Leila Allison has been down in the bowels of LS Towers again – she sneaked in under cover of night and we found her in the early dawn light clutching this little gem. This is what she said:
I’m in the odd habit of writing the following on matchbook covers and cocktail napkins: “Gotta great this in my head.” I never specify the “this” because I (as always) erroneously (perhaps drunkenly) believe that I will remember the “this” in the future. It’s just my way of wasting murdered trees one piece at a time, and is probably telling of a severe underlying psychological problem.
Yesterday, however, one of my errant matchbook/cocktail napkin thises came home to me. The idea of a Midas who turns all he touches into something less popular than gold sounds like a Great This I once had, but had to let go due to what Fred Vogel describes (I paraphrase here, but not by much) as my “Judy Jailbait Doll Obsession.” Personalities aside, it is probably for the best that Nik Eveleigh got the this down first, for I would have bungled the concept and probably would have had to enlist the aid of a ghost or a cat or even a Judy Jailbait doll to get me out of trouble.
Midas Brown is a canny piece about deconstruction. Let’s pester the author with a loaded question or two.
Q: Jimmy is transformed into Midas by external social alchemy. Do you agree with the idea that Free Will is only as effective as the mind behind it, or are we all on predetermined paths no matter how smart of dumb we are?
Q: Measuring Midas’ mood with the cessation of the rain and the changing odors caused by such is a skillful technique that marks the narrative stride for stride until meeting at denouement. What caused you to make that choice?
Reply from Nik:
Big thanks to Leila for her kind words and for bringing my friend Jimmy back out into the light. For the record, there’s not a chance in my opinion that she’d have bungled this particular this…
In answer to the endless threat of negative social alchemy I’m a firm believer that social alchemy can be (and often is) of a positive disposition. Jimmy was lost in space and a gentle nudge away from the world was all it took to start the momentum. Without the gravity of friends and family to weave their magic and bring him back towards earth the spiral began. I think there’s hope for him though because I’m also a firm believer that destiny can be shaped – we’re not on rails, but habit triumphs over change too often.
The weather is an interesting one. It was definitely raining the day I wrote it and I had a clear picture in my mind of a man staring out from a shack into heavy rain. The breaking of the heat, the petrichor from the first drops of rain and then the muddy, damp evenings were certainly a product of my memory of Johannesburg summer storms and it seemed to fit the mood. Much of what I do is a happy (when it works) accident, but there was certainly a sense of renewal and change that accompanied the end of the rain. I hope one day I can find the words to tell Jimmy’s story – I’ve never given up on him entirely.