I’d set up when Jacqui came in and could offer her a small glass of red. I told her of the problem my Ki Publisher was having: finding a printer who could typeset the footnotes to CORRESPONDENCE. Steve came after all and confessed to having married a long-term partner in November. I could tell from John Elliott’s expression I was being tactless in saying for some reason there was a propensity for long-term partners who married to shortly divorce. Catherine I was blundering enough to call Caroline yet again came last.
After the usual social preliminaries, I read the continuation of the telepathic duologue of Johnny with Mum which included her putting indirectly to him a past difficulty she’d had with his mother, her sister and best friend, over her marrying somebody against advice otherwise, to get his take on the problem and to see if he realises who she’s ‘talking’ about. Catherine found the reading intriguing and offered that when she knew something from somebody that hadn’t been conveyed vocally, that that might’ve been telepathy, as indeed it might. We went into what precipitated unconscious communication, its emotional bed rock and lack of inhibition. In the passage I read out taboo words are used without compunction for example.
Steve had a short story derived from a character’s decision to ask why a colleague’s crying in a urinal cubicle instead of sloping off. There were many good turns of phrase and humorous observations but, even accounting for the difficulty of male communication and in those circumstances, the dialogue between the characters was somewhat lacking in authenticity.
Catherine presented a poem based on her grandmother’s dislike of November. That it was poetry came through despite the use of free verse. The central stanza, on which the poem turned, used rhyme. There was one long line I initially doubted should be as long as it was but finally decided it should since appropriate to what it was conveying. The woman character was lonely and coming to the realisation what she did was simply to make futile shards of light in the encroaching dark.
John Elliott surprisingly had nothing to read, wanting to focus on what he’s presently writing and in overcoming a block to it, eased usually when he’s going to bed, whereupon he makes notes to work on later.
Jacqui read out the final chapter of her political saga which conveyed an emotional resolution between the two principal characters which infused narrative and dialogue with a reality that reinforced the relative unreality of the political life the main character, Raybelle, had hitherto invested herself in and which she had abandoned or that had abandoned her. Love after all has been defined as an act of desperation.