9 thoughts on “Everyday – Lee Rourke


    “— as if kismet had reared its ugly head, out of sheer boredom if anything.”

    Just this minute read this story. Matt Hamilton is the narrator and tells us convincingly of his random coffee-cup circles on a London A-Z to determine walks for him to follow as exactly as possible. The first attempt brings a meeting with Irina who turns out to have ultra-raunchy desires that she asks Matt to quench, and she reads from a book that promises consubstantiation with London itself if you walk every street in the A-Z. A telling study of psychogeography. À la M. John Harrison (here), Iain Sinclair, W.G. Sebald (here), Richard Long (my review of ‘Jackdaws’ here)…
    My own synchronicities with this Rourke is that I published the world’s first blank story in 2002 (Nemonymous) and yesterday, yes yesterday! I decided to start a similar random systematic walking around the unknown roads of Clacton away from the seashore where I usually roam and three of my photographs from that trip around the Gorse Lane industrial area were shown yesterday here: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2018/10/11/blue-sky-thinking-2/ My wife accompanied me, and there was no sign of Irina.


    “He looked at the clock that hanged from the building opposite.”

    …being a hint for the eventual fate of Aaron Farrington at the end of this vignette? In real life, purely coincidentally, someone of this name later became a film director, I note. So maybe not. Here he is depicted in the attritional job of being an advertising sandwich-board man on the streets who obsesses about a Rourke girl who passes him regularly… His sandwich boards, incidentally, now seem to be exhibited vertically end to end in one of my recent photos to which I linked above yesterday.


    “If only you could understand how mundane my life is. I get up. I commute. I sit at my lousy desk all morning acting on orders like a drone; speaking with people I have nothing in common with.”

    Nothing in common with? They are acting like one of the same desked drones as you are, and speaking with similarly uncommon-with people…. feeding pigeons at lunchtime, too, perhaps. Drones now disguised as pigeons, since this was written? A clay stool for sedentary stalkers?


    “But that wasn’t the point:”

    It is a revelatory journey I am following, to an idea’s germ here but from a later novel that I have already read. A sort of retrocausation along my own point of view…


    A cross between a Horror Story (my bread and butter in Reviewing is of Horror Anthologies) and an archetypical Rourkey understatement of the deadpan art of stoical boredom and tedious jobs. How is that mixture possible?
    You will not forget easily the circumstances of the woman who sits on the lap of a punter in a Soho pub, for example. One of those reading moments you wonder how you’ve missed till now from this 2007 book.


    “David Davis didn’t care though;”

    Another striking admixtue of genuinely effective horror (now even more in the ancient thematic tradition of the Pan Book of Horror Stories volumes) and a tedious office job, mainly photocopying — “…” — photocopying perhaps the Proustian self that is you or the future when every David Davis stinks to high hell?

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