The notice boards had been removed except those rendered (one can only suppose by Loonie Rooney) inviolable with glass. John Elliott and I sat until I was giving up and starting a read to get it over with when Jacqui turned up. We moved out of the noise of the canteen into the eating area beyond and behind a draught excluding partition there. I’d started to read of death, extracted from ‘the book’, when late Kevin arrived, asking could his group join ours. You’ll remember, or possibly not, Parkshot was Kevin’s idea where obviously, as Jacqui said, he’d been two-timing us with this other group we unanimously agreed should join us. It consisted of Linda, Graham and Alex.
I was going to restart my reading from the beginning but Kevin querulously asked did I have to, and since it’d make no difference to the newcomers I resumed from the top of the page I’d been on. Linda couldn’t discern any difference between mother and child. Alex thought the frame and content were at odds and I should change one or the other. John defended me! He was a rationalist and had no truck with the unconscious but, given my premiss I was realising the unconscious, it could be no other than what it was. I patted him on the shoulder. I think he was defending one of his own against the foreigners.
Linda read out two unconsecutive chapters from her book for children and adults. The first chapter had the boy hero lost in a demonised wood. John commended it as setting the scene. I let her read the other chapter once I’d established how many’d be reading and judged there’d be time enough.
Jacqui read a continuation of the grandmother’s perspective at a Xmas gathering where the focal point was her missing son. Without coming out of perspective, other characters’ attitudes to him were given. It was good, the language flexible, sinuously following feelings, thoughts and perceptions as if an electronic implant had been inserted in the character’s head and a report was being made to whoever was reading it. I call this, as you may or may not remember, monitoring. There’s no reason why she shouldn’t do the same with another character. The CIA is everywhere!
Kevin read a comic passage from his Irish saga where his colourless heroine, who hasn’t the will or love to decide which fool man she wants, breaks down copiously. John Elliott didn’t understand why her pillow was so wet. She is.
We were ushered out as the college shut up. Some retired to the pub, Alex took off and I saw Jacqui onto a bus before beetling home in time to watch Bad Education.