Back in September


A continuation of tramps


In which I coin a new collective noun - Continuation (of Tramps). How appropriate, because once a tramp, always a tramp.

How does this link back to the eating (once again) of sentient beings you might find yourself asking yourself. No need to verbalize this because I shall tell you, but first a digression, or two, or three - who can tell. You can skip the writing in blue without missing a beat of the scurrilous stories that are being told, but you'd also be missing out on Ms. Weldon's particular wisdom.

Fay Weldon's novel, "Splitting". Lovely, lovely, lovely use of language to describe matters of the head and heart, and often both at the same time for it is difficult (as CA can attest) sometimes to decide which thought is head, and which is heart. There is a reason the two words look similar. There was one paragraph which really caught my eye - it describes how Lady Rice has gone to bed feeling stricken by what's happened to her (husband kicked her out of stately home and bed, and took up with distant cousin 10 years his senior, but of the same stable).

On a bad night Lady Rice rocks in a sea of sorrow, half-sleeping, half-dreaming. The sea is so salty with tears she can never sink; see how she is buoyed up by her own grief. Sometimes the seas grow wild and stormy, whipped by winds of anger, hate, violent resentments: how she turns and tosses then. She's afraid: she will be sucked down into whirlpools; she will drown, she will drown, in a tempest of her own making. All she can do is pray; much good it does her. Dear Father, dear God, save me from my enemies. Help me. I will be good, I will be. Let the storm cease. She takes a sleeping pill.

Ghostly barques glide by, in fog; pirates' swords, the swords of wrath, glinting, slashing, disembowelling, castrating. Steady the mind, steady the hand, in case the sword turns against the one who wields it. lady Rice is pirate and victim both. She knows it. The sea of sorrow, nevertheless sustains and nourishes her. In her head it is called the Sea of Alimony. It might be on the moon, for all she knows, like the Sea of Tranquillity; she might be in her mother's womb. She might be in some drowned church, knocking up against stone walls as the current pulls her here and there; her father's church. Certainly she is bruised, body and soul. Dear Father, dear God, forgive me my sins. Let the weight of thy wrath depart from me.

Wonderful imagery. Seas of wrath and sorrow, of your own making, wielding swords that might slip and turn against you. Then on a later page, Lady Rice speaks of anger, the anger from within that seems so righteous.

These days she relies on the bread of outrage, well spiced by bitter gall rising to the throat. It is bread, well- buttered and well-slavered with hatred of Anthea. Unholy, unhealthy emotions all, but satisfactory, better than misery: anger is the knife between the teeth of the embattled warrior; an unchancy weapon, metal against ivory, sharp edge turned outward, but of course, if you fall, that's what disembowels you - your own enmity, forget the enemy. Hate, like sex, is an addiction, explains Lady Rice: you feel you can live on it for ever; that you're born one fix of hatred under par; but of course all the time it's enticing you, luring, killing you. And it can you quick, if you overdose, as heroin does: you can choke pretty fast on your own bile. It's the opposite of a quiet death - it's death by intemperance, spite, righteous anger, the nausea of revulsion. Or else it can kill you slowly; you can retreat howling, as Jelly did in the Volvo, parking in a concrete stall, leaving the field to others, licking obviously fatal wounds, a savage beast holed up in a rancid cave, pitiful, dying but dangerous.
Or as someone else once wrote, You can't win with anger, let it out and die of an apoplectic fit, keep it in and develop a cancer.

I can't explain why I like her writing so much - something to do with the obvious truths that we all deal with at some points in our life and how it may appear to nourish us while we're really starving on our delusions.

As I said once when told that someone was always happy, You've just not dug deep down enough to find it yet.

Yes, there were occasional flashes. There were. And now I must head to Richmond.

Back from Richmond now where we ate like there was no tomorrow, and watched crabs try to escape from their watery tanks, their own isolated seas of sorrow and anger no doubt.

But back to tramps. On the same night that smart cocktails were served by DWE and ML an unexpected visitor showed up. I can't use his initials because I don't remember them; well I do, but I don't want to embarrass DWA, well maybe I do, but I'm not sure - anyway, we'll see what happens as this little fugue episode (it's not me who writes this blog, it's one aspect of me who writes, and I don't always have control over him).

Anyway, this said visitor wasn't from a Southern State what votes for the GOP, now does he spell 'hot' by replacing the 'o' with 'aw'. Mind you there was lots said about Mr. Hawt - the person who does come from the South and who uses 'aw' in place of 'o', and who's nawt hawt really. In fact, I asked the insatiable DWA whether anything untoward happened at dinner with Hawt, and he replied quickly, "Naw! We dawn't participate in fawrsawmes anymawre!"

Before I could remonstrate with him because I know it was a lie, and he was prevaricating, DWE chipped in with the missing key to DWA's statement: "Yes", DWE said, "Even though CA has returned to eating sentient beings, he draws the line at fat".

And all was clear, and if you dear reader still don't understand, then you're clearly much less evil, small-minded, and generally nicer than me.

In any case, the visitor of whom I speak send a few text messages and he was invited (breathlessly in so much as one can be breathless on sms) over for drinks, costco cheese (yes, I was surprised to find this in DWE and ML's frigo too) and pizza (that surprised me too after all the promises of a light, nutritious, cheap and wonderful dinner by the water). Anyway, there he was at the door and there was a collective palpitation of hearts by several in the company. DWE, ML and I were quizzical and wondering why the palpitations, but all became clear when the door opened, and DWA and CA become incoherent. At that point, unfortunately, I had to leave for reasons best kept to myself, and almost forgotten now. So I can't say (though I could probably guess) what happened next. Unfortunately, I left town the next day, and by the time I get back, DWE and ML will be in Italy, and DWA almost on his way to OK, and CA will be somewhere hunting sentient beings (poor things), which means this shall ever remain a mystery to us all.