THE DAY I DIED LAUGHING, or
Florence of Arabica
..When manic I still steal.
When in my right mind I uphold social order with the best.
Perhaps the boredom had set in that day.
My relatives, over lunch, were having familiar circular Pinteresque conversations.
My gourd, and how I escaped it, by Nigel Molesworth.
There it sat, on the big shelf –
T. E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a fat first edition.
Granny had promised it to me and maybe that was all I would ever take from that room,
that overlooked the ocean on all days, calm or stormy.
I wasn’t winning any Oscars sitting there in the overstuffed furniture,
vainly trying to cross my legs with a bad back.
Just as chocolate is addictive, so is personal failure.
It’s a closed set.
Why did I feel so daring as I stuffed the tome into my knapsack when Granny’s back was turned?
The Robertsons, being Scots, do not steal one from the other.
Uncle Jim, forty years later, is still looking for his missing war maps and some mysterious cufflinks.
I had often recommended family court, with me, as the oldest, playing judge, of course.
But the pecking order is a fiercely contested matter.
I hit the West Saanich Road with the sack over my shoulder.
It was hot.
What I can remember I do, of childhood molestations
and the TE Lawrence weather that obliged me to walk the road from Patricia Bay, aged seven.
A distance of five miles.
I was always missing rides.
It would always be, in my memory, the Devil’s anvil, that no one had ever crossed,
except Uncle Harold Wilson the clothier,
who always stopped at the Legion Hall, for two or three,
while I sat in the station wagon wondering which uncle I could persuade
to take me yet again to the Guns of Navarone.
DAVID JURE: Excerpt from A BURKE IN PROGRESS (Page 59)
Self-published 2010, and available from the author for $10.00 Can.
Please phone J. David Burke (‘David Jure’) @ 250 220 23 54
Leave a message if author is out in Cook Street Village sharing smokes.