Sitting in the parlour the forensic team were sifting through the photographs on the mantlepiece . I reached over and relieved the inspector of one particular photograph . All eyes watched intently I smiled and looked as if I was attempting to remember the moments which the image had frozen in time. “Melanoma ” who worked in the local telephone exchange and myself had extended our vacances for an extra week in Monte Carlo “Excelsior ” and each night I insisted we danced ..The night in question she had falken in a narcoleptic state . I proud and of anglo irish stock, full of hubris, dragged her around the dance for another two hours before making our excuses and retiring ..what the image had not captured was me slinging mel on shoulder and struggling to the lift ..
Monthly Archives: July 2016
It was the first time i had attempted anything on this scale before ..my brothers had spoken in hushed tones of a primal urge in us all …to go beyond the imagined, into a place that most of us only dreamed ….today was that day ..why ? because it was there ! …with just a fresh coffee which was prepared for me i went through my usual haunts wondering what sort of man i might return as ….. with a deep sigh i braced myself and began what i can only describe as an extraordinary journey…..people went about their daily chores oblivious to the great leap of personal achievement that was about to be performed … the air was stale and the light was strangely incandescent. I could hear machine like hums as i reached my first ledge ….although at this point I was not elevated much, I was seperate from everything …. I pressed my belly along the ledge and shimmed forward ….in this brief moment I knew I was in uncharted territory …not one man had ever been here before …I could hear distant voices exclaim…far away I wondered what Lord Gibson would say .. a sudden crash wrenched me from my precipice and I lost consciousness tumbling and twisting …..I was woken by a firm but polite voice ….hello !!hello !!…I was in a police station …..Maurice are you ok ? …. I hmmmmmed ….they looked at me with pity … not awe as I had hoped …..why maurice? Why did you do it ? I knew this moment would occur .. I stood up and with lowered voice declared “because it is there!”….”yes maurice but the frozen food section in Morrisons?” With the wry smile of a man who has been to the ledge of human experience ..” I know it has never been done and most likely will never again .”…at that moment I felt a sharp chill in my pants as some frozen peas dislodged in my breeches…..
Did I ever tell you about the time I met Marion Morrison .. It was 1959 in a car park off Wexford St Dublin … I was stepping out of my Austin Cambridge …my companion drew his presence to my attention with the joint use of an index finger and a gasp of air …”Start the car “I whispered loudly…. then in my broad brogue ..”.Well you hair pulling ,arm yanking ,mincing brute of man, leave Maureen alone and cut out the spanking it’s just not right “.. I jumped into car and we sped off down Long lane .. turned right onto Clanbrassil St and with in minutes could be found short of breathe geniflecting in front of a recumbent Saint in the transept of Christchurch Cathedral…to this day I am not sure if might not have been just someone who looked like him ..after all It was a long time ago.
I have not been this excited about Christmas since the winter of 47 when I was held at gun point on a backroad out of Kuala Lumpur by a band of communist rebels …. I had just been to see the British consulate ..picked up a Singapore house special with rice …was bombing along in my rather tired Austin seven … when band of daring trouble makers demanded recognition for their part in liberating Malaysia. ..I explained I my dilemma. .The food was getting cold and could it wait til the empire truly collapsed…Well the long the short of it …was I spent Christmas with a hill tribe and was released from captivity as a result of bureaucratic inertia….very very exciting times ….(my cousin who is a stickler for detail and an avid reader…will point out I was -29 yrs of age at the time in the real world or 39 yrs old in my made up one ) it’s all mere accounting ,this being my 106 th Christmas I am allowed some tolerance when it comes to exact dates …yours very excited as we speak….
Christmas of 57 found me in Illinois working for the Franconi bros. A declining touring circus. We had planned on wintering in Detroit … but a card game involving the mayor turned sour …and by late December we managed to pitch up out outside of Illinois in time for Christmas eve performances…. I had to lie low for a while as news travels faster than a menagerie…and anyone who has travelled with a circus will know ..They don’t carry passengers… I fitted snuggly into Miss Shufflebottom’s role( a shooting accident involving her mother) on the high wire, and for that season I was Estelle, Florences sister ,until one night a member of the public caught me weeing standing up in my tutu. … Christmas with carny folk was never dull … and the lion with diarrooea was not entirely my fault….It was the 50’s after all . my remaining days were spent collecting the camel fur after the shows and sticking it all back on the beast with tape before the next performance…..
Gene Kelly and myself fell out one christmas … we were on set doing the final fill shots for “Singing in the Rain.”… I was a leg model at the time …my ankles had attracted the attention of a casting agent one evening . It was raining in Manhattan when I arrived by coach at Port Authority , I jumped a cab to Noho and Soho.. The car was full of christmas presents…I was just checking a pair of shoes I had bought for my sister…I still had my pop socks on …any how, in jumps Stanley Donen and Rita Moreno. ..I quickly put the shoes away …I ring my brother from the hotel . Stanley explained that Debbie Reynolds had fat ankles…. I signed a few non disclosure forms and( this is the first I have ever spoken about Christmas 51 .. Kelly ..Reynolds and Donen. Things were tense on set as Kelly felt I was show boating …which I aggressively denied, after all how could an ankle upstage a Hollywood star ..we never spoke again..and I was encouraged not to attend the wrap up party… me, my brother and cyd charrise shared a bottle of bourbon in a bar in St marks instead. …
A weary , polite hand reached in through the door “happy Christmas Maurice!!” … I invited the arm and it’s body in .. amongst the sniffles and drips ,I drove the conversation across family ..christmas..weather and so much more …. we reached a crest in the dialogue… I grabbed my coffee and slipped …”Guess what I got for Christmas?”…. with a childish smirk I peeled my socks down my shins and reached into the shadowed light ..Discarding my wool blend socks I then twisted on my seat .. her eyes trundled to the floor ….I stood up and walked into the bright flickering light of a 100 watt energy saving light bulb …. and I in counter tenor “Some more toes!!!!”