August 30, 2004

Chapter II. Postscript to an Overture (by way of a middle)

I’d like to think of that as a sort of overture to my story. A dumb show, if you like. But there’s much more to it, and I think I’ll show my self to have been even dumber than this overture allows. I’m a very poor diarist, you see, and there is much that I don’t remember. That which I do, I’d rather forget. I don’t actually think that things were as bad I remember, just that I tend only to remember the dismal failures, the missed opportunities, and the causes for regret. People like to tell me that having survived is something to be grateful for.
People don’t know any better than me.
There is a choice to be made. One can begin at the end by relating the mortifying circumstances that arose as a result of having resumed my adolescent romance, or one can delve into the past and try to reconstruct the events that saw me transcribing lengthy tributes without a proper source of light.
I want to tell you both. I won’t. I’m shy.
No, I’m going to start in the middle. That way, I might start to remember enough of the beginning to weave a compelling story, and in time, it is even possible that I’ll find the nerve to tell you what happened as a result. I’m not promising anything though. Let me make that clear right from the beginning. Or rather, the middle.
Four years after I left Israel, I was working as a pump attendant at a garage in the Fenlands. Israel has a lot more in common with East Anglia than you’d think, but only because you wouldn’t really think about it. I mean, why would you? I was only thinking about it because almost half a decade before I had been falling in love on a Kibbutz, and now I was pumping diesel into a rusty Volkswagen Passat, which activity was liable to send anybody reeling into their pasts searching for some form of diversion. But I won’t allow the fact that I was thinking about Israel to trick me back to the start of the story. Beginnings of stories are wily like that. Embark on a middle without proper explication of the circumstances running up to it, and the beginning will try and force its way in.
I won’t let it.
The driver of the Volkswagen Passat in question had, at this point in the story, no connection whatsoever with Israel, or the girl. She would though, much later on. You see, there is a point to this middle. I didn’t just pick a random moment bang slap (and, indeed, slap bang) in the geographical centre of my story just for the sake of avoiding introductions and conclusions. The driver of the Volkswagen Passat was Dorothy “Banjo” Newbolt, born Dorothy McLaswell-Gorbicz, that is, my future wife (and not the subject of a letter I had written four years previously).
Are you still with me? Good. Good. Then I’ll go on.

Doctor Pockless

1 thought on “Chapter II. Postscript to an Overture (by way of a middle)

Comments are closed.