Yesterfang (19) 

Yesterfang (19)

Continued from: HERE.

When Count Congo arrived, Jawn was surprised that this was no fey gentleman in a portly decorated suit from turn-of-the-century Anatole France. He was slim, decidedly manly-by-penchant and concerned to betray no quirks of behaviour that condemned him to any possible caricature (effeminate or otherwise). However, he was accompanied by another gentleman who did resemble the inverted archetype of a person that Jawn had expected the Count himself to have been prior to seeing him.

“This is Lord Egg,” said the Count.

Lord Egg himself strutted about heavily in a baggy black uniform sparkling with medals that he had obviously not won in any war for bravery. He simpered like a huge woman. He examined Jawn in his hammock as if visiting a patient in a hospital.

Count Congo eventually asked Lord Egg to leave the vicinity. Lord Egg was obviously only expected to meet Jawn briefly and then leave, as if simply, by his presence, to bring out the Count’s own sharper articulations by contrast.

As the Count prepared to conduct the interview of the stranger-he-did-not-know-was-Jawn, Jawn himself saw that Lord Egg was crouching in the willowy shadows of darker yellow waiting to see if the Count failed in his endeavours to draw any salaciousness from an otherwise dry-baked cake that Jawn first appeared to be. Congo and Egg were rivals in love if not appearance. Their respective ranks unclear. Perhaps they took it in turns to make the first attempt at conquering any innocent stranger who happened to sail into Proust on a chance tide.

The Nurse was also present in a secondary shadow by a frond of torn parchment. Yesterday, Jawn had managed to claw himself from the darkness of mixed motives towards some position of empathy by seeing himself through her eyes via his own eyes. Today, she seemed to be fully aware of the whole tableau vivant (the interacting ballet of desire and mimed confusion), even without Jawn’s empathic help. She was the manipulator without needing any particularly adroit people-skills other than an air of womanly wisdom to organise affairs like a conductor of an opera composed by Poulenc or Debussy. Today she looked more like a Nun than a Nurse. Certainly not the family cook she yesterday pretended to have once been. More Shakespearean than Proustian.

She soon departed to fetch the tea to accompany the plate of cake that the hammock-net had steeped in yellow sleep most of the previous night. Her infusions of oriental leaf were currently giving off a burning haze in her ancient kitchen having earlier been thus fired into existence by the hob’s brightest gas-ring : piping hot within the capaciousness of a priceless samovar that came from an even more writerly precinct of preciousness than Proust city itself.


The scientist carefully prodded the dead beetle with his stethoscope with no idea of the context of any apocryphal findings so was quite gulled into believing it was what the earlier part of the sentence said it was: a beetle. How it had infested a work of art in a gallery was neither here nor there. His religion was amply provided with proof of nearly everything. A scientist-with-faith was so convinced of his faith that even its unscientific nature was sufficient to increase its strength time and time again by circles of powerful kaleidoscopes of convincing illogic that even plain-spirited logic itself could not withstand.

An art parasite, therefore. Things that fed off creativity like worms in sculptures or spiders that climbed the staves of music or one-bee bee-hives within blown bookspines. These seemed so natural he needed no further empirical delays.

But the ‘beetle’ wasn’t dead. He heard it breathing within the leathery outer-casing of itself that was also itself as well as its container. By dint of such expression, it was clear that scientists were thus evidently clearer thinkers than fiction writers. And he smiled in pride as he proceeded to search with some difficulty for one of his precision instruments of surgical investigation.



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