A paradox: when you're in the grip of literature -- of poetics, rhetoric, narrative, drama, symbolism, metaphor, style, grammar, diction and micro-nuance in all its lovely rise and fall, its innuendos and insinuations, its expeditions into the brain, its commando raids on the heart and its ambushes of the understanding -- when you are in that lifelong grip, it's bloody hard to write a document for legal purposes the way such a document is supposed to be written.
My dear, stern legal friend D took one look at my first draft and clicked her tongue and rolled her eyes. Said No no no, the court doesn't want to know How it All Went Wrong. I said But that's the interesting important stuff, and she just looked at me pityingly and clicked her tongue and rolled her eyes some more, and re-wrote the first few paragraphs for me in legalese on a paper napkin, before we turned to the more interesting and pleasant pursuit of doing the Saturday morning Crossquiz, with the help of Google courtesy of the iPhone of Last Resort.
So because she is very very good and experienced at this stuff, and because I am supporting a loved one's application for divorce and want to do it effectively and properly, I've just re-written it the way she told me to re-write it. But I don't think she realised quite how violently the clunky legalistic style would go against my grain.
I've already done my 2008-2009 tax preparations tonight, a mere nine months late, and may have been asking too much of the ageing psyche, trying to do this affidavit as well on the same night. I need another Scotch and I know that's not a good idea; if I keep this up I'll be fronting up to the accountant tomorrow morning with a sickening hangover, not for the first time, but at least my current accountant does not suffer from the BO of the former one so that should help. Yes yes, too much information. Sorry.
(Then of course there's, you know, work. Deadline, book reviews, that kind of thing. None of which I've done today except for the 30 pages of vampire splatterfest over morning coffee. Thank God for Alexander McCall Smith, who has yet another charming title out -- The Dog Who Came In From the Cold -- and can be read with great pleasure and no effort in the blink of an eye.)
What I've just printed out for the court may be the most wooden document I've ever written in my whole life, with the possible exception of my own application for divorce, back in my child-bride days. I can barely bring myself to admit that I wrote it. And all I can see is the pain between the lines.
In which the pond discovers Baxendale is quiet on oppression, and prattling Polonius feels oppressed ... - Others have observed the recent war going down amongst the more vicious and repetitive and simple-minded reptiles, as in Meade *here* ... *...Lisa Oldfie...
35 minutes ago