My God, what poetic justice, what an absolutely typical lesson .. . all that about Simon and Melissa and me, well, it appears Simon has been frantically courting Melissa, imposing on her every day, so that she has already or that she will in the near future, have to be cuttingly offputting . . .I didn’t quite get whether that was in the future or the past, Daniel wasn’t talking to me at the time, but I shall of course find out as soon as I can do so unflinchingly . . .but Christ!
It was Dad who brought it up, referring to some remark Daniel had obviously already made on the journey back from Marseille (yes Daniel turned up this evening); I was the only other person sitting in the room, and my God, fresh from having written the above, I was swaying with shock and horror . . .how could I have been so vain!
It just shows how little I really cared for Simon since the idea of him only being interested in me off the rebound from Melissa puts me completely off him . . .which means I only valued him for my vanity’s sake.
Could I ever, ever, bring myself to accept someone previously rejected by Melissa? I doubt it. I could never consider anyone whom I could suspect of preferring Melissa to me, I am too proud.
Of course Simon has only come to know me recently, whereas he’s known Melissa all term; there’s a saving factor for my precious pride, but still I couldn’t care a jot for him now in that respect . . Oh God my eternal snobbism which makes me give people – usually men, friends of Daniel’s – status for absolutely no reason; which status is naturally precarious and tumbles at a little revelation like this which has envolved no action on their part . . . Christ, talk about not judging people by Themselves alone. I must be the worst culprit in the university; it’s because, partly, that I want to give people status over me, that I blind myself to realities – what I know, in my moments of sense, are realities – and make up what I want to believe about these people – and believe it.
Simon is still . . a post graduate, artistic, classy (fairly), a 1st from Oxford etc . .. . set against that, he’s been pursuing Melissa frantically and rejected by her – there you are, there you have it; that’s all he is to me, a list of criteria; oh my God, talk about being interested in someone for the wrong reasons! What I have observed of his character, even of his physical appearance, is nothing to me; the same is true, when I think on it, of almost everyone I’ve ever been interested in, male or female; it’s their labels, what I’ve heard other people say, not what I myself have perceived (which I seem to consider wholly irrelevant) which has been important in determining my attitude.
Perhaps it’s that I’ve never given these people a chance, never given myself a chance to know them, to take my own viewpoint; as soon, as here, as the cards – or rather labels – picked up from hearsay, are stacked against them, I flee, and refuse to have anything more to do with them.
But no, that’s flattering my own vanity too; usually it’s simply that for one reason or another I simply have no further opportunity . . .it’s this silly habit I have of falling in love with people simply on the basis of external criteria . . .the only people entitled to do that are people only interested in one thing, viz sex, ie, physical appearance, and since I, goodness knows, would be much more demanding than that, I really oughtn’t to mislead the chaps concerned by behaving as I have.
Two people – Rory and Noah Carter – I have fallen in love with on the basis of other people’s remarks and what I managed to believe; and facts such as Rory being a scholar from Win Coll and Noah being ed. of that political journal.
Both were aware of – at any rate something ; both no doubt thought that all I wanted was someone to jump into bed with (and both, I may add, would’ve been willing) and both would’ve been utterly surprised and baffled if things had ever developed to where it became clear my demands – whatever they might have been – were not so simple.
Noah even now is probably a bit confused; I seemed to ‘fancy’ him, it’s been patently obvious that I have been aware of him fancying me . . .what was I, the one who appeared to have the situation so well summed up, waiting for? Every time he made a physically highly flattering gesture, I smiled knowingly and took it as my due . . .what more did I want?
Oh how could I be so naïve? I sensed something was wrong, I knew it was deadlock between Noah and me, that I’d somehow got us into a situation from which there was no way out, well, this is it. Trying in my naïve little way to use the common language of Love I have misused it, used the same words to express different concepts and naturally been hopelessly and embarrassingly misunderstood.
Of course Noah was only interested in my sexuality, without knowing it I was conveying that I was only interested in his . . . how could he see into my mind better than myself and observe my childish blunder?
My kind of Love – the affectionate devotion of two people each with a fair knowledge of and deep respect for the other’s nature, which very thing would in me lead to a physical attraction, I think – is something that is feasible only with Time and not something to be constructed over the party table.
Learning to express oneself . . . how often have I said what I don’t mean? Oh poor Noah . . .maybe one day I’ll have an opportunity to explain.
I have been guilty of insufficient self-knowledge; I was half-aware at the time – when Noah was here last September for instance – that things weren’t altogether clear to me; I knew I wanted something, but not to jump into bed, but it was all very vague; but I assumed blandly that Noah being older and wiser, a superior being possessed of my deepest respect, (whether he’d earned it or not, I wanted him to have it), I assumed that he would be able to see straight into my mind and understand what I was getting at even though I couldn’t have articulated it, not even to myself.
Madness! Oh, utter, utter madness! And I shall have to do a bit more self-penetration to clear up my motives to the bottom.
It’s my imagination which does the damage . . .the combination of naivity and an imagination that has to chew at everything. I could never have ‘fallen in love’ in the first place without it, for one can’t fall in love with nothing; I had to form a Person from all the available criteria first . . . well, I don’t need to enlarge, you only need read back a few pages.
But why is it that I do ‘fall in love’? Why do I want to? Is it simply that, without knowing it, I am, just in the most basic way, sexually frustrated?
Given, perhaps, the bare facts that here I am, nearly 20, fit and healthy, and a virgin, you might say, that’s very possible and quite ‘normal’ (Yuk how I hate that usage!)
But really I cannot think so; it would be the easiest thing in the world for me to find someone to sleep with and it has never occurred to me to be tempted. And with men it is never their physical appearance which induces me to ‘fall in love’; true, if they are good-looking, the effects of their ‘criteria’ on their behalf will work more quickly; ie; I may notice them sooner and therefore pick up on information with greater promptness, eg. It took me two days to fall for Rory; I’d met Noah on and off for 2 years.
But I could never, however good-looking, fall for someone for whom the cards had been stacked against and hence guided my imagination that way, against; to fall in love I would have to contrive a readjustment somehow . . .oh you know what all this points to, don’t you?
My sexual impulses –which do exist in no mean measure – have been crushingly repressed by the firm oppressive conviction that sex for sex’s sake is utterly abhorrent and crude and animalistic, that before I will permit myself to desire any man, I must first thoroughly kid myself that I am in love with his mind, so my imagination sets to work as soon as I feel inclined to desire anybody . . .and really, though a good-looking chap is better, well, anyone will do when you come down to it, just anyone, if you can contrive to fill in the necessary condition.
Ugh! Is that really me? Yes, and it’s probably at the root of all romantic prudery. Basically, if you are romantic, you are, at heart, sexual. There are people, I know, my mother I think was one, who are sexually restrained, who didn’t and had no inclination to sleep around at all – but I bet she didn’t have romantic daydreams about being ‘in Love’ either.