CuiousPages - fiction and nonfiction
CuriousPages - fiction and nonfiction
I was walking along Branbrook Street, thinking about meeting Paul later that evening. Paul was my imaginary friend. Paul was all I had in life, at that moment. I decided to wear my blue check shirt. I ironed it specially yesterday evening. Yes, I would wear that shirt; it was my favourite. I decided that Paul would phone me at ten-thirty to arrange to meet me. It was then three-thirty in the afternoon; I still had plenty of time to get ready. Anyway, there I was, walking along Branbrook Street, thinking about Paul, my only friend, when a young boy approached me. I say he was young; he must have been fourteen or fifteen—something like that; I really can’t tell people’s ages these days, and people of that age seem to me like a different species; anyone below the age of about twenty-two seems like one of those aliens who inhabit this world along with the rest of us. For I am one of “you”, I would imagine—if you are one of “us”. But if you are one of those “young” alien species, then you are not one of “us”, but you will not know this yet; you will find it out at some later stage of your life.
So, this young boy approached me, handed me a black cardboard box, looked me in the eye and told me, “Don’t, whatever you do, look in there, mister,” and he walked on, leaving me standing there holding his box. The box did not seem heavy; in fact it felt light, almost as though it were empty. I looked over my shoulder and the boy was now out of sight. I resisted shaking the box, for I had this ridiculous notion that if I did, it might explode. Instead, I broke out into a sweat. Can you imagine it?—I started sweating, a grown man; well, grown as much as I ever would; in fact, for many years now, I’ve suspected I was actually shrinking.
There was a garden wall beside me. It occurred to me some people might simply put the box on the garden wall and walk on. And some people might simply think, “What a cheek, what a waste of my energy, clutching this box and carrying it around; I’m damned if I’ll do this,” and drop it to the pavement and walk on. Yes, we are all different. What a daft expression that is, because, of course, we are not all different. I have often thought just how similar to one another most of us are. Here I go again with this “us”. There was “us” and “them”, the “them” being that other, alien species who go around, wearing obscenely glowing skin and handing black boxes to people and telling them not to look inside. Anyway, I am not like that. Once the box was placed in my hand, I automatically assumed it was now my duty to look after it.
Back in the living room, Lily’s solitary goldfish, Matilda Smithe, was hovering in the goldfish bowl.
She hovered in that same spot for the past two hours, remaining motionless—except, that is, for the occasional flap of a fin, which was needed to counteract the slight propulsive effect of the steady trickle of water passing through her gills. And this she only did because it was absolutely necessary, it being a well‑known fact (among goldfish, that is) that you need to counteract this slight propulsive effect with an occasional fin‑flap in order to prevent your nose from eventually bumping into the side of the bowl.
She slowly gazed round the bowl at the usual sight of the bowl’s emptiness. She wondered why there were no other fish in her company. Then it occurred to her that her life seemed pointless, since there were no other fish for her to talk to or be with. She felt her usual aching desire to be with other fish, which would have made her life worthwhile; and without that, her life seemed to consist of this terrible emptiness—like living at the centre of an impenetrable barrier which it was impossible for her to pass through, or for others to enter.
While feeling this, she was gazing down at the living‑room carpet when she saw something that filled her with fear; she saw a vision of death in the living room. And this vision was the sight of herself lying there on the carpet. The vision shouted at her—Do it, do it—filling her with dread. Then she realized why she found the vision so alarming. It was because she was about to obey it; she really was! And that alarming voice continued shouting—Do it, do it.
She looked up to the surface of the water—Do it, do it—but kept on merely watching the surface. She glanced down to the carpet, then heard that vision’s voice again. But it seemed that some other voice within her was preventing her from obeying it. The vision’s voice was still shouting—Do it—but its voice was no longer alarming to her, for she now knew she was not going to obey it; she could not; that other voice within her was too strong—a voice that seemed to be commanding her to go on living, whatever happened; just go on living.
The vision of death faded and she was left gazing down at the empty carpet. She continued to simply hover—but not forgetting to occasionally flap one of her fins.

Nonfiction

Acupuncture Explained

Acupuncture Explained

Nonfiction. The book provides a clear, easy-to-read account of what Chinese acupuncture is, how it works, and what it can treat – all expressed in terms that can be understood by Western readers. It provides acupuncture students or patients with an overview of the entire subject. Read more>> 

The Trouble with Conversation

The Trouble with Conversation: Nonfiction. Understand what it is and is not possible to communicate about and why unpleasant people are an invention of our own mind.
A fascinating read for anyone who’s interested in everyday communication and the related relationship problems. Read more>> 

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Sketchbook
Nonfiction. My notes on the writing of fiction, on Chinese Medicine phenomena, on travel, people, dreams, and other topics. Read more>> 

 

 

 

Secrets of the Hidden Vessels

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Nonfiction. This book clearly explains Chinese acupuncture. It describes which parts of the Nei Jing are fact based, metaphorical, or untrue; identifies the conflicting Nei Jing theories on metabolism, and which are true or untrue; and key concepts such as the Chinese medicine organ functions are also clearly explained in relation to contemporary physiology.

The book provides students or practitioners with an indispensible guide to properly understanding the Chinese medicine of the Nei Jing. And it also enables Chinese medicine to be explained to patients using terms they can understand. Read more>> 

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine
Nonfiction. Articles and Essays on various aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine, mainly focusing on acupuncture. Read more>> 

Sawing up my sofa
An account of... well, sawing up my sofa. Features a series of step by step photos on how to saw up your sofa. Read more>>