Generica Lane

Create a piece of imaginative, discursive or persuasive writing that ENDS with the image above.

*

‘But enough about me,’ he says. ‘You had a question.’

‘What’s it like? When you get there.’

He thinks for a minute and says, ‘You stand in a narrow laneway between streets, the walls covered in graffiti by a multitude of hands. At the far end you can see traffic, buildings, the open back of a van. Everything you’d expect at one end of a city laneway.

You start walking down the alley, anxious to get to the other end. You don’t look at the garish picture which, though not to your taste, have been done with some skill. Your mind is occupied with what the street ahead will be like and what kind of people will be on it. Will you stand out? Will you see people you know? (You think of some people you really don’t want to see, people whom it would be distinctly awkward to see in this situation.

At some point you look back over your shoulder and see the street you just left, still behind you, still with traffic and pedestrians, the same things you’d been doing a second ago going on.

What’s to think about? You’re just in a laneway between two similar streets which represents two points in a day in your life. This alley is so unremarkable it doesn’t even have a name, and your time in it so un-unusual tht it doesn’t rate your full attention.

And yet the street at the other end, your destination street, is getting further away. Or maybe you’re getting further away from it. Shouldn’t you have walked the whole length of the alley by now? And how can there be so much graffiti? Shouldn’t someone have cleaned it off.

You keep walking but – you know what I’m going to say. You never reach that end of the alley. After a while (and the length of time depends on your personality) you begin to pay attention to the pictures on the walls. The faces in their super-saturated colours, the tags that make you wonder what was so wrong with the name parents had given the tagger. The windows high above the graffiti still glow with light. An occasional shadow passes across them. Blinds are let down for the end of the day, or maybe it’s the beginning.

Time has lost its shape for you.

You’re tired, but not in your body. You’re tired because you know that you’re going to spend this, this dead time, exactly as you spent your living time – hurrying to a place that’s just like the one you left, ignoring the milions of inbetween moments where you’re shown the faces and works of others in exactly the same posiiton, and believing that this eternal hurrying toward, the gaining, gaining, gaining, is all of it.’

‘But – that can’t be it, surely? Just that?’

‘It’s funny,’ he says, before getting off, ‘I was just going to say that to you.’

(c) http://www.divingbelleducation.com

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