Section 134 feeling sunny and cooling down
Vernon woke up feeling pleased with himself. On reflection that in itself was remarkable, not just because he was by nature melancholic and pessimistic, but because his philosophical reading, tinged as it was with a curiosity about neuroscience, had alerted him to the observation made by Proust that awakening generally entails the gradual reassembly of self from the oblivion of sleep. Nevertheless, and despite his recent setbacks, Vernon awoke this morning knowing who he was and knowing that he was lucky.
He turned and looked at Nsansa lying next to him, breathing in as he did so the rich scent of the oils with which she conditioned her coffee-toned skin. He stroked her back in appreciation and from somewhere beneath the pillow heard a murmur of approval. Further reasons to be cheerful in three parts were that his mother and sister approved his trip to Thailand, his research proposal had been accepted by Dr van der Floot and he had survived the walk across hot coals that his India visa required. Things were looking up.
Most of all, Vernon reflected drowsily, his feeling of self-satisfaction was derived from the news story of the previous day, the one that had unnerved him profoundly, and the subsequent text on his phone that had woken him up this morning. The text was from Jean Luc. Five words gave him hope. ‘Tarkey has handed himself in’.
Tarkey, by doing so had confirmed the link between Mudrock’s losses and his own actions. It was a short step from there to suppose it was a guilty link. Snug in his thinking-nest, though somewhat distracted by the lazy hand that was exploring his left thigh, Vernon doubted that this turn of events was merely because of the newspaper reporting which was in the public domain. He didn’t know yet, but he considered it likely, Tarkey had been ‘lent on’…
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