Dante Papier: Treat others as you wish to be treated
Dante Papier is the mind-child of Novlr Author Daniel Piper, whom you can find on Instagram and substack and you can buy his book here. He has a column here on the Novlr blog (read his intro here). Enjoy.
Am sitting outside a cafe. It is a lovely sunny morning. Am feeling (and looking) very continental. Am wearing a white shirt, white trousers and white shoes. It is a strong look, but I believe I have the panache to get away with it. The barista just brought my oat flat white, and I could sense that she was both intrigued and impressed by me. Who is this writer? She wondered. What is he writing? I sensed her trying to snatch a glimpse of my notebook as she placed the coffee down.
Barista very curt as she cleared away the remains of my savoury croissant. Think she may have read the writing above.
A student just rode past on an electric scooter and shouted “all white, mate?” Think the white shoes might be too much.
Today I am musing about the expression ‘treat others as you wish to be treated’. Does this mean I should treat everybody I meet as though they are an exceptional writer? That is how I wish to be treated (because that is what I am), but what if that is not how they wish to be treated? (If I were to meet Joe Wicks, for example, should I treat him like an exceptional writer rather than a curly PE teacher?) Surely the expression should be ‘treat others as they wish to be treated’? But then, what if I do not wish to treat them the way they wish to be treated? What if, for example, I meet somebody who secretly enjoys BDS&M? Should I whip them? I do not wish to whip anybody.
Just read a passage from ‘Lean in 15: Veggie Edition’ by Joe Wicks. Writing actually v good.
Had a brilliant idea for a screenplay. In a case of mistaken identity, UK dance choreographer Matthew Bourne is sent to assassinate a politician in Berlin, while US assassin Jason Bourne is sent to London to direct the National Ballet’s new production of Swan Lake. Possible title: The Bourne (Case of Mistaken) Identity. Will try to write it this week.
WHY do some people INISIST on trying to open a toilet cubicle door more than once? If the door will not open then the cubicle is OBVIOUSLY occupied. It beggars BELIEF that there are people out there whose first thought when a toilet door won’t open is not ‘this door will not open, the cubicle must be engaged,’ but instead, ‘this door will not open, it must be jammed – I shall try it again.’ I thought John Lewis shoppers were supposed to be intelligent.
Decided to start cycling again, so took my bicycle to be serviced. Wanted to seem knowledgeable about bikes, but suffered a mind blank whilst talking to the man. Couldn’t remember the word ‘brakes’ – kept referring to them as ‘motion prohibitors’.
Started writing a short story called Toy Tale. Realised halfway through that the plot was exactly the same as that of the film Toy Story.
Have decided I want an Apple Watch. Not sure why. I have absolutely no need for one (I wrote down every single thing it does and literally none of it is of any use to me). But still want one.
Started writing my Bourne screenplay. It went brilliantly. The words just poured out of me. I couldn’t stop. It felt amazing. For the first time in months, my writer’s block was a distant memory. Nothing could distract me. Then my Apple Watch told me to stand up, and I couldn’t concentrate after that.