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Aaron White's comment to yesterday's post reminded me of something that fell out of a library book I once borrowed: several photos, I think four or five, of a young girl in various poses, obviously enjoying just being herself. Maybe I should have tried to trace her (or whoever was cherishing her photos) through the library but this was in a period when i was up to my neck in problems and wasn't thinking clearly. Or at least, not about other people's problems. Considering it later, the photos looked like they were taken in the 1960s, twenty years earlier, and they came to haunt me. When I needed a model for the doomed Avril Allard in Alan Moore's The Birth Caul, I remembered these images and, using them, I was able to recreate an authentic-seeming girl from their various angles and viewpoints. Perhaps my sympathetic sadness for somebody's loss of these lovely photos helped me to create the required tragic note.
"His sister Avril, 5 years older, wears black tights and a perfume called Midnight Passion. Smugly notices but does not acknowledge the mute worship of her brother's friends.
"is sat astride her boyfriend's motorcyle, when it hits the rear end of a lorry, 'doing the ton' along the Weedon Road."
"playground Mythology, our only truth, maintains that she is cut in two on impact, torso there to one side of the road, her perfect legs upon the other.""And still conscious, but gone to a beatific place beyond the pain. And smiling. An immaculate teen angel, dying there upon the glittering macadam when we loved her."
The Birth Caul was collected earlier this year along with Snakes and Ladders and My long interview with Alan Moore in The Disease of Language published in a neat hardcover from Knockabout, with design work by my pal Evans, who just about fell out with me over the whole thing. My pals, whatcha gonna do with them?