Finding Sera Marshall

Autographed.

Met young British Turkish writer Sera Marshall in the Café Liebling in Berlin. According to her blog, Sera is ‘pretty and blunt’ (she is) and she has published a book titled “Short Truths”, a beautiful little thing full of moments of mundane absurdity:

«The last time he flew over from America cabin pressure could not be maintained. All the way from Philadelphia to London people were popping. Ear bleeds, nose bleeds. Aggressive first-class air stewards trying to assist with waxy, snotty, bloody tissues.»

I had a bitter lemon, Sera had an espresso, and her friend, an Italian Turkish (Turkish Italian?) film student, had a cappuccino. Later, Sera ate something with small shapely hands. The sun was burning, it was a little unreal sitting there with the two women. Her friend didn’t take her sun glasses off and I was wondering if she had any eyes. I was breathing through a straw and looking at the little book thinking that I didn’t even have a little book to offer as a gift. All I had were stories and opinions that I seem to have told so many times that I could taste the mould on my tongue as the morsels rolled out of my mouth and fell to the ground, while almost everything that the two women said appeared as fresh and new as the sensual splinters that fill the book “Short Truths”:

«Close but not too close. Just like how I had put my arm in his. Three hands dug deep into pockets for warmth.  One hand out, cold.»

Searching for Sera Marshall in that little book you will indeed find her that’s why it’s a good book.

Numbered.

Later in the afternoon, I continued weaving my own Long Truth: looking at a new interview with me (no 14), a paper for a conference, a proposal for a fellowship allowing me to spend more time making things up. Online banter in between, and when the sun set, I put my legs up and finished The Big Sleep for the umpteenth time, coiling myself around an invisible cigarette. In L.A. that night, all guys were ageless, all concerns were dirty rackets, all truths were short and precise, down to the last drop of blood. In the little book I read: «He hit himself in the eye.» Marlowe could’ve said that. He couldn’t have said this though:

«On the 9:40 to Karaköy. Two slate grey dorsel fins, almost synchronised, broke the pale green of the Bosporus and with (what I assume was) a sharp, deep intake of breath retreated back into the depths of the water.»

“You talk too damn much, Marlowe,” I said to myself.


Quotes from: “Short Truths”, written by S A Marshall, February 2012, available from: A.Gallery, Glasgow. Sera Marshall is on Twitter and on Tumblr. Posted at ReviewForward, “a new online initiative for indie authors, for self published authors and for book bloggers.”  Photo: Sera Marshall.

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