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June 25, 2009

recent extracts from a Misapprehensions Diary


My mind was elsewhere – over and over, I kept hearing in my head the disincarnated phrase "Everything ends in the body." I was wondering if I would ever get a chance to stand moodily, theatrically in front of a group of students and to say "We see through a class darkly." I was thinking about the essay I want to write about Mick and I was remembering our gloomy salad days together. I was.... Well, the usual kind of stuff, then.

Medical Foundation

As I waited alone for the doctor in the white and beige cube, I glanced up at a rack full of handouts on the consulting room wall. I saw "BEG" in bold caps. No, not "BEG", it was actually "EEG". Below that, on the wall there was a picture of the Duchess of Cornwall wincing and holding her wrist up to illustrate the pain of CTS. No, it was… someone else, less well-known. My eyes kept travelling. I saw "Nick Exercises". No, it was "Neck exercises."


As I watched Owen doing straddle-rolls and cartwheels, my attention wandered and I thought I caught sight of a young teacher, idling against a wall, writing "God" and drawing a star in the sunlit dust on a mattress. No, it was "Gold" she was tracing out, and a crude star.


In the middle lane I came floating round a long right turn on 101 near San Carlos, and there, at the start of the marshland that runs from the side of the road, was the hoarding for the Giants. It showed a vast man in an "SF" cap and a white polo-shirt, with headphones on and a mic at his mouth. Next to him was the logo, "I want whiners!" I did a double-take, frowned, and returned my gaze to the river of road ahead. Then I looked back again. No, it was "I want winners!"


The violin school semi-annual concert. Hugo had already played his solo piece and was slouched in the pew beside us. I was trying dutifully to focus on an overweight teenager as she sawed flatly away at something by Vivaldi. I looked up at the lofty windows of All Saints, gleaming with the afternoon sunlight of the photographer's "golden hour". Imagine my silent alarm when I glimpsed a jay high above nervously butting its head against the glass, trying to get out of the building, fleeing the sound of Vivaldi. Oh, no. The bird was outside, trying to get in.


We came out of the Creamery. It was getting a bit cold and dark. We strolled. At the corner of Hamilton and Something, we had the light and we started to walk. Nonetheless, a prissy-looking middle-aged motorist in his sky-blue Prius suddenly appeared, gingerly chopped in front of us, realized what he had done but decided to go for it nonetheless. Mouth-pursed, slowly, determinedly, as if he were abroad and felt that an uncouth local were about to grab for his purse, he rounded the turn, his right tyres not far from our shoes. As the car slowed but kept moving, the passengers in the cabin (seemingly dressed up for a night at a concert and a meal at a good restaurant afterwards), were startled to see a middle-aged white man, hair rather wild, out in the street peering into their cabin, giving them a mildly odd, mildly unhinged smile, barking an incomprehensible phrase and waving at them something that might have been a peace sign. "On" something, no doubt....

Posted by njenkins at 01:18 AM | Comments (0)

With the exception of the interspersed quotations, all writing © 2007-10 by Nicholas Jenkins [back]