Friday, 6 August 2010

Getting Your Nose Into A Good Dick

I thought I saw a nose on the back of a Dick: a UFO - not the one in the sky - the unidentified flying orifice nosing - smelling - its way round the spine of the Dick. And no, I haven’t been on the glue again. This is my fist dip into the speculative world – I hate the term, Science Fiction - of Philip K Dick. I know nothing about Dick, have never read sci-fi, I only bought the book in the first place because of its title: Flow My Tears, The Policeman said. A title I later found I’d misread. I thought it said: follow my tears. I’d already envisaged some distraught detective, stalked – his wet patches followed, literally – by a femme fatale, in a complete role-reversal of the standard crime novel format. No, more than that, a whole new genre of writing - a fusion of Tearjerker and Detective story - Cryme Fiction.
But seeing I couldn’t even read the title correctly, that might have been the end of it - and I’d never seriously intended to penetrate the Dick that deeply anyway. Not, that is, until I received an off-the-cuff remark from my next-door neighbour. The book was lying about (unopened) in my flat, when this neighbour eyed it, and said, ‘He - him on the cover - it could be you’. 
Is it the curly hair; is it the nose? I don’t know. But there is something. Now this is the second time I’ve been told that I look like a man on a book. The first was in a public library – I wanted to learn how to fit a toilet seat, so I’m browsing the books-for-sale in the children’s section; had my head in a book called, The Plumber – one of those illustrated children’s books on real-life professions (The Doctor, The Policeman, The Lighthouse Keeper, The Dustman and so on) – when this woman, a young mother, a complete stranger – pointed to the photograph of a plumber on the cover of The Plumber, and said, ‘You should buy that, you look like a plumber’. What, with this likeness and the Dick likeness: I'll be able to unblock noses. 

Plumber photographs © Chris Fairclough. 

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