The Svengalli Effect And How It Has Affected My Life; An Analysis of Book Worms; Why No Longer a Book Worm; A Funny Email From Former London Lover; Another Dental Appointment, This Time With Nitrous Hopefully; Pyjamas Day Again; Precedence Defined; No More Room At the Inn; Photograph of Treasured Origami

This word suddenly came to me, so of course, I looked it up. Good Old Google. Here are the results: is: a person who exercises a controlling or mesmeric influence on another, especially for a sinister purpose. There is more detail on Wikipedia, also focusing upon portrayals in books, in the theatre and the courts . The word “svengali” has come to refer to a person who, with evil intent, dominates, manipulates and controls another. In court, the Svengali Defence is one such legal tactic, that presents the defendant as a pawn in the scheme of a greater, and more influential, criminal mastermind.

I do sometimes wonder where and how I come up with these seeming ‘right on’ observations to explain certain events and certain situations in my life. As shall be revealed there is, or was, a Svengali in my life. Examining the concept clarifies matters. It could well be said that insights are usually gained by reading or scholastics. I was a ‘book worm’ as a child – locked myself in my room in that abusive, abusive home and disappeared in books. A bookworm is defined as a person who enjoys reading, but it is more than that. It is, in some ways, a retreat from reality and immersing oneself in solitary pursuits – often shy young people see themselves as book warms. A former grandson announced himself as a book worm and it met with pleasure.
He: I am a book worm,
Me: I was a book worm too when I was a kid.
He: Granny, I cannot believe that – you talk so much and play with me and my sisters.
Me: Well I am those things now but not then.

What changed? It was law school and being a lawyer. Reading cases and case studies is a massive task, not only in school but in the every day practice of law. And a different sort of reading – reading for information, reading for facts, not reading for enjoyment, not reading for fun. When reading for fun and enjoyment, I was a speed reader, but no more. I scarcely ever read a book or a fictional article. The man, whom I refer to as my London Lover, was an avid reader – of fiction.
Me: I cannot believe our reading habits. Women are known to be readers of fiction, not men. We have a role reversal.
He: We do!
Me: But I know why! You read to experience emotion, I live my life to experience emotion. He
was not fond of this insight but finally revealed his feelings toward me by referring to an award winning work of fiction – it was rather alarming. He was obsessed and could not get me out of his mind. We have definitely had our ups and downs – it is highly unlikely that we will ever see one another again. But he was and is funny – this from a recent email. I had expressed some thoughts concerning my “Muslim Marriage”
Me: Watching Flannery Connery on TV and so many events. I fear I shall be great??? Who was to know??? Perhaps you??? OMG 😱 If I am to wed in my Muslim state it will go big. He is most handsome and has many children. But hopefully no damn dogs.
He: hello Alexis Not sure that i fully, or even partially, understand the allusion, Or should that be illusion? I wonder if a more realistic choice might be one of the 100,000 migrants coming into the us from the south? Spanish speaking so you should be able to understand what they were asking of you; culturally closer and not likely to have other women/children in tow. And best of all they would probably be able to make a fine mojito. Best wishes.
Me: I cannot speak Spanish and do not like mojitos.. I shall stick to my original illusion. He does look most handsome in his Savile Row suits and is apparently building an extremely expensive residence in London, so I have heard, He does not have custody of any of the children although two 2) asked to live with me to did, at one time, ask to come and live with me in the USA. It is true, all of the above. You do make me laugh!!!!

But back to Svengali. The sinister purpose was a sense of utter dependance on him which was, of course enhanced by the pandemic. He was the only person I saw or spoke with for about nine months. Now, did not get the virus so that was a definite plus but isolation was my my middle name. What happened??? My move to Marin opened the doors, new people, places and things emerged, particularly during a three week absence. Kim and her Vietnamese family, including AAA became the mainstay of my existence. When he learned of his ‘replacement’, he screamed:
He: I knew his was danger, that woman. I knew she was. I am so angry.
Me: I can see that, however, you have no reason to be. Kim just gave me the help I need, all of my needs are met and this hard working family needs the money I pay for the services I receive. They are close at hand. I so need assistance with my computer, you are totally incapable of that but AAA is fantastic and will allow me more confidence and time to write. You promised all sorts of things, including inclusion in your family but never delivered, leaving me anxious and more dependent on you.

Just to be clear, thank goodness this has not, in any way, affected my conversion to the Islamic faith. AAA and I are embryonically discussing a trip to Qatar in the summer. It would be fun as AAA is so different from those I know in Qatar and it would be good for them to meet and learn of her hard work and ambitions. A recent text.
She: I got the part for your computer. It cost $46.00
Me: OK will pay you when I see you next. I rescheduled by dentist appointment to the 13th at a time convenient to you.
She: Yes I can take you that day.
Me: Great! This is the fourth time I have rescheduled the appointment because of the unavailability of the nitrous. Let us hope that we will be successful this time.

The dental office called and we laughed and laughed.
She: This was fun., talking to you. It is my last call of the day and I it was a fun way to end the day.
Me: Thanks! I am most relieved. People often say to me at the end of a telephone conversation. They: You made my day!
She: Well you did make mine!
Me: Thanks! And I shall have clean teeth.

Something unusual is happening around here, here being the complex where I live. There is only one vacant apartment at the present moment in the apartment complex.. There used to be many and I was busy devising schemes for some of the vacancies, a couple on their honeymoon and potential students to attend nearby Redwood High School. Oh well, back to the drawing board. I spoke to BAM (the manager about the matter).
He: It is unusual. It must be because I was on vacation for two and a half weeks.
Me: You are so funny! That must be it! You should go away more often!
He: No need to now.
Me: Hahahaha
But I am now thinking, perhaps it is my blog that is attracting folks to the place. I do speak so highly it and although do not name it – one could figure out as there are hints. Mmmmmm. The plot thickens.

I am still in my pyjamas and have been in bed most of the day. Had this text conversation with AAA
Me: I have stayed in bed all day, still in pyjamas.
She: I have those days too.
Me: That is so comforting that you have those days too. Makes me feel less alone.

The photograph is a treasure from former days. It was my return trip to Canada – it was so difficult to leave London as I had grown to love it but the student visa expired and immigration proved impossible. A United Flight It was a United Flight, First Class, frequent flier miles made the trip bearable, sitting in 1-A. A Japanese woman to my right was busily folding paper, it suddenly dawned on me that she was practicing origami. I expressed interest, and she gifted me with one of her creations. Maps of the Tube was the paper used, symbolic gift, treasured over these past four years. The little ‘men’ at the table were purchased (on sale of course) from the Oriental Room, Laurel House at the Marin Art and Garden Center where I was a volunteer during my pre-London days. No time for such activity now despite return to Marin – writing has taken precedence. Precedence definition: the condition of being considered more important than someone or something else; priority in importance, order, or rank. Used in a sentence: Her desire for power soon took precedence over any other consideration. The phrase take precedence over has many synonyms: take priority over, be considered more important/urgent than, outweigh, supersede, prevail over, come before. So writings supersedes, takes precedence over and is more important than being a volunteer – at the moment anyway.

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