This all became too much for Larson. His concentration wavered, and his passion for his work phased out. Previously his home was familiar as a work place, it was now his lot to be indoors, or at least in the shade at most times of the day. This would mean he was further confined to the walls of his home, with the intermittent excursion into his narrow suburb. The space he had earned through years of dedication and focus had begun to describe its own shape more that ever. High walls and a constant retreating public were even more distant and alienating than his native Dumfries.
The problem was in that people were not communicating
with each other, and it was not that he had been able to stop what he
was doing long enough to take notice before. This became the space which
he despised. He longed for a community like a polar bear would snow.
|In the beginning the drives were quite enlightening for Larson. He had never the time to view the beautiful coastline without the pressure of a destination; he was, to some measure, lulled by Shamas’ slow swaying through the undulating landscapes. After a week of such amateur therapy an incident struck a deep chord within Larson. While driving with Shama down quite a steep hill, at around 10:30 one morning, a young black man ran into the middle of the street, through a gap in the traffic. He was retrieving a rugged old blanket which appeared to come from a construction site near the section of road they were entering. While the man’s clothing hinted that he was working on the site, he could just as easily have been a passer-by making opportunity of a lost rag. The interpretations were open yet the nature of the retrieval was clear. The receptor was poor.||
|It was not so much the incident in isolation
as it was the significance of the blanket in the equation. Larson had an
almost identical one at home, a blanket his dog usually slept on. Never
before had a single moment spat so much sense into Larson’s existence.
It was at this point that Larson decided to dig a hole.
In return to his days as a refined geology scholar, Larson prepared his kit fit for excavation. Appropriated from his selection of garden tools stored in the corner of the garage above his home, the kit was comprised of several spades, a large fork and a smaller shovel. This prepared, he then covered the majority of his skin with one of his darkest suits, the one usually reserved for formal gatherings. With seeming purpose, he set out in all his weakness, towards some of the more open clearings in the burnt-out forest on the hill at the tail-end of his home, and, upon finding a suitable spot, he began to dig.
|At first, with quite some haste and fervour,
he managed to clear a surface area of approximately one metre squared. The
deeper he managed to penetrate, the more rocks he crossed and successively
the more difficulty he encountered in clearing away material. Within eight
hours and with much strain he managed to reach a depth of around one metre,
at which point he began to clear away all trace of loose soil and obstructing
rocks from what he deemed the significant body of his hole. With a dustpan
and brush, and then finer paintbrushes, he managed to clean up the surfaces
of the exposed stones to a point where he was ready to begin profiling the
layers and variety of rocks. With tedious detail he had, within three days,
completed the study and duly presented his synopsis to Shama for her approval.
Shama realized there were no differences between the rocks Larson had numbered; his profile was fictitious. Consulting a psychologist about how best to deal with the awkward situation, she was advised to relay that he should take up a musical instrument or frequently attempt crossword puzzles in order to keep the inconsistencies at bay.
james beckett 2003,
judy farah, robin farah, glen, brendon busy,
masha du toit,
gregg smith and stewart bailey