Now that he’s been out a while, Dan reckons he’s caught up with life on the outside. But it’s not enough to be where he was before he went to prison. He aims to do a lot better than that.
Dan is a character from my novel One Night at the Jacaranda and he’s on his way up in the world.
Today he listens to Her Majesty opening Parliament. Course, she’s done it once or twice before. Bit of a pro. Knows what she’s doing when she opens Parliament or troops colours. Dan focusses on what she says and most of all on how she says it. Words like humanitarian and psychoactive drugs, even while she’s got a socking great crown on her head that must weigh a ton.
He studies the speech again online not so much for its content as for its vocabulary and delivery.
He reckons he’s doing a bit of an exegesis.
Shows just how far he’s come. Back in the day, one glance at Her Maj and he’d be thinking how to nick them Crown Jewels. Totally wrong, of course. Nowadays he thinks more of pilfering. Or purloining. In point of fact, the only thing he’s pilfered since he got out was a leather belt. It makes him look the mutt’s nuts but he still feels guilty.
To improve his vocabulary, Dan started out with a new word every day. Got a dictionary from a charity shop. The spelling is much better in books than online.
Today he has other words too.
Comes from the Latin. Pure class, that is. This morning as he left the flat, he called his lady, “You little pulchritude.” She gave him a puzzled look and said the ch wasn’t pronounced sh.
Maybe that one needs a bit more work.
Last week he did something totally meretricious. He’s still making up for it.
So tonight he will make his pulchritudinous little lady a meal. He likes cooking. Maybe he’ll do a nice bit of monkfish, with a few clandestine ingredients like sorrel.
He shakes his head, wondering if that sounds quite right.
You can read more about Dan and the rest of the bunch of single Londoners in One Night at the Jacaranda.