All Bedlam Courses Past (part fifty-four)

Posted by ractrose on 9 Jul 2023 in Fiction, Novels

Pastel drawing of bird flying away from bonfire






All Bedlam Courses Past


Chapter Three
An Object in Motion
(part fifty-four) 







Barefoot to Compostela





To be able to say that the feeling was this—

Proof enough, or ought to be. He was not worse than he had been; he was far better.

Yet (in a quiet room, this too), the shame of it all…

However, patience. We do accept our fates.

Proud of this trifle, which only his visitors could admire in him, that he had achieved a new decade of life, and would in November enter his thirty-first year, Honoré pondered maturity, put heartbreak away, told himself Gilbert paid him tribute enough.

At times in his life he had treasured this friendship. And nothing discounted, to say “at times.” Friends who keep faith when we don’t bother about them at all…

He thought of propping up, felt the covers for his notebook, where he jotted anything that made an opening. The Letter’s import having always to be (and stated as a motto under the masthead): How precious is our Health, for Health is Time; On Earth we may gain Wealth, but of Hours, none.

Yes, a line or two, Cullen-Bryantish…


Those friends abiding dear, though cast aside midst cares

Of daily hours [reference to mundanity of household affairs]

Draw near, when in sweet memory the fond heart dwells


Honoré did write lines like this; poetry wanted for some reason, appreciated. Letters came in turn, to the editor.

“I have snipped out your lovely, inspiring verse, and have had it framed.”

(But these who wrote were invalids…how very sad to be an invalid…)

He had time for verse, and the English for it, now. He felt an embarrassed disgust at himself; wanted, inventing these things, to complain in a political way about labor and cost…

But in this present life he had neither. He pursued his vocation as a figment. Thos. B Jerome’s bi-monthly readers must receive only his bi-monthly reiteration of his miraculous cure.

“As there may always be a visitor to the house of one of our subscribers, or a customer to one of our sponsors, who is seeing Well-Being for the first time.”







Pastel drawing of bird flying away from bonfireAll Bedlam Courses Past (part fifty-five)















(2023, Stephanie Foster)