noun: a situation in which two or more things are not connected in the way that they should be (Cambridge dictionary)

I tried to look it that definition in MrS’s ‘The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles Vol I A – M’ but it wasn’t there. But perhaps that’s not a surprise because it actually is shorter. The dictionary. It’s missing whole chunks of words. There’s nothing between revival (dating from 1651 apparently) to row, i.e.the arrangement of things in. Like pretty maids or ducks. I’m improvising my own definition because that’s one of the missing ones. It does kick back in with some examples of its own though ‘… a number of houses standing in a line’, and then goes on to ‘row, slang or colloquial (1787) a noisy dispute or quarrel. You get a rough idea? Perhaps not…

in case you thought I was making it up

But I think disconnect isn’t there, as a noun anyway, because it’s a more modern usage, the dictionary is a 1968 reprint. So there’s no internet either, though there is internect (1694 ad. to bind to each other. To interconnect.* And none of this matters. Except perhaps as an example.

An example because when I’m writing there’s a huge disconnect between the time spent actually writing, and the hours doing research. And by research of course I mean the hours spent looking for exactly the right puffy jacket, which was very fashionable in 2019, and then never even made it to the page. Well it did but then got all bundled up and used as a pillow in the rewrite. Never to be read in all its graphene padded glory*.* Then there were the houses, cars, third most popular girls names in 1968, choosing exactly which lyrics would work best as a tattoo, and today, the time spent finding exactly how many words and pages were missing from a 2515 page two volume dictionary.***

One of the most soul destroying disconnects happens when someone reads my drafts (usually MrS) Then the gaping disconnect between the clear picture in my head…’what you didn’t get that he looks a lot like… and she’s doing that because…’ and what I’ve actually managed to pin down on the page, becomes all too clear. To be honest, that disconnect starts with me, as soon as I try to capture those pictures on the page. I just pretend to ignore it.

There’s already a huge disconnect between how this post played out in my head, and how it is here.

Last week I enjoyed endured a different type of disconnect. In front of a different kind of audience, all sitting expectantly in the darkened auditorium. The scene changes which should have been slick but became comic; how my voice and gestures seemed to me, and how they appeared to them. I’ve tried to describe it below.


In my head it was graceful.
In my head it was swift and effective.
Out there in the dark, they’re starting to shuffle.
Out there in the dark, the whispering is starting.
Not all of it is whispery.
I am rummaging for the phone, and it’s not there. I know I should sit down, put on my specs, cue the doorbell sound.
I keep on rummaging for the phone while trying to straighten the runner.
The runner remains askew.
The floor is wet, the picture is hanging at a jaunty angle, the chair cover is falling off. I do not have the phone. Is the phone an important prop? I do not have it. How wet is the floor? Will I slip? Will Lara slip? I can’t let Lara slip. I must warn Lara that the floor is wet.
I have been shambling in the dark for several hours.
I have been shambling in the dark for what seems like several hours.
Are they still there?
Out in the seats.
Centuries might have passed.
There is only here, in the dark, and I do not have the phone and the floor is all wet.
It’s been too, too long.
I sit down, put on my specs.
The doorbell rings, the lights come up.
‘Lara’, I whisper when I go to welcome her onstage, ‘be careful, the stage is all wet’.
I turn, witness the full horror of the tilted picture, uncovered chair.
‘Sorry for the mess.’
That is not my line.

That’s all for now, and for the first time

Caroline x

*It then goes from internee (1920 An interned person) to interneural (1846 situated between nerves)

**that might be the fate of the bits that made it in too.

***32, pages 1729 – 1760 if you’re interested, far too many words to try and list here.

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