The greatest exile is to be banished from the heart of one you yearn for; so much of art has been created with the fire of longing. To be on the cusp of winning—its greatest appeal—but to risk losing it—well, there’s no suffering quite like it. Or so we tell ourselves in the heat of the moment.
I love characters who think they’re so much smarter than they are. I suppose as someone who’s always suspecting there’s a lot I don’t know, it’s great fun to see the world from the point of view of someone who never doubts that they’re on top of things when they so clearly aren’t. It makes great comedy—Pete & Dud are a terrific example.
But it’s also perfect for the slow-motion smash-up that is noir. Even in a short piece like this you can see the spiral going down. Like his misunderstanding of Romeo & Juliet. Obviously he never finished reading it. But he takes on the Bard like a fashionable coat, thinks he looks good in it—and never looks below the surface.
Like most noir protagonists, he never takes that step back to see reality. You have to actively ignore the truth of things. And you’ll always pay the price of that blindness. Always.
Bio: A writer of bleakly noirish tales with a bit of grim humour, Graham Wynd can be found in Dundee but would prefer you didn’t come looking. An English professor by day, Wynd grinds out darkly noir prose between trips to the local pub. His novella Extricate is out now from Fox Spirit Books. Drop by his Facebook page and give it a like.
Exiles: An Outsider Anthology is OUT NOW.