Thursday, August 20, 2009

Aunt Dee and onions

After almost a fortnight of sitting in a crumbling, draughty courthouse, I’m still not entirely sure what the Quilty case is about.
I do now know that there is a man called Mr Quilty, a tiny eighty-seven-year-old as spry as a jockey who trots up and down from the witness stand like a fifteen-year-old boy. I also know that the case, from what little I’ve gathered, centres around a dispute over landownership.
Whatever else it’s about, it seems to hold a strange fascination for the editor.
Less than 5 seconds after I return to the office in the evenings I’m being hauled into the glass box.
‘Well? Has the shrunken little fecker cracked yet?’ he snaps. I shake my head in a doleful sort of way and he snatches my notebook, leafs furiously through it, and flings it dismissively back to me, his eyes glittering furiously.
‘Right. Feck off out of here so,’ he mumbles, before bellowing out into the newsroom: ‘Miiiiichael - We’ll have to go with the Mullally's Bog Man-eating fern story. That little feckin’ splinter of calcified perfidiousness is still refusing to give in.’

Sitting in the draughty courtroom, trying to concentrate on what the dormouse-like young man from the planning office says, my mind keeps wandering back to what Clementine told me about Aunt Dee.
The truth is, I never really knew Aunt Dee at all. Clementine doesn’t agree. She says people choose to reveal different aspects of themselves to different people. But I don’t know. I think Aunt Dee was like an onion (which incidentally, according to Clementine, are ready for harvesting). All those earlier experiences were part of her. They formed her. If I want to know who Aunt Dee really was I need to find out more about her other life. I need to go to Hollywood.


  1. Is Quilty ,guilty?
    'That little feckin’ splinter of calcified perfidiousness'..... like it ! And people are like onions, they make you cry. So true that people reveal different aspects of themselves to different people.I think that's partly why we are so sad when someone dies, because a little part of us dies with them.

  2. Quilty quilty? Quite likely.
    Of course you're right about part of us dying when a person we're close to dies. But doesn't that make all that mourning pretty much self-interested then?


  3. Precisely,when we cry , we cry only for ourselves.