Little-sis is essay writing, and Pixi is too tired to talk and cook at the same time. She can only do one or the other. But having spent the whole day in front of her Mac, Little-sis is restless and keen to tell all sort of stories about the things she discovered on YouTube while procrastinating. Pixi ‘hmmm’s and nods and forces a dry giggle where necessary, until Little-sis asks the dreaded question: so how was your day?
Most of her day had passed Pixi by in wandering aimlessly at the anti-climatic London Book Fair. Thank you, Pixi says to the uninspiring, snooty authors she met. Thank you, and then to the great load of leaflets with which she did in her fractured spine carrying around a maze of an exhibition hall. She'd felt like the Minotaur -ugly, stupid, sluggish. Trapped in an elaborate prison without a friend in the world, and for what? Coz his dad pissed off the gods and his mum fell for a bull.
“Greek myths are cruel and twisted,” she says. “I guess they mirror life in some perverse way.”
“It was disspointing. Another disappointment to add to my collection. A collectorrrr of disappointments is what I’m rapidly becoming.”
“Well you just log them into a rapidly growing mental archive and browse through them like you would a sticker collection, from time to time.”
“No! How was it disappointing?”
Pixi puts down the soup ladle because the effort that’s going into stirring the lentil soup is hindering her thought process.
“I encountered for the first time, the greediness of authors,” she offers after some pondering. “It was an ugly kind of greediness for recognition as an author. And the ugly pretension of having been published. And the ugly desperation to put their name to whatever human experience they had communicated in their book and lay claim to it as if it made them unique.”
“Oh,” Little-Sis understands. She is one of the few people who understand Pixi straight away though you wouldn’t think so.
“It made me not want to be an author.”
“You’re not writing to be an author. You’re writing because you love writing.”
“I’m not writing,” Pixi picks up the ladle again. And true enough, she hasn’t been. Instead she’s been spenindg a great deal of time in the kitchen. To justify putting off what she really ought to be doing, she immerses herself in elaborate recipies. What’s more, she refuses to cut corners. From cheesecake buiscuit base to dashi for Ramen, she makes it all from scratch.
“Why not!?” Little-sis stomps. “Write!”
Pixi wishes it was that easy, just as she wishes the world was as she’d ordered it in her reality. But then if everyone got that wish, where on earth would we be? Scrap that thought. Writing:
For Pixi, writing is not about laying claim to a human experience that makes the writer unique because they’ve written it. Writing and literature and discourse and criticism...to her, all these things are a great pool which belongs to humankind. It is ever growing and ever evolving.
She ponders more deeply, all of the above, in bed that night. With her arms wrapped around herself the way she always does when she feels helpless, and in that state of mind, she crosses the line into sleep-space. Just as she does, the rapidly receding wisps of consciousness register a comforting sensation before total black-out. This sensation is that of an arm resting itself over her waist, and the warmth of a body against hers. Of course, her mind’s response to this is none other than, ‘what a nerd I’ve become.’ Because random is how you respond in the world of topsy-turvy.
But nerd or not, Pixi has a point. Writing belongs to no one. Our unique experiences (which we can never communicate fully because everyone will interpret them differently by definition of their difference) don't belong to us. They belong to a great human discourse which needs to grow with history in man's eternal effort to understand, navigate and re-orientate himself through life. It is like the 1001 Arabian Nights, which have no known author or date or place of inception, but which has instead a fluid, hotch potch, never-endable narrative that reflects the human discourse in its myriad of experiences and often nonsensical interpretations and that underlying theme of the desire to be saved, in whatever shape or form.
Coincidentally, this is Pixi's first thought of the next morning, when she wakes up. Being saved. And with it, she turns over under her covers to find the Djinn Boy sitting on her bed against the wall.
"Oi!" she yells more in startlement than any pre-meditated anger "Get off my bed!"
"Mmmmm" he stretches. "Goodmorning to you too."
Pixi is ready to yell at him again but can't. Not after how she was mean to him last time, and how she regretted it, and then how she felt last night, and how she is desperate for him not to disappear again. Lowering her tone a few notches she returns his goodmorning a bit shyly, and then after a pause, continues, "This is highly inappropriate."
"'Why?' -he says! How long have you been there?
"I slept like this, and I have a really sore neck now."
"That's what happens when you try to pull something!"
"I wasn't pulling anything. You looked really lost yesterday, the way you were holding yourself. So I wanted to hold you." Pixi's jaw falls open when he says this. As if trying to protect her modesty, she snuggles tightly into her duvet, and glares at him like a coccooned worm. "Don't worry, I didn't. I just sat here and mentally transmitted lots of warmth in your general direction." Pixi heaves a sigh of relief at this. The Boy continues, "Falling asleep wasn't part of the plan. Sorry." Pixi notices then that he is wearing a loose fitting wife beater over tight fitting jeans. Those must have been really uncomfortable to spend the night in, she thinks.
"No, I'm sorry," Pixi then says eventually. "I was horrible last time."
"It's ok. I understand," is the tad disappointing response to her pre-meditated appology. "In any case, I have no other option now, so I better."
"What’s that supposed to mean?"
"It means I made my choice."
"I chose this side."
"I don't understand."
"You will," the boy gets off Pixi's bed as if to change the topic. "One day." He then commences in taking off his wife-beater and reaching for a grey t-shirt which has been folded neatly on Pixi's ironing table. Also on Pixi’s ironing table is Sufi-cat, with paws folded neatly under her, fast asleep. She emits a fat, grumpy ‘mmph’ sound when the boy pulls his t-shirt out from under her bum. He observes that the grey t-shirt is covered in grey fur, and then shrugs as he pulls it on. Pixi looks away while he's topless and voices her curiosity about his curiously human choice of clothes for a Djinn.
"Will you quit calling me Djinn!" he says.
"Well isn't that what you are?"
"How would you like it if I called you a Turk?"
"People always call me that. They call me a Cypriot and sometimes even a Greek. I don't mind, really."
"Well I do. Hey can I borrow some socks?" before waiting for Pixi's response, the boy pulls open all her drawers untill he discovers the right one. "He he he, I love the way your underwear's all neatly folded and colour coordi-"
With light-speed agility, Pixi chucks a big, brown pillow at his face. It succeeds in shutting him up but then draws peals of laughter from him.
"Stop it! Why're you such a damn tease?!"
"I'm sorry," he ghasps, trying to catch his breath. "I couldn't help myself. It's so cute!"
"Shutup and get your tail out my bedroom!"
"Idiot." he bends over to pick up a sock-ball. "I don't have a tail."
"Pish! What kinda Djinn hasnt got a tail? Hah! I found your name, Tail-less!" This time the boy chucks a sock-ball at Pixi. She ducks it.
"Firstly, half-Djinns don't have socks -ah I mean tails. So sort out your facts! And secondly, gimme back my sock!"
Just then, the bed-room door opens with some effort (since its top hinge is still broken) and Litlle-sis stands in the doorway with mouth agape and in her big-fat PJ bottoms that she loves but Pixi hates. She seems to be trying to emmit a sound but none comes out.
Boy: "I can explain! She took my sock!"
Pixi: "I can explain! He's not what you think he is!" they say simultaneously. Sufi-cat, who has woken up on the ironing table, yawns and fatly licks her paw in blissful oblivion.
Boy: "Not WHAT she thinks? What the hell does that mean? And I suppose you know what I am?"
Pixi: "I never took your sock you stupid, stupid! You threw it at me. And any way, it’s my sock!" they both say again simultaneously, and then they continue to bicker at each other until Little-sis speaks. This is what she says:
"Shuuuuut uuuuup!" This is what they do. Then Little-sis continues, "In the 17th Century, there were 14,500 languages in the world. Today there are only 2,000." with that she exeunts, back to her Mac in her work station, where her never ending essay is getting her way too down to give a hoot about who or what was throwing sock-balls at Pixi.