Review of “The Restoration Man”

The strongest writing is like the male half of a dancing duo: his job is to display the female. The writing’s job is to display the content, without calling attention to itself. In “The Restoration Man,” Simon John Cox does this with subtle precision and evocative imagery.

He composes sentences that flow so well they disguise the skill with which they were crafted. Every clause, every syllable, is placed so purposefully that the brain floats through the narrative uninterrupted by a shade of doubt, oblivious to the emotional osmosis that occurs between the lines.

And does it ever occur. Call me cold-hearted, but I’m not often “moved” by the weak attempts at poignancy that litter contemporary literature. But this story is not a weak attempt; it is a powerful success. This guy has got it.

The mood reminded me a little of Morvern Callar (novel by Alan Ramsey), although I’m not sure exactly why. Maybe because the way it was written was in such contrast to the main character? Maybe not…

Anyway, I liked it. Check it out.

“The Restoration Man” – Simon John Cox – Amazon $.99

Hi, I’d like to introduce myselves…

After spending the entire day fighting with my alter egos, Narcissus and Eeyore, I was ready to give up on writing a bio.

I flew through paragraphs of self-righteous, conceited, and delusional descriptions of myself before peddling back into self-loathing and disgust at my inflated self-image. I then hopped from one persona to the other, for several hours, trying to reconcile my confidence with true perspective (If you think you’re a good writer, you haven’t read enough). This microscopic reflection of my entire life exhausted any strong feelings I had in either direction and forced me to tell the truth instead:

Christina M. Grey is an alien princess from the planet of unEe-chiview. After losing a bet with her stepmother, Audrioles, she was banished to this galaxy to inhabit the body of an Earthling female. This cruel punishment for questioning the wisdom of her queen has been the setting for a trove of adventures, ironically, in curiosity.

Because she was born into the Royal Family of ickZelms, Her Highness is often perplexed and devastated by the lack of worship she receives from friends and lovers on Earth (and hilarity ensues). She uses these fantastic expectations and their inevitable consequences as material for her musical writing, which she offers as prayers to the gods, Truth and Sound, of her native universe, in hopes of being blessed with other members of a species like her own.

The princess crafts her thoughtful poetry from observations as a stranger on this planet and interactions with its inhabitants, confessing dismay and confusion, longing and frustration, delusions of grandeur, and the innate happiness of an eccentric soul in a hostile environment. The sensuous nature of her poems arises from extended periods of isolation, subsequent hypersensitivity to light, and sociopathic desire.

Her Majesty enjoys drinking carrot juice and dancing alone. She also enjoys silence, where she can be reborn. She dreams of one day building the perfect swing set for adults. She questions every moment, but forgets the answers past.

I’m still so green (around the gills?)

I am spinning. I think if I weren’t, I would nauseate myself. Husky Rescue keeps playing in my head, just this one part of a New Light of Tomorrow remix, but it might be the dehumidifier. I keep getting these twinges that turn into attacks of self-loathing and cynicism. I know it’s too early, but I can see the future. It’s a loop of the past week if I decide to stick this out. Do I really want misanthropy in doses even greater? Should I coyly play pretend I’m not offended by each traitor?

But then… why the hell am I offended? They’re just vengeful for my absence. They’re the ones that I abandoned when I couldn’t care less what happened. They don’t like the girl I am because I made her far from them. Their disdain is bittersweet but it’s not me who has to eat it.

I’ve no hatred left to spare; I spent it all on rites of passage. While they root for my despair, I must recall: they are the masses.

And the rest who break my heart, I will assume they have their reasons. I respect them all so much that it’s myself I’ll charge with treason.

So is life.

“Aren’t those just a waste of paper nowadays? Isn’t that just extra pollution?” she responded when I said I still subscribed to some “real” (versus internet) magazines.

My first problem with her reply: I’m not really sure that any energy we use in America is all that “clean” or “guilt free”. I think we should be limiting our consumption in more ways than our paper trails, because coal is not without its faults.

My second problem: So is life. This is all just one big waste of energy, without purpose or meaning or use, so should we all just kill ourselves? You decide which ways you most like to waste your energy and then you try to enjoy the destructive process that is time.

We should do our best to decrease. For some people, that means getting rid of the subscriptions to magazines they do not love; but for others, those magazines are the equivalent to an iphone or television set: sure, we could live without them, but they are farther up our lists than many items at the top of someone else’s. Everybody’s list is different, and until we are fighting for food and water, let’s be conscious of our glass houses.

All consumption is sin. “Morality” means being aware of that and striving to do better than is presently done. So stfu and get off my Juxtapoz.