A short excerpt from Over Which Scavenger Angels, my current novel-in-progress.* Lily, one of the main characters, is a photographer, at least on this world.
After ringing her cleaner, Lily packed an overnight bag, some sandwiches, and a bottle of decent Merlot. And then went back to the kitchen for a packet of prunes. Recently, she’d begun to read about ageing, the ‘never again’ of Simone de Beauvoir an antidote to Pilates porn. It felt important for an assessor to take with her an understanding of what it means to grow old, and frail. It felt as if it would make her a better assessor, though she wasn’t sure why. You could only mine an experience if you actually, well, experienced it, and hers would always be a pseudojourney into decline, however stiff her gait on rising. At least her vision was still sharp, or sharp enough, though she needed reading glasses now. For years she hadn’t left her house without a camera, but no longer, another sign that her time here was coming to an end. It was her way of readying herself, akin to the leave-taking from a slowly dying companion: rehearsing the irreversible, what people here call the incomprehensible, as though by dismantling the scenic elements one by one, detaching the lift lines, they could face the final curtain. And yet, here she was, trying to accustom herself to the loss of this wrinkled face, this draughty tower, this script. She had come to acquire a taste for irony. She fetched her Hasselblad.
Children’s writer Nick Green hears strains of My Way accompanying Lily’s rather ironical voice:
*Regarding my progress: I too have a taste for irony.