September 2, 2004

Chapter IX: The Timidity Plea

At the trial I decided to represent myself. My testimonial ran as follows:

Over the course of the first year of their marriage, somewhere in the east, I’d gouged out her eyes with my trusted knife and I think the girl was psycho in the same fruitless manner a man might pathetically grope around for his recently plucked and discarded eyeballs I adjusted my trilby and spat my long-extinguished cigarette out onto the tarmac people like to tell me that having survived is something to be grateful for. I’m shy.

I felt sure that the only way I could convince the jury of my innocence was to demonstrate my timidity. Representing yourself might be mistaken for exceptional confidence, but I could not find a lawyer who believed the case could be won on these grounds.
There was no precedent, they said. Shyness is not a defense, they said.
Well, for a while this afternoon it looked as though I might proove them wrong. But then the prosecution produced a piece of evidence I hadn’t counted on ever seeing again. In fact, despite the fact that it was a document written in my hand, I had never actually seen it at all. It was dark. I have no idea what I said. I was 18.
The events described in the previous chapter took place exactly one year ago to the day. Indeed, my narrative seems to have skipped forward by exactly halving the time between the date on which I sent the original letter and today, the date of my trial. The fact that the important events in my life are so rhythmically placed, occurring with an absurdly mathematical tempo at intervals of increasing frequancy to bring me to this point can only mean one thing.
That one thing will surely be made clear tomorrow, during the summing up. And then I’ll have no choice but to tell you what happened.
What happened 8 years ago in Israel.
What happened 4 years ago in the Fenlands.
What happened 2 years ago at a concert of blind musicians.
What happened last year in a furtive marital home festooned with anacondas.
What happened 6 months ago when I got a letter from the East.
What happened 3 months later when we met.
What happend 6 weeks ago, when last I saw my first love.
What happened 3 weeks ago when I was arrested.
What happened last week. Or 3 and a half days ago when I started writing this down. And so on and so on until the drinks are served, god help me.
I’m shy, dammit. I’M SHY!

Doctor Pockless

3 thoughts on “Chapter IX: The Timidity Plea

  1. And a caper it verily is. I’m, as the French say, rivet&eacute

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