“Do you mind being old? Having lived your life?” We’ve just finished watching ‘The Bridge’, one of these gloomy Scandinavian thrillers. It’s half past eleven at night.
"What do you mean? Your question makes no sense. I am not old, I am me. Whatever age that happens to be at any given time”. Beloved has taken Millie out for a last pee and isn’t really attuned to my Weltschmerz.”
"Yes, sure, but knowing that there is a lot less left than you’ve already had. Have you no regrets?”
"Oh, plenty of regrets. But they’re the past. This is now".
"Sometimes I feel that I haven’t had any life at all and that’s it too late to have one; that it’s over already."
"Poor thing, maybe you haven’t. But you have now. You have NOW. Not yesterday, not tomorrow. That’s the way I look at it."
Earlier today I said that I am probably never going to get off this island now. There are many reasons, excuses mainly. If I really wanted to, I could. But it would be difficult. There’s Beloved’s unwillingness to shift himself, there’s my fear that the excitement of getting organised would kill me, there’s the knowledge that there’s nobody waiting for me across the channel.
On the other hand, staying here, without the relief of spending time in Europe or anywhere else for a time, is a pretty miserable outlook. The island mentality of the Brits is getting me down, their endless bickering about anything ‘bloody foreign’, their need to be in competition with other nations and whistling in the wind of their imagined, natural, inborn superiority. You should see their surprise when you tell them that exactly that attitude applies to all nationalities.
It feels like it’s been raining for weeks. I need to blame somebody.
Comments are off until I’ve got to the end of this.