I spoke to Rick the other day. He asked me if I had read ‘someone’s’ article. I didn’t know what he was referring to so I told him I hadn’t. He went on to say that ‘someone’ had mentioned something I had written in an A-Musing. I did not enquire further. Perhaps I’ll get around to checking out the article one of these fine days. I suppose it’s an occupational hazard, not reading the newspaper, I mean. I’ve never really warmed to ‘someone’s’ style of writing either, nothing specific, just a bit confusing at times; ‘someone’s’ columns, I mean. Maybe they’re too deep for me. I never was a great thinker.
I was sorry to hear that Victor Marquis had retired as editor of the Voice. Now there is a writer whose stories I have enjoyed through the years! I hope he continues to contribute his column to the Voice; I enjoy his pithy observations. I suppose, like the rest of us, the years were catching up on him, if not actually overtaking him. Old age is a bitch; it seems an unseemly ending to life’s time on stage.
Rick’s getting on; he’s a couple of years older than I am; doesn’t look it. He makes me feel old. He still rants and rages with undiminished passion. Say what you will about Rick, he is still the dedicated campaigner. Once he gets a bee in his bonnet, the bit between his teeth, or the tainted whiff of corruption and the abuse of power in his nostrils, off he gallops like a bloodhound on the scent.
I liked that last sentence; it was so horribly badly put together, that it was almost ‘Classic Saint Lucian Writing’. That certain ‘someone’ wouldn’t have approved. Perhaps it’s not my style he dislikes after all; perhaps it’s the content of my writing. I really have to get round to reading him more often. It can’t be difficult; his byline seems to appear in just about every newspaper. I’m lazy; that’s the problem, too lazy to be bothered. Not a good thing.
I liked the image of a galloping bloodhound. Can you imagine a bloodhound with hooves instead of paws? An incongruous image – a bit like a St Lucian journalist suffering an attack of syntax.
Well anyway, Rick told me another ‘someone’ – one of St Lucia’s household names, a former, former bigwig – had spoken to him on the phone to complain about something, and Rick had refused, surprise-surprise, to take the criticism quietly. The former ‘someone’ responded by telling Rick that he sounded just like that Michael Walker guy. (Now you know you’ve arrived in this world when ‘someone’ accuses Rick of sounding just like you – gosh! Better than an OBE, MBE, a St Lucian Medal of Honor and all the rest rolled into one. It made my day!)
Of course, Rick being Rick – he has this annoying habit of slipping in direct questions during his rantings just to check you’re really listening – paused to ask if I was taking everything in. I responded by asking what the ‘someone’ was upset about. It’s always good policy to answer a difficult question with another question.
Evidently, the ‘someone’ could not understand why Rick did not stop me from telling lies. It turned out that the ‘someone’ had objected to ‘lies’ I had told about his sister in an article I had written, which sort of surprised me. I had no recollection of any lies I might have told about anyone, especially someone of the fairer sex, so I went back through my archives to try and find the offending piece, which I read and re-read several times in an attempt to discover how I had sinned by lying to no avail. I couldn’t find a single lie anywhere.
Back to Rick; I told him of my fruitless search for Truth’s antithesis. I had, in fact, found the piece the bigwig had referred to, but found it to be one of my favorite pieces, full of nostalgia, warmth and fond memories of a more innocent time. I had painted, well not really painted, sketched rather, a portrait of a lady using minimal strokes of my pen. (It’s a bit hard to speak of pens in this age of keyboards and texting, but you know what I mean). She was a truly lovely person who had enriched my life years ago. I have no idea whether or not she is still alive, but I would never do anything to hurt her or offend her. I was confused, and told Rick so.
“I don’t know what the ‘someone’ was referring to,” I said. “I had nothing but praise for the lady and her establishment, and I can’t understand why the ‘someone’ wanted you to stop me lying about his sister.”
Anyway, for the record, if ‘anyone’ thinks I have maligned ‘anybody’, then I deeply regret any unintentional pain I might have caused ‘anyone’ whilst perusing my archive of fond memories.