Her room was stuffy and smelt of some scent she had bought in the Japanese shop. Gurov looked at her, thinking to himself: “How full of strange encounters life is!”. (Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Dog 1899)

Chapter 1 — Hořejší Nábřeží

Dore Fasol was strolling down Hořejší Nábřeží, when he was suddenly struck with the most intriguing thought. Not wanting to lose this window of inspiration, he takes from his pocket an old portable audio recording device, and hits record.

“I find myself in a rather strange point. I am not thinking clearly, yet my mind is clear. As I walk, I realise that I might be in the best state of mind to be creative. Though, it does not seem that I am exactly going to produce anything great, the idea of being in such a clear moment, that maybe what I produce, will be something… unique. Or at least the beginnings of something.”

Dore paused for a second to see if anything else would come to mind. Nothing did, but he kept the recording rolling just in case.

He took a deep breath and pondered what he had just recorded. The idea that he was in such a state of incisiveness made him very excited at first, and then very anxious. He began considering the relevance of his situation in relation to this new discovery. If this was in fact the best time for him to be creative while he was walking, how would he be able to be productive? Would it be best for him to find a place to sit and write or continue walking and recording his thoughts? And would he be able to do anything or have the same inspiration to adapt these possible ideas later?

The truth is that he did had a ton of notes and recordings piled up that he never returned to. For example, this particular cartridge, where by this recording exists, is one that he started while on business in London this past September. Across it was scrolled “Ideas”. Unfortunately this was one of many cartridges with a similar title. In fact he had loads of cartridges, notebooks and other materials holding his notes and ideas with no organisation what so ever. This was mostly attributed to Dore’s fear of losing an idea unless he recorded or jotted it down before it slipped away into the abyss of his subconscious.

Yet, this cartridge “ides” was most significant because while in London he visited an extraordinary art exhibition at Tate Modern titled Surrealism and Beyond. He was so inspired that while we was walking down the Victoria Embankment coming from the museum, he came up with a number of very interesting interactive art canvas ideas that he aspires to make one day.

They included:

  • Hidden objects under canvas
  • Mold
  • Layers of the body and flesh
  • Fire • blue and white metal panels like in Kolbenova Metro station
  • and Sound canvases audiobooks

At least this is what he wrote on a small piece of paper that he conveniently tucked away in the small compartment on the side of the cartridge.

Yet, as with most of his notes, Dore would most likely not remember the exact inspirations that he envisioned that day and would most likely not revisit this note anytime soon or ever. But the thought that they were there and that he might one day revisit them when in desperate need of an idea, comforted him.

“Would this be the same for these recordings I am making now?” he thought. “And if I have a brilliant idea, will it also be lost in a mess of paper hidden within lone cartridge?”

Dore had many questions and unfortunately that was always the determining factor that interrupted his creative process; overthinking. This very much overwhelmed him.

The thing is that Dore was in the middle of trying to write a short story and he was having difficulty writing it or even finding a subject that suited him. He seemed to always run into a wall every time he tried to write. At the moment of clarity, deliberation and desired proactivity, his enthusiasm deflated before he was able to start anything. Distraction, stress and anxiety always took over, and his writing would be put on hiatus for the time being.

But today was different or so Dore thought. This time he was determined to write something and would not let his procrastination detour his creative need to write. To write a great story. One that he could be proud of and maybe be that start of a collection of short stories that one day, he could publish. The idea intoxicated him.

He began speaking again knowing that it was being documented via audio that very moment. “To be a published author. How difficult could it be? I mean, if I had a great idea and wrote it in a way that was true in nature, including nuances and specifics true to the moment. How could that not interest a reader. A real life story, exactly as it happens.”

Dore was fascinated by this idea. Not entirely sure how he thought of it and if it has been done before. “Surely it has. I mean Jack London must have met or even been Martin Eden at some point in time and Dostoyevsky must have been writing from his own experiences for Notes from the Underground. How else could they have written it so precisely.”

As Dore continued reflecting on other pieces of literature and the substantiality of the authors inspiration, he again was torn from his creative concentration by a sudden strike of dehydration. His mouth and throat were very dry and he was in desperate need of something to drink. But with everything in his life, he had many different choices and was insistent on finding the best option for his current position. Leaving his creative inspiration behind, Dore began plotting his options for liquid refreshment.

He knew that there was a Potraviny (vietnamese run bodega) close by, actually right by his old flat he occupied for over 5 years. It was only a 3 minute walk from his current position at U železničního mostu, but he hated drinking out of plastic, and knew that that was the only choice there. Everything they sold there was in plastic.

Dore continued speaking into the recording, thinking that it might be of some interest later. He was not sure how or why, but something compelled him. “I would rather avoid hormone disruptors and cancer causing Bisphenol A in my water thank you very much. I do wish they would carry more bio containers. The world needs less pollution and plastic waste if I do say so myself.”

Dore was very environmentally conscious and paranoid about poisoning his body with unnecessary chemicals. He would rather spend more to have something less contaminating than follow the ignorant trends of average consumers.

“Do I even have enough money for anything?” Dore thought suddenly.

Dore then opened the side pocket of his New Vista leather bag and after ruffling through a barrage of useless junk, he finds the metal box that carries his spare change. Amongst a clutter of other useless items in the tin including: a guitar pick, rolled paper tape measure, a miniature pare of scissors, a grey button from a grey cardigan, numerous euro cents and Czech koruna. Dore counted 24 koruna in one and two coins. Enough for some sort of refreshment, but he was not sure what at that moment.

The truth is that he was actually on his way to work and running late. His thirst could wait a little longer he supposed. So he decided to head to work and grab a fresh juice at a juice bar across the street from his office. They also use plastic cups there, but the benefit of fresh juice out numbers the negative effects of plastic in his mind. “They might even use recycled materials for their cups.” He thought out-loud. “But isn’t all plastic recycled material?” He shook his head trying to keep his concentration on track and not go into another tangent.

Dore then stops the recording cartridge, puts on his. electroacoustic transducers and starts heading down Nádražní towards the Na Knížec tram stop directly across from his old flat.

While walking he sifts through his music library cartridges, also cluttered and disorganised. It is full of various artists, his personal music and memo recording, plus a plethora of short stories, self help and music theory audiobooks.

“More and more choices.” he thinks. “What would preserve my creative mindset right now? Maybe a short story by Roald Dahl? But that might confuse me. I also don’t want to over stimulate my inspiration. I want to create something original and not be overly influenced by anothers story. Maybe some classical music will do me good.” He finds his classical section and lands on Sergei Rachmaninoff’s piano sonatas played by Nareh Arghamanyan. As he continues on his way to Na Knížec the first track, Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Opus 36 — Allegro agitato begins to play.

As the first stanza plays, Dora feels his eyes roll up into his head with great ecstasy. He adored classical music, especially that of Rachmaninoff. Dore was now so engulfed in the music that he did not even pay any attention to his surroundings. If he would have, he would have seen something very interesting, but as it was, he did not. He just continued on his way towards Na Knížec.

Until next time…