Ham from the Past
I do take satisfaction from the well-played plot, though I should never let Jack hear of it. When Sean and I left him this morning he was hungover and surly, as usual, but I noticed a tinge of satisfaction in his curt dismissal, and perhaps even a little pride.
I nevertheless had some cause to despair by the end of the day. By chance I encountered a figure from an earlier period of my life, a woman I was much taken with for some years. I have liked to think that I have improved myself over time, that I have managed to cultivate those aspects of my person that I feel most worthy and rubbed away at those I have deemed unpleasant, base, or petty. Further, I have thought casually -- never at a formal, philosophical level -- that this process, though effortful and conscious, is nonetheless natural, one that most are prone to undergo overtime, regardless of his emotivations. And yet, despite her claims to the contrary, she had not changed at all. She impressed this fact upon me, and the correlated fact of the distance, rendered by time, between our current characters, when she threw a half-eaten ham at my head. She had reached, I think, for the nearest object that would serve her needs, and that ham, which had until then sat cooling on the table between us, ably complied. I am grateful that the ham was first in her line of vision, and that the carving knife lay on my side of the platter.
Sean is with a dear colleague at the Society, a physician of the highest rank and discretion, that we might gain something from the study of this fascinating specimen. I am returning to them shortly, and I look forward to the conversation that will follow. And, despite the hard-tossed ham, I am very well pleased to be out from under Jack's tyrannical eye.