Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Good Soldier

April 1st, 2008 was the date of my last posting.

I am not sure I really appreciated the solemnity of that particular date at the time, and for this I was punished by the Powers of Creation for impiety. Less than sixty seconds after pressing the POST button on Blogger, I slid under my desk, into the trenches, knocking over my computer, and falling into a deep and dreamy electronic sleep.

What visions coiled about my unconscious mind during the intervening year, I have yet to fully unravel. I probably will be spending the next several weeks stretched out on a divan, with Dr. Freud, just sorting out the naked women from the serpents and artichokes. Which is much better news for the ladies than it is for me, I suppose.

From my present perspective, however, back at work, calmly collected in front of my computer, my shadowy face glistening in the screen, the time between Aprils passed with uncharacteristically gentle alacrity, my consciousness wrapped in a soft, muddy, almost matronly mist. I woke refreshed, thanks to the kind words of a concerned friend, who found me curled up under my desk, next to the trash, gathering discarded apple cores, balls of crumpled Xerox paper, twisted paper clips, tired teabags, and dust.

Now, after a much needed change of clothes, a shave and a bath, I feel wonderful: as if I had just spent a delirious month in Deutschland, with my wife, Mrs. Dowell, and the
Ashburnhams, taking in the salubrious waters of Bad Nauheim.

The only problem with this sunny scenario (if you want to be picky and call it problem) is that I am not married to Mrs. Dowell. I have no idea who this lady is, Constable. I am not married at all. My name is not Dowell. It is, as I have been telling you for twenty minutes,
Shandy. And I have never been to Germany. I don't even know where Germany is. And even if I did, I am sure I wouldn't like it. The place sounds less like a spa to me than a spoiled petri dish, a sort of gigantic brothel for bacteria, the kind of establishment respectable middle-aged gentleman like myself never visit.

Seldom in my experience with literature have I met a more reckless, unreliable narrator than myself. I probably should be horsewipped. Indeed, this morning, it actually feels like I have been. Or it may just be that my undergarments are too tight. I am told by my two friends down there that I need a new tailor. Pshaw! I say, gentlemen. This whole recurring nightmare (some may call it "blogging") reminds of me of a poem once penned by my father, Professor Housman, concerning the delinquent diversions of one Terence (a man not to be confused with the immortal playwright).

Until tomorrow then, I guess.


:::: said...


Shropshirelad said...

Thanks for jump-starting my imagination again. Sometimes my batteries run down.

:::: said...

Freed from the island of lotus-eaters.