'How To Navigate Around A Boulder' by Alison Woodhouse
The dictionary says a boulder is a detached, rounded or worn rock.
It’s a noun.
That’s the problem. I’m a verb you see; hugging, talking, crying.
Try and be a noun too, he says.
Two nouns with no verb? I don’t think so. Like cat and mat. They just exist, side by side. But if the cat leaps, or the mat flies, wouldn’t that be so much better?
Assuming the cat or the mat always has to be doing something, he says. Maybe they’re happy, you know, as they are? Something a verb would never understand because they have to be busy all the time.
Don’t you think it’s sad for a noun not to have a verb to give it a bit of life?
A noun may prefer an adjective, says the big boulder.
But they’re so passive, I tell him, and you’d better watch out, they’re a suck up until they turn nasty.
My friends say a boulder is a particularly solid kind of noun, not suited to a me shaped verb. They’re right and it should be a relief but it’s just weird. I’m hanging on my own, you see?
I make soup of something, watch the gogglebox. I want to call him but that’s me verbing. I grab my jacket and walk up the road. I don’t lock the door. If I get burgled the police will come and I’ll have someone to talk to.
The first day isn’t too bad.
The second is worse.
It goes on for ages. Shivering, feeling weird, not eating my soup. I never get burgled even though I leave the lights on and the door unlocked ALL THE TIME.
Then Mr Big comes round.
Please, he says, crying a bit. Sitting on the mat, not leaving.
I don’t feel so big anymore. It didn’t suit me. I missed you jumping all over me, pushing me to do stuff.
He hasn’t noticed because he’s so busy talking but I’m a little bit worn, a lot more rounded and definitely detached.
All his verbing won’t help.
I’m a boulder, I say. I don’t suit a verb shaped you.