Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Burial of Mickey Mouse: Part 21 continued

The present gets in the way of talking about the past. I want to be truthful but this gets in the way too - how much truth is enough truth? I'm looking at my past with present eyes and they see differently from what they saw then. I could simply copy my diaries, chronologically dipping into the big pile of red or black notebooks in which I obsessively recorded every fluctuation of emotion like a weather log but that would be too embarassingly confessional. So, I'm trying to stick to the story.

Once settled in my Hampstead room, I got in touch with a young English poet I'd met in Rome months earlier. He had been with a girlfriend, I with my husband, and the four of us explored some Roman markets together. The poet and I had exchanged glances, nothing more. But, you know, messages can be morse-coded by the eyes alone and there was no mistaking the erotic charge that flickered between us. Thus, meeting up in London on the pretense of "having a drink" inevitably extended into dinner then into bed then into one of those things, one of those bells which now and then ring, just one of those crazy flings. The poet had broken off with his previous girlfriend but neither of us was interested in committment anyway. We spent long weekends making love in my room, walking in the park, going to parties at literary friends of his and talking. Unlike my silent husband, the poet was a talker, a maker of well-turned phrases, and this was a novelty, especially since many of his fine phrases were about me. I was not in love but flattered, my confidence boosted. It lasted on and off for a couple of months and then we drifted apart as easily as we had drifted together. Other eyes were now holding mine.


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