Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Social deviancy and lipstick smudges leave anticipated impressions, thankfully

It was with some pleasure that I found Margaret climbing up the Wisteria again this morning. It has been some years since I saw this last. Bessy was posing on the washing line in the manner of a social deviant with ruffled hair. I have no idea what she meant by a social deviant, but seeing these things makes a morning a real joy.

Felix never combs his hair because he says somebody passing may misread the signal. I asked if not combing his hair might send another signal, for example, an intention to climb a tense rock in a socially-determined manner. He declined to discuss the issue, he said, on the basis that anyone who read a signal in that way wasn't permitted to walk past the bench.

George read a signal wrongly and ended up working with me, he tells me (and his girlfriends) when his lipstick smudges. George climbed mountains in his youth with the same friend who set up as a florist in the Kalahari Desert. En route to the top of one particular mountain they discovered the origin of the 'anticipating exhaustion' pose. I wondered aloud if this meant they would be better prepared for when exhaustion arrived. He said I was extremely naive to think that just because exhaustion was anticipated, it would actually come to pass and, besides, there was little consensus on what the exhaustion pose should be. We left it at that.

Cookie was looking at me in a most exhausted manner (dare I say, pose?) when I entered the surgery after my mid-morning cup of coffee. Mrs Splence was in for an impression. Being beautiful expressions of a person's oral character, as Cookie sees them, she had just been migrating herself into Mrs Splence's jaw, so that she might partake in the wonder that is being taken an impression of. It keeps her happy, and the patients like the communal air it gives the procedure.

And that's the wonderful thing about days like today, when all the people that populate my world leave an impression on me that I can later ponder.

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