Damn, but it's cold in this old wreck! Isn't whiskey meant to keep a body warmer than this? I'd wonder if the stuff they gave me weren't defective, if not for this unceasing spinning in my head.
I should really thank Emily and the boys for bring this upon me. I've always wondered what being drunk would be like, and I expected that I'd have to get it out of my system somehow, sooner or later. Intentional experimentation would have been my preferred method, though Emily, with her proper Victorian sensibilities would have been a bit tiresome about it, were she to ever find out. Thank you, my dear friends, for giving me the gift of experience without the blame! Decorum be damned. I can't believe that the Almighty would have put certain things on this earth if we mortals weren't meant to experience them, even as a test of our character. And if it is a test of our character, it's a rotten, unfair one, since it seems that so many of us are too weak to resist.
One has to admire someone like that old curmudgeon Luke Elliot- They say he schedules all of his appointments for the year in advance -admirable enough on its own, really, how many of us have the fortitude to do that, and stick to to it? I don't. I'd go mad, knowing my year was planned out ahead of me, with no room for spontaneous moonlight bathing and the like. Old Luke's dedication to his calendar is something to be admired, though- he even marks down all the days he means to get drunk- and he sticks to it. I'd hardly believe something so absurd if I hadn't seen it for myself when dear Aunt Laura -bless the old soul, she's so determined to believe that virtue will win out in everyone- invited him to a church social when she met him by chance on a visit in Blair Water. Imagine it! Laura Murray, standing there primly, Luke Elliot with his hat respectfully clutched to his chest, earnestly saying, 'Oh, I'm afraid I'm engaged that evening, Miss Murray. You see, I've reserved the seventeenth of May for getting intoxicated, and I never miss my appointments.'
This will make quite the tale if it gets out amongst the old Puritans of Blair Water, or worse, (or better, I suppose, depending on one's perspective), amongst our charming fellow students of Shrewsbury. Imagine Evelyn Blake's face! She must never find out- But at the same time, she must, oh, she must, if only so that I might see that stupid, smug look on her face and laugh over it once her back is turned- Evelyn's self-satisfied condescension never fails to induce hilarity, and best of all the creature has no idea of how laughable she is. It'll bring her parsimonious wrath down on poor Emily though- 'Haven't you any authority over Ilse?' But seeing the shock on her face, the twist of disapproval, and underneath it all, the unmistakable irritation of someone who knows that, however respectable she may be, she'll never have any true adventures, no truly interesting experiences to define her existence! I'd almost pity her, but loyalty dictates that I must carry on despising her, and when it comes down to it, what's mercy to an enemy compared with loyalty to a friend? One might give you a better shot at Heaven, but when all's said and done, the Almighty's infinitely forgiving, but that won't change the character of someone like Evelyn Blake. Heaven might be eternal, but whoever wrote the Bible didn't have to sit in an English class with Evelyn sharing her lofty literary views with the air of someone who's under the delusion that her name and opinions will be of real significance, one day. I'd say I have as proper an understanding of what eternity feels like as any of the ancients.
Oh, now, what is going on, over there? Oh Emily, oh Teddy, you're both complete darlings, but playing philosopher, as you're doing right now, does make you sound a bit as though you're in love with the sound of your own voice. Someone really should tell them how they sound, and since it's not going to be Perry -oh Perry, you're no fool, you're quite clever in your own way, though hearing you try to keep up with those two would lead anyone to suspect otherwise- I suppose it's going to have to be me.
I've been lying so still, though, that I suppose they believe I'm asleep; to disillusion them would be to interrupt the fun. What a conundrum! If I turn over very quietly, though, I might be able to manage it...
"...I've a pocket full of dreams to sell.”
Oh Teddy, what are you saying? I suppose you're in one of those moods where you fancy yourself whimsical. Dear me, am I really so judgmental- Is this the effect of the whiskey, or is the whiskey bringing out the truth in my character?
“What d'ye lack? What d'ye lack? A dream of success--a dream of adventure--a dream of the sea--a dream of the woodland--any kind of a dream you want at reasonable prices, including one or two unique little nightmares. What will you give me for a dream?"
Oh, Teddy! Gazing at Emily like that! And Emily, oh Emily. For someone who prides herself on her observational prowess as you do, you really can be rather thick at times- Although? What's this I see, now, oh sentimental one, that look on your face? Look at you two, gazing rapturously upon one another as Perry remains blissfully ignorant of the nuances of your expressions. Someone should say something, and there's no one but me to do it...
No, Ilse, no. Prove that, just once, you can stop yourself from saying any damn thing you want to, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you can, even when your self-control is impaired the next time you fly into a rage. Even if you choose not to, you're capable if you put your mind to it- Damn everyone who's said otherwise.
...Shame on you, Perry- I'd like to go over there and grab your ear, and twist some sense into your head. Chasing after Emily like you do- I half-believe it's only sheer wretched stubbornness that makes you do it.
...I hope he never gets her. Perry's appeal largely comes from what happens when he wants something that he believes he can't have- And thinking he can't have it makes him want it all the more, and it brings out a rather delightful determination that flavours even his most commonplace of actions with tenacity. If he ever were to achieve the elusive affections of Miss E.B. Starr, half the fight and all the fun would go out of him, and then what good would he be?
I wonder what would happen if I were to tell him that? Oh, what a rage he'd fly into! But oh, what a treat that rage would be!
Oh, they've all gone now anyway. Damn!
The best thing to do will be to file everything I've wanted to say away safely in my head, and tell them tomorrow, if it still seems to have any merit. Or, perhaps, even if it doesn't- Having a reputation for speaking your mind really does let one get away with wonders, at times. Someone's going to have to force what that look meant out of Emily, at any rate- Knowing her, she'll moon around for years if it doesn't come out into the open, and how frustrating that would be- Not only for her sake, but for that of her friends who'll have to put up with it!
If only I could ensure that I'll remember this in the morning- I'm so very tired, really, and I haven't any paper to write it down. At times like this, I envy Emily and her ever-present Jimmy books. Ah well- Fortune wouldn't be so cruel as to lead poor Ilse astray then leave her without this important realisation the next morning, would it? I think that sleep is in order now, but in the morning, Emily, don't think you're getting away without your dear bosom friend telling you what she thinks- It'll be for your own good, darling. Just you wait and see.