Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pocket Diary of a Gentleman

I'm a sucker for estate sales, but I usually can't afford much: a loose volume from a worm-eaten edition of Ruskin's works, a brass shoe horn, maybe a warped andiron if the stars are right. Most recently, I scored a damp cedar chest full of amusingly stained linen. Imagine my surprise when I found a gentleman's pocket diary wrapped in a completely ruined antimacassar that rather failed in the "anti-" department. It appears to be from the early to mid 19th century, and to have belonged to a man of means and taste. A sample page follows:

6AM: Awoken from terrifying dream of Irish Catholics setting up camp in the west garden. The beasts had used the topiary as support posts for their laundry lines.

7AM: Stomach issues continue, but managed to choke down a small portion of live elver in milk as prescribed. I find myself troubled by the morality of it all.

8:30AM: Perused my backlog of Sir Jasper's Journal of Effete Concerns. Horrified to discover that the diameter of the pearl in my stick pin was 1/128th of an inch out of step with fashion.

11AM: Sodomy and badminton. Weather continues fine.

1PM: Enervated. Only able to suck the dampness from an oyster shell for luncheon.

2PM: Assignation with Hungarian prostitute. At least her procuress claims that provenance: I fear I detect a distinct note of Kentucky around her vowels. Nevertheless, the coupling was excellent, formidable and restorative.

3PM: Interminable musical salon at Wenderton manor. Why they think their walleyed daughter's mastery of the tuba is something to celebrate remains a mystery.

5PM: Free time: tied ascot, practiced harpsichord, studied pornographic French lithographs, flagellated self

7PM: Finally feeling hale, so planned to dine on medallions of fawn in a black currant sauce. Just as I was being served, a doe and her (remaining?) fawns contrived to spoil things by wandering across the lawn. Blasted things. Had the curtains drawn, but proper dinner could no longer be faced. More elver instead.

8PM: Went to Turkish baths for steam treatment and personal irrigation, only to be informed the boiler had exploded that afternoon and all the clinical tubing was out being "vulcanized" or some such thing. Infuriating.

8:30PM: Returned home. Required four snifters of brandy to soothe irritation.

10PM: Updated diary, retired.

2AM: Disturbed by nightmare of being tied to a stake and pelted with handfuls of elver by the "Hungarian" prostitute riding on the back of a fawn. Interesting that her accent was pure Magyar as she screamed the most obscene insults at me. Apparently honesty only exists in our dreams. Awoke aroused.


interrobang said...


Richard said...


(P.S. - I swear on a stack of Tijuana bibles that I'll have some text for you soon. It's been a crazy few weeks.)

interrobang said...

Don't worry about it--I've only recently re-learned to draw, so I'm in no hurry.