By Frampton Jones
Michael Dalloway was always confident that his wife would be along any day now, to collect him. If he told a true tale, and she really was a time traveller, then it may be supposed that his death will be no great barrier to this.
Time is such a troublesome thing that I have no idea why anyone would try to further complicate their relationship with it. Mr Dalloway of course is hardly the first visitor we’ve had for whom the time of departure for the journey that led here is as much a conundrum as the place of it. I can only assume that there is more to time and space than I am able to imagine. This thought does not comfort me.
I find, as I try to write something to mark the passing of Michael Dalloway, that I know far less about him than I do his wife. This is curious, having never met her. Many were the tales he told of her time travelling exploits, her detective work, and a talking dog called Elgie. Was any of it real? We shall never know. I have heard so many fancy and improbable tales from shipwrecked folk that I must either believe that all the world beyond Hopeless is mad, or that shipwrecking here drives people out of their wits. This seems likely, to me.
What we know then, of Michael is that he told a good tale and that perhaps this is more important than whether those tales were objectively true. Perhaps the belief in a time travelling wife who would one day rescue him kept him going in these otherwise bleak circumstances. Perhaps, in our anarchic culture, the idea of solving crime and handing out justice acted as a balm. He certainly kept us entertained, and I think that is how we will remember him.
And not the bit at the end. The messy bit. It is so easy to allow death to define the life before it, especially when writing one of these, but perhaps we should not. Perhaps we should remember the stories, and imagine that she really did come for him in the end, and not dwell too much on the infestation, or what he eventually did with his own entrails.
You can find time travelling detective Deirde Dalloway here – http://detectivedalloway.com/