Sunday, March 01, 2009

Excerpt from "A Gentleman's Correspondence" (part the 4th)

Dear James,

Once again my morning stoop has has produced succulent fruit in the form of your most recent letter. Among my bills, subpoenas, cheeses of the month, cease and desist orders, and Modern Bride, I find a correspondence from my dear friend. Your state ordered convalescence appears to be doing you the world of good. The Good Sisters of Mercy deliver a convalescence that is both bracing and informative and once you emerge form their loving embrace all transgressions will be long forgiven and forgotten. Let us hope that angry husbands, grieving pet owners, and bitten police constables will respect your need for a quiet and gentle reintegration into polite society.

Your latest missive has awoken within me a wistful reminiscence of days long gone. Your talk of tinned pony meat takes me back to my days at St. Finbar's Home For Wayward Boys. It was there, beneath the life sized portraits, displaying in graphic detail, The Martyrdom Of St. Giuseppe of The Nine Corsets that we dined on pony meat, candied turnips, and mare's milk pudding every Sunday. Ensconced within its heavily sound proofed walls we took our lessons from the defrocked clergymen sent from diocese far and wide to mend their ways and provide guidance to young arsonists and thugs. We read aloud from Joyce in the cloistered sweat lodge. We debated finer points of scripture until our arguments, degenerating into fevered leg wrestling, left us wheezing in the thickets, bespittled and spent. And we danced. Oh how we danced James. We danced, and sang, frolicked, as nude as God made us, among the tobacco plants, bellies groaning with pony meat and steamed whelks.

It was during one of our frequent outings to the local textile mill that I met Francis Wong. He was a cross dressing, amateur wrestler and devout Catholic with dreams of playing for his beloved Cardiff Red Banjos of the heavily contested South Wales "D" League (reserves). His untimely death within the clutches of a rag separator was, I feel, memorialized fittingly when his beloved "Reds" took the coveted West Swansea Five-a-Side tournament that year when none of the other teams turned up.

Yours in wistfulness

Michael

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