Brighouse is the new Bohemia for writers. It’s ideal. You couldn’t ask for a place more suited to the work than this. There’s just so much artistic history buzzing around in the ether; so many stories, so many classic, lively, star-spangled anecdotes.
Like, remember the time when Mark Twain had a holiday cottage here? Well, not remember, exactly, but you must have heard about it, right?
Or when Sartre had a habit of visiting, took regular walks along the canal, before expounding existentialist dictums in one of those pubs by the bridge?
How about something a bit more recent, then? Like, when Hunter S. Thompson stayed at the Holiday Inn, but got thrown out – so the paper said – due to ‘gun control issues’.
Or something even more famous, somebody even more entrenched in the canon. Dickens. Did you ever hear that he had another mistress, and that she lived around here? Was a pretty big scandal, in its day, or would have been, had he not paid a substantial sum of money to keep it under wraps. Accidentally founded a work house, I think.
Because that was kind of a big deal.
Well, how about that time Woody Allen turned up to give a screenwriting seminar in the town hall, and then surprised everyone with an impromptu jazz concert? That was only a couple of years ago.
But talking of jazz, how about that F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, gracing the library with their presence, back at the tail-end of the Twenties. Closing Commercial Street down for an evening to throw a sensational outdoor party.
No, I don’t have photographs.
There might be some in the town archives, I suppose.
Look, do your own research. Check the local history section of the newspaper, or something.
Yes, I’m sure that’s what I did.
What are you trying to say?
I am a serious writer, and I resent such accusations.
Yes, I write what I know. I write what I see. I write the truth, plain and simple. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
So, that’s that?
You really don’t want to publish it?
Well, that’s fine, if you don’t want to get in on the ground floor. It might have been quiet for a few years around here, but, I’m telling you, this whole writing scene’s gonna be massive, any day now. It’ll be like printing money. There’ll be book-signings and readings and all kinds of marketing opportunities.
And you’re absolutely sure you don’t want a share?
Because even Hemingw-
Are you still there?