Force Majeure

The contract for Luca Antara arrived yesterday, signed, sealed, delivered, 'for your records'. I made a pretence of reading it before I signed back in August but could not really concentrate and, besides, knew before the fact that I wasn't really going to object to anything in it ... I wanted the advance, I wanted the book to happen and I had my agent's assurance that she'd already vetted it. So, today, I thought, I will read and understand what it is I've agreed to. But I still can't get beyond the definitions on page one, especially:

1.5: "Force Majeure" means circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the parties that results in a party being unable to observe or perform on time an obligation under this Agreement. Such circumstances will include but not be limited to:

1.5.1 Acts of God, lightning strikes, earthquakes, floods, storms, explosions, fires and any natural disaster;

1.5.2 Acts of war, acts of public enemies, terrorism, riots, civil commotion, malicious damage, sabotage and revolution; and

1.5.3 Strikes;

Any or all of these are possible, some, indeed, likely, with the exception perhaps of revolution. And, I don't know, they all seem to have ghostly subtexts, as if each objective phenomenon listed has an interior, or emotional equivalent whose occurrence is even more probable. The one that worries me most is 'explosions'. I feel one coming now, as I tap away, trying and failing to ignore the machine whine of the mad topiarist next door who is sculpting the cypresses into perfect cones that look exactly like rockets; any minute now he, or I, might light a fuse.

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