Weekly Diary


I got up early, my head aflame with thoughts which I fully expected would be put out in the cold wet of the morning. I dressed quickly, putting a number of spare smiles in my pocket in case someone knocked on the door with an image of acid rain dripping on calcareous rock. June followed me downstairs even though we had invented a number of extra flights in the night and had no idea what we would find at the bottom – as it turned out it was empty except for a waterlogged chair and the business card of the Creature from the Black Lagoon. I went out into the garden covered in soil while June went out on her own for the afternoon. She knocked on the door at the end of it and I let her in through the window.


June got up before I had finished building Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain of my imagination. I had to sign my name on a stone before throwing it in a glass house and then washed in a chemist’s phial. I met June as a coccyx in the vertebrae kitchen, watching two small ghosts on the point of becoming living beings again. We touched voices as we couldn’t touch hands. I then had a hurried breakfast of ball bearings hitting a cast iron floor (I had a magnet for a spoon). June wanted to go out even though the giant face outside was still spitting in the street and we walked out the gasping for breath door together. We parted some time later and I came home along the hair comb road to my bald head study where I crossed I’s and dotted T’s for the remainder of the afternoon.


It was raining rain coats outside as I got up as a road sign in the middle of a field. June was a garden pond in the middle of a lake and we talked like a chair meeting a long lost table. I had to go to the atomic nucleus town to orbit like an electron with my long eared friend. I left him in an ink spot jungle and came home with punctuation marks sounding like howler monkeys in the rainy distance. Luckily before I came to the end of the page I collected him again: he had the face of Mark Twain sucking on a straw and I had the face of a straw sucking on Mark Twain. June had become a viaduct in the interim and was spanning a valley in a black and white photograph; I reciprocated by becoming a trestle table in a coloured print . We both answered the telephone as a machine.


June wanted to go to the edge of the world and back so I walked her part of the way carrying a weather satellite and talking into a spectacle case as if it was a phone – in an invented scene from an internalised movie I interrogated my glasses but they refused to talk (I am not sure if they had read the script). I came home quickly, hearing the sound of tube trains beneath my feet and finding the place where the small figure had landed holding a solitary triangle – if I had found others it could have been used to make a solitary square. June came home much later in the day with a forest made from matchsticks and an inland sea. I joked about me walking the dog and her walking a puddle when a large organism recently captured in the Jovian atmosphere floated slowly overhead.


I woke June moments after I had dragged myself from the cobweb wreckage of our flying tree house; she went downstairs to sit in a goldfish bowl holding a scale model of the Bismarck while I went out as HMS Hood. I visited the old maestro in the silence of his music room and talked in major chords. He left the house a few bars before me and I came home with part of the library of Alexandria hidden in a string vest. June had turned the front garden into a landing strip, although we both took off instead. Ignoring the oases we visited the desert but came home with as much in our pockets as we had when we left – although I had bought a drink using a handmade balsa wood glider and she had thrown the lining of her gloves on the table.


I got up just as the organist in the roof pushed his foot down on the pedals and simultaneously a giant nose pushed through the bespectacled brickwork to make a face. I went downstairs quickly in case it started to sing. June was dressing in the armour of Henry the Eighth and then caught a train of thought to town. I stayed in the station wearing chain mail and eating my breakfast with the distracted air of a mermaid in a net. Outside the bare torso of countryside moved and ordered another drink; the barman threw words like felt hats, one landing on my head moments after I had been cast away on an island in the middle of my tea cup. June returned home as the sound of the anatomical conversation subsided. I laid down as my shadow stood up.


June climbed down a step ladder as I climbed up; for a single moment we were equidistant from the ground and could have touched hands like a Battle of Britain Class locomotive hitting the buffers at Waterloo Station (or in a different reality the ballpoint pen of the Malay Peninsular writing the full stop of the island of Singapore). I then woke up with June down stairs talking to her coffee cup and listening to the clink of music. After a breakfast laid out like toy soldiers June and I surfed a tidal bore to town (it was travelling in the wrong direction but I haven’t bothered with science since I heard that Ptolemy had been resurrected and was living in Houston). We came home at different times after having lunch during a temporal overlap, her in a fighter jet coat and me with a helicopter jacket.


About Gerald Shepherd

Gerald Shepherd is a painter, graphic artist, sculptor, digital/multimedia artist, photographer, writer, curator and arts administrator. He has also been involved with science art, performance art, conceptual art, installations and environments (as well as peripheral creative pursuits such as garden design).
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