arising out of simplicity` - confronting issues and rushing to work - `caught up in my rant`
You give the impression that his was quickly scribbled-down as soon as you arrive at your desk... and as such contains a certain immediacy that would otherwise have been lost ..?
good write
`I catch the guy's eye so he has advance notice that I'll be approaching him so that he doesn't think I'm trying to nick his sleeping bag or something` - nice humorous touch here too!

and... it's neat the way you `wrap up` the altruism point- considering regard to reward or the recognition of a kindly act



Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I don't particularly care for the lack of periods and so forth. I believe that the writing here is more important than that. Or am I just an example of the person you speak of. Maybe we should just accept things as they are. Do what we can and get on with it without the auto-trumpet blaring what we gave today.
I suppose that is what it means in the bible when they say, give your alms in secret.
As usual, this author is far more than he realizes. In my epistles to and from you I sense a man who is defeated, reduced to a spectator. A loser of love and money.
Yet, this has touched me. much in the same way as Average Issue.
If you never make a dime with your work, it will be no fault of mine, but I really like your style, Mr. Boylan.
You have a formidable voice that is not so common among the tables in this Cafe.
This writing is particularly special to me because I have a real knowledge of the Bum on the Street.
........where a man sits and contemplates the icy gravel digging into his buttocks...........
Really, who do we know who takes that long of a thought about the less fortunate, or homeless, or stupid, or dangerous?

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

At first the lack of punctuation caused a problem because I didn't realize that this was the style, and I was trying to read it like a real story. But once I realized what it was, I really got into it. It's easy to follow once you realize that there's no punctuation at all. It's just getting INTO the rhythm that causes the problem, but really only for the first two lines.

I like the way this is approached, with the first word being caps locked and the rest of the paragraph essentially being a run-on thought, kind of the way thoughts really ARE inside someone's head. This writing makes me wish I'd thought to write something like this, because it's similar to the sort of thing I'd do (but with a different subject matter).

I like that you used French in the title! But that's just a personal preference. It'll become quite obvious the more you read of this new style of Leatherboy that I'm rather obsessed with the French language...

I like the point of the story too. It hits me in a very specific spot, something a little too close to the inside of my head. It's partially a relief that other people think the same way...want to do something good and then can't stop from thinking about how to earn a reward from it, going over in one's head the number of ways to tell the story so that it sounds nonchalant, like you're just mentioning it casually, yet in such a way that it'll earn praise...or, more often with me, how will it affect my karma? Which always leads to the issue of, "Why am I thinking of how this will affect my karma? If you do something just to have better karma that's selfish and undoes the good deed", which is usually followed with, "So what? I didn't do it for the karma in the first place so if I don't get good karma out of it because I thought about that why would I care?" But partially it's embarrassing...I, like the speaker, hate that I think that way, and don't like to admit it, and try to shove it away when I do think like that.

Hm. Hopefully that made some semblance of sense...I'm very tired right now...

Anyway, I really like this piece. Quite a bit actually. Good job on it; you're an amazing writer.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

i read the caps from bottom to top and i think it's a secret message
I'm gonna dig out my decoder and see what it means although i'm a little scared that it could be some hidden thing where like the second i decode the message it will like brainwash me since i secretly believe that you are god or something and i'll go to the poorhouse cause i'll start giving money away every day to the homeless guy who sits at my exit off the highway or better yet his kids when he brings them and makes them sit on the guardrail
i vow (hating, shaking inwardly) a sign, altruism: two quid reflecting nothing. it's my poor attempt at grammar forgive me boylan for i know not what i do but see i think it does reflect something that you care enough with that overactive imagination of yours to even have the thoughts whereas others are too caught up in whatever their lives amount to that they don't even consider others let alone little things that could help and well i'm rambling a bit but i mean really when dont i ramble
but see when i read this all i could hear from the voice in my head was jane eyre saying "little things recall us to earth" cause i was really getting into your story, your thoughts and being an insider to the brain of someone who shares the overactive imagination and carries out peoples lives way farther than most and i realized its almost time for me to leave to take my test that determines if i go to cali with my girl or get stuck here without her so i guess i have to shut up now for a bit but i really liked the style of this and the way i was transported through your thoughts.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Yeah I tried to decode it. I guess it's funny that it's something that I would try and do.

Of course well the sentiment is really good I just thought about the review I gave. I usually myself don't help people out. I just don't want to give the impression that I do it's just something personal that's all. But I do agree with it in this ocassion.

Damn computer I just lost this really long review I bumped something it totally fucked me over f**k f**k f**k. Okay I'll try to remeber.

It's funny about the quid thing because the first thing that I thought of was a giant squid. And how quid and squid are sort of the same. I don't know where the origian of that word comes from but here me out o.k. Well it's like this everybody want's a piece of this fish. Some people get a lot but some people want more and more and it's like they keep going deeper and deeper to get more because that's where the huge mother-f*****g squid live. But the things they sacrifice is light. And that light could be what guide us from eating and killing each other. But they don't care there going to get more quid or squid and f**k everyone else.

It's cool that you did your deed. And it is kind of fucked up that we want to hear that we did a good job. It's kind of like the guy that bakes really good bread or makes something that's really cool. Why can't you just be happy with by yourself. You know that's it's really good but you want to share it with everyone. Maybe it's just the guy that you were with that doesn't want to be forgotten and all. Because he's reduced to less then an animal.

See I think of the people that I did good deeds for. The most I ever did for most people was let them in my car and drive them across state. Now across a state like North Dakoato or a few others takes like three or four hours to get across. For the most part there's really nothing to look at or see. So if your rider will let you they'll start telling you things. But the time spent sharing the same air the same feelings maybe this is how humans really connect to one another. There are a few other instance that I can think of but sex comes to mind at least the one that I can talk about. How humans take on one another and become something more. Like sharing DNA. And even if it's just for that moment it's like the other person is encoded in you forever or however long you live.

So back to the man. See it's like he was in you and your in him. But it's like there's a part of him that's kind of pissed off that other people don't care dont' think. And yet it's like that's the part that wants other people to know what you did. That it's o.k. for you to want to feel praise. Or at least that's what I get from it.

It's kind of like the subway has the DNA of all those other people. Those people that have servants for everthing. Those that don't cook for themselves those that don't want to dirty themselves with other details. Those people that are dead. But are living high eating and drinking something that quid can buy for them.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I liked it. You gave us an insight into this character's emotions and brought life to an issue we all go through at one time or another. Why do we give if not for some way to benefit ourselves? anyway good job.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ah I think this is great piece and something I've wondered over a few times myself. The lack of punctuation is great for adding a quick frustrating pace to the text when reading. You spoke clear and you spoke true. Well done!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This really reminds me of Jack Kerouac. Its very honest, a day in the life i should say. I love how you talk about the homeless man in the subway, and then you see the sign for coffee, and realize that your good deed can now buy him something warm to drink. This is a very good write, and the lack of punctuation gives it a very authentic feel, such as thoughts might flow from the brain.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 6, 2008
Last Updated on May 23, 2008

Author

Raef C. Boylan
Raef C. Boylan

Coventry, UK, United Kingdom



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Hey there. RAEF C. BOYLAN Where Nothing is Sacred: Volume One www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/where-nothing-is-sacred-volume-i/1637740 I can also .. more..

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A Story by Raef C. Boylan