Every swashbuckler has some scuttlebutt

My penchant is that I have predilections. I could do nothing all day but write; take a long walk over cloud-swept hills; dance with satyrs in sunlit glades; tip my porkpie hat to passing strangers; drink a leisurely pint at the Raven and Spoon; and then end the afternoon in a woman’s bedroom, my finger dipping into that little dell in her throat where a drop of wine neatly fits.

I’ve never liked doing work. Even my gestation period was longer than usual and the sperm that begot me had a flat tyre, stopped at a bookstore, looked at the other frantic sperm and thought, for a long, long time, why do they hurry?  It’s my genes. Ring-spun on a low setting.

As a child, I used to take hellishly long baths. Once I was even confused for a walnut tree. My dad actually planted me in the back garden until he realized the pollywog I was holding was quickly turning into a frog.

Even now I stay in the shower well past midnight.

I love summer — and it is still summer until the trees are bare. But it irks me, too. The door’s open, but I’m chained to a chair in a office. Tons of happy pond skaters, while I prey on dead matter like some dragonfly larvae. It’s hard to see the cars passing with kayaks strapped to roofs or bikes snugly bound to back ends. All those tourists slurping up summer’s tonic while I lap at the dregs. Still, I go home to an empty beach. A daughter who comes running to me as though I was a famous writer in possession of all her narratives.

So maybe I drive back and forth to work, but it’s what happens between the uneventful that counts.

Stay in the saddle, but be cautious of the pommel, cautioned a relative of mine during Gallipoli, who ventured up the Dardanelles only to discover that what he’d thought was a pommel was in fact an Aussie’s stump and his mount was in fact the chaplain.

He didn’t even bother to investigate what he imagined was his long line of mules. But from the uproar, he was certain the mule at the front bore a striking resemblance to an ex-lover.


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