An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Thursday, May 25, 2006

It's history - but is it bunk?

Gilbert sipped on an ice cold beer, watching the condensation dribble down the sides of the Fix glass. Lighting another cigarette he looked up and out of the kitchen window. The sky was a clear blue and glaring. An amazing light, clear and strong, beat down from a punishing sun. He sniffed. It was unbearably hot. Unseasonably hot. The heat had been building for more than a week now but the past two or three days were hotter yet. Too hot for May. He turned the phrase "pathetic fallacy" in his mind and pondered. Was it possible? Could he? Could Laz actually be influencing the weather here by what he was writing? Could their days be defined by what Laz did at night? If it worked with him - and he was convinced it did - then why not with the weather? A simple enough matter to describe blazing hot days behind his narrative and mayhap thereby to visit a punishment or admonition for his intrusion? This heat was certainly punishing and relentless. Who knew? No news back from Finn but then he expected none. Jill's silence was less easily dismissed. Was she genuinely not interested? Surely not.

In the morning Abby had been weeding and watering while he had made abortive efforts to fix the front door which had, days ago, given up closing properly. This heat and this lack of humidity played havoc with wood, especially unseasoned or kiln seasoned wood. The frame had swollen, the horizontal stiles in the door had dropped (damned carpenter hadn't brought them all the way through), the hinges had moved. How many variables were there in this puzzle? Abby had been finishing up trimming the shrubs by the door when he had eventually fitted a new and subtly different lock and face plate (sufficiently different to require recourse to chisels and an angle grinder), to no avail, and announced a coffee break.

And after coffee they had come back to a cool cellar where he had spent the late afternoon and early evening riffling through his memories of the last visit he had paid to the Laz. He was looking out for details of the memories of the typewriter history he had glimpsed - written by a private detective no less! Now he sipped his Amstel knowing that a big bottle of Fix waited for him in the fridge - it was cooling as he raised his own emotional temperature by musing.

So, what did he have? Taking it in reverse chronological order there was:

one) a receipt from a private detective company "Method Discovery" for a fully authenticated provenance for one typewriter - green - initialled DD

two) an invoice stamped "PAID IN FULL" from a company called "Object Instantiation" (who appeared to share the exact same address as Method Discovery") for "recovery and delivery of one typewriter - green -which is attested to have been the same machine upon which the novel Stew was typed"

three) an affidavit swearing to the authenticity of the typewriter (as referred and cross referenced by two) - notarised and signed

four) a sworn statement from a pawnbroker in Trellis St. EC12NH London(!!!!!) stating that the typewriter (identified by manufacturer's serial number) that he sold some several years ago to a now well known writer was obtained from the estate of the late Brian O'Nolan and that he had been reliably informed that it was the machine on which both At Swim Two Birds and The Third Policeman were produced.

five) an affidavit (dated April 1966) swearing to the authenticity of the typewriter (as referred and cross referenced by two) - notarised and signed by the executor of the will and testament of Brian O'Nolan - late of Dublin

six) a receipt made out to one George Knowall for a typewriter (green - serial number appended) from an indecipherable Paris address stating that said machine was lately the property of one Miss S Bleach - an acquaintance and typist to James A Joyce (recently deceased)

All of the documents were clearly marked as copies and each contained a reference to a certain safe-keeping organisation in Chancery Lane as the location of the originals.

He rubbed at his temples gently and continued the movements across to his nape. The incipient headache that he had woken to this morning refused to develop into anything meaningful or treatable. It nagged away at him like a barren and frigid shrew without being prepared to face him down properly. The hot, dry air that he could not take lungsfull of without wishing to cough and the restless slumbers, the blocked sinuses and the itchy eyes were wearing him down slowly. Surely and slowly. He downed the rest of the Amstel and shuffled over to the fridge in search of his Fix.

(to be continued ... )

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