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Smashwords — Spiritus Mundi – Book I: The Novel — A book by Robert Sheppard

See on Scoop.itWorld Literature Forum

Robert Sheppard’s thriller novel, Spiritus Mundi, is an unforgettable read and epic journey bringing to life the sexual and spiritual lives of struggling global idealists overcoming despair, nuclear terrorism, espionage and a threatened World War…

Robert Sheppard‘s insight:

Spiritus Mundi, Novel by Robert Sheppard is now available on Smashwords!—–Check it Out Now!

See on www.smashwords.com

Smashwords — Spiritus Mundi – Book II: The Romance — A book by Robert Sheppard

CLICK HERE TO BUY SPIRITUS MUNDI NOW! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/303798

See on Scoop.itWorld Literature Forum

Robert Sheppard’s thriller novel, Spiritus Mundi, is an unforgettable read and epic journey bringing to life the sexual and spiritual lives of struggling global idealists overcoming despair, nuclear terrorism, espionage and a threatened World War…

Robert Sheppard‘s insight:

Spiritus Mundi–Book II: The Romance is now Available on Smashwords!—-Check It Out Now!

See on www.smashwords.com

 

Note: The following are introductory excerpts from the Blog of Eva Strong in the novel, Spiritus Mundi, by Robert Sheppard.  For further  background on the novel visit these related sites:

Related Links and Websites:  Spiritus Mundi, Novel by Robert Sheppard

For Introduction and Overview of the Novel:  http://spiritusmundinovel.wordpress.com/

For Author’s Blog:  https://robertalexandersheppard.wordpress.com/

To Read a Sample Chapter from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundisamplechapters.wordpress.com/

To Read Fantasy, Myth and Magical Realism Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundifantasymythandmagicalrealism.wordpress.com/

To Read Sexual Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: The Varieties of Sexul Experience:  https://spiritusmundivarietiesofsexualexperience.wordpress.com/

To Read Spy, Espionage and Counter-terrorism Thriller Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi:   http://spiritusmundispyespionagecounterterrorism.wordpress.com/

To Read Geopolitical and World War Three Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundigeopoliticalworldwar3.wordpress.com/

To Read Spiritual and Religious Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundionspiritualityandreligion.wordpress.com/

To Read about the Global Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in Spiritus Mundihttps://spiritusmundiunitednationsparliamentaryassembly.wordpress.com/

To Read Poetry from Spiritus Mundihttps://spiritusmundipoetry.wordpress.com/

For Discussions on World Literature and Literary Criticism in Spiritus Mundi:   http://worldliteratureandliterarycriticism.wordpress.com/

For Discussions of World History and World Civilization in Spiritus Mundi:  https://worldhistoryandcivilizationspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/

To Read the Blog of Andreas Sarkozy from Spiritus Mundi: http://andreasblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/

To Read the Blog of Robert Sartorius from Spiritus Mundi: http://sartoriusblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/


Eva’s Blog Journal:

I could not write last night because I was too unhappy. I awoke early, about five
because I thought I heard Sarah moving around in her room through the wall. She
must have gone to the toilet and gone back to sleep because I could hear the
toilet running afterward. The night was still blackish, just beginning to haze
into grey. Andreas and I were lying facing the window, his knees tucked into
the backs of the angle of my my knees and his arm crossing in front of me under
my breasts. I could feel his chest moving across my back and the sleeping
rhythm of warm exhale into the back of my ear. I could feel a fierce healing warmth
from him to me. ‘Soon he will not come back’ I thought. but no that was
impossible with his warmth pouring into me.

We have been together for five months since the first time. Now he stays to sleep with
me several days at a stretch before going back to his hotel room or off on a
business trip.  I offered to let him move in, but he keeps his hotel room, paid for by the Committee, like an insurance policy guaranteeing his freedom I guess……doesn’t want to burn any bridges……….I roll over facing him….the hair on his chest was slippery yet rough and gave my breasts intense delight……he roused slightly, making a throating noise and fell back into his rhythm of sleep. I looked up into his face……and it was clenched up……..the shadow of a dream on it……..I could tell it was a hard dream from the tension in his muscles……..he awoke two weeks ago like that in the dark and
talked about his army years in South Africa……..how they came back to him from
time to time……….The light across his face was thick and heavy because of the
rain outside………and then I saw his face unclench and I knew he would not wake up………his face was broad and calm now, calm sealed lids and above them the reddish brown of his smooth eyebrows……Nordic hair from his mother……..I pushed my face into his face………….I could see him as a child, fearless, cocky and with a clear broad smile…….I could see him as an old man, locked in a bitter intelligent loneliness……….I wanted to protect him as a child…my child……I wanted to be a mother lioness fierce on
behalf of her young……fierce on behalf of her wounded mate….….I said to myself  ‘nonsense, he will not leave me’………….we can’t be like this together and him want to leave…….I was careful not to go back to sleep because Sarah would be waking before long……….

The tension built in me, as I switched on the get-Sarah’s-breakfast-and-clothes,-see-her-out-to the-bus-get-Andreas-up-and-showering-fix-his-breakfast circuit in the mental wiring. As I heard something moving around through the wall I felt Andreas
growing big against my buttocks. My resentment is mixed with pleasure as I feel
he would choose now when I feel unrelaxed……I yield to him….Andreas takes me
from behind, close and fierce, filling me completely……..I don’t respond, he is
taking me impersonally like an animal, not making love to Eva………I accept it but
do not participate in it…….I hear the noises growing from behind the wall…….I
know Andreas hears them too and enjoys taking me with the young girl so close…taking a pleasure in my helplessness and vulnerability……a kind of tang of danger to
add edge to his conquest……..he the male head of the lion pride asserting his
male rights of priority over the claims of infant cublings………I half resent it
but half yield it to him….I don’t want to be one of those resenting women poisoning
their men…….I want to build him up in his strength before thinking of his
faults…I want to build him up adding my strength to his…I don’t want to be a
drag on him..…I kiss the back of his neck as I get up out of the bed…….……..before
I go in to see Sarah I wash between my legs, I want to protect her from
smelling it even though she doesn’t know what it is yet……..It is six-thirty and
the room is grey and cold—-I turn up the radiator and switch the air
conditioner to heat which starts to blow out over the room……..Sarah is home
from her boarding school and is up for her ballet lesson in town….

“Is Andreas here? she asks.

“Yes, he came back from Beijing the day before yesterday…..and he’s asleep.”

“Why don’t we have another baby?” she asks, “I want a little brother.”—–she asks this
often.

“Because I don’t have a husband, Sarah, and you must have a husband before you can think of having a baby.”

She dresses herself, keeping he legs under the blanket to keep warm, chattering a
little, then humming, then singing softly under her breath.  I go to the kitchen to cook the bacon, eggs and muffins. I enjoy the feeling of intimacy and exclusiveness—–I will
always be her only mother—-from the time she was born gasping on my chest to
the time one of us dies and thereafter—-I want to hold her close to me as she
eats and protect her from any misstep, but she draws back, wanting to be a big
girl now…you have to give them some room to live and grow into themselves…me
when I was her age….but gradually!…..I gather her ballet things into her bag
and whoosh her to the door………

“Will you pick me up tonight?” she asks, needing to be reassured that her world is
safe.

“No, Vanessa will pick you up and take you and Robby for dinner and the new Disney
movie……take your raincoat.”

“I hate my raincoat….I’ll take the little umbrella instead” she retorts, needing
to have her own way. …….Now a new tension begins to grow in
me…….It’s eight o’clock and this is Andreas’ day for the big meeting with the
PR Committee at the Jung & Associates offices……I need to unpack and press
his good suit while he is in the shower….then get his breakfast ready……I don’t
need to get to the office until the afternoon……..we finished the FAQ work last
week and I am on half-time for Sarah’s holiday……….time to resupply at the
grocer and butcher’s, laundry, then prepare to cook Andreas a home
dinner…….those airplane trays and hotel meals demoralize him after too much
time on the road……….road warrior for world peace!……………I am happy to
be part of his world……he is going to have an important impact on this world I
am sure……….if I have any impact on it it will be through him most likely………….…….

”Eva, you’re so efficient in the morning” he says as he comes out of the shower, “I’m totally dysfunctional in the morning, at least before a hot shower, Life’s Little Miracle, or at least since the army days…..Has Sarah left?”……He prefers Sarah to have left before he awakes……so he can be the center of my world……….I prefer it too because it divides me……the two personalities…..Sarah’s mother and Andreas’ mistress grow better without collision….they are both Eva somehow…….it’s too much of a strain
to have to be both at once though…….

“Well, then its just as well that I am if you’re not” I say, with a touch of suppressed resentment—–this resentment is my cross to bear—-not his fault at all—I suppress it—-all I want is to give to him and be repaid in the coin of my own heart—–but I am afraid he will take me for granted and lose the romance of me and leave me behind……….I’m a mother and seven years older than him…………God, I don’t want to lose him!…………..Five years since Sean……a woman never gets younger………….It’s
not Andreas’ fault, it’s just the facts of life………..Now I must hurry—-I wash again and
dress—-I choose the tight woolen Burberry skirt because of the rain and
because Andreas likes the way it shows off the lines of my thighs, and there
mightn’t be time to change from the office before dinner.——I will make Beef
Stroganoff——Andreas liked it at the Committee dinner—-need to get the
beef and then pound and tenderize it—-sour cream, onions, chives……..I imagine
the beef simmering in its coat of bread crumbs and eggs, taking in the savour
of the sour cream, onions and mushrooms. Imagining it I create the meal, an
offering of artistic creation fit for divine supplication, as I move from pot
to stove, adjusting temperatures and adding ingredients, heat, textures……..
Then off to the butcher’s and grocer’s—it is a great pleasure buying the
ingredients I will cook for Andreas….mushrooms, sinuous veal and beef, onions
and scallions….a sensous pleasure like the cooking itself………cooking is an art I
am good at but I require a male muse to create……….and there is so little time
these days…………

The office work is busy, compressing a day’s work into a half-day. I get out late and take a taxi home to save time and make sure the dinner is ready when Andreas returns. I begin to  gather the groceries together, laying out the ingredients across the big kitchen table…..

And now the cooking for Andreas.  I unroll the beef and veal, inspecting the
results of the tenderizer during the afternoon…….I decide more pounding is
needed and I take out the tenderizing hammer with its pointed spikes and start
to bash away…….I roll the now flaccid meat into the mix of bread crumbs and
whipped egg, and the crumbs smell fresh and dry in spite of the dampness of the
air from the rainy day…………I melt the full pan of bone jelly from the fridge
which I season with spices…………I put on the baked apples to give them plenty of
time to bake in the lower oven to be ready by the end of the dinner for
dessert…….preparing some sweet syrup, cream and cinnamon to go with them……………I wash out two pounds of strawberries…………….the musty-sweet fragrance redolent of the countryside…….and set out a bottle of thick cream to add to them for the second dessert with liqueur and espresso. I set the meat to simmering in the rich pan of sour-cream sauce for the Beef Stroganoff and the smells mingling in
the warm kitchen begin to intoxicate my senses and fill my breast with a full
warm sensation of motherly giving………….I take out the baked apples mid-way and
mix in the vanillaed sweet cream sieving the pulp intil it becomes a thick
viscous supersweet puree, to which I add a touch of cinnamon, placing them back
into the oven to let the crispy skins brown to the appointed time……….cooking is
an art of timing as much as music…….it is a queen of the arts like opera—uniting
music, dance, lyric, visual spectacle, the sense of smell as much as the sense
of taste, an edible narrative that tells a story—seduction, possession, fate,
desire, passion, ravishment, betrayal, reversal, recognition, climax and
denoument……………it is an archetype of love and giving and of acceptance………you are what you eat………..you are how you eat………..cocquo ergo sum…….a ritual enactment of all you have been…….a digestion and recreation of self……..and serving is a performance like a ballet……….with ritual and gesture…..and the art of wine taking
and conversation is part of the grand performance…….they ought to video the
great dinners and preserve them in museums like the classics…….but you can’t
preserve the aromas…..maybe that is the next leap forward in artistic
technology….smellavision…..tasteavision…Aromanet…The Intertaste…..great moments in  21st Century cuisinary art………..

All the kitchen and dining room is full ofgorgeous cooking smells and all at once I am happy; I am so happy I can feel the warmth radiating out of my body and recirculating and impregnating the cooking food and filling the room…………then I am afraid of my happiness, afraid that it is a lie to myself constructed out of these nostalgible moments I create……..I feel desperately tired, then guilty about my happiness……………yes, I
made sure Sarah would be conveniently out of the way, buying the Disney tickets
for Vanessa, her and Robby………I know this guilt trip all too well and am bored
with it…..like my clothes I cannot take off in public………I am too
egotistical…….I take my pleasure with my lover at the expense of denying
attention to my child….I don’t have a right to be happy…….I don’t deserve
it……..I will punish myself with failure…….somebody inside me is shouting these
thing at me like the Furies in a Greek play…….women like me are damned like the
old Greek tragic heroes………Oedipus…….we destroy ourselves from the inside and
are slaves to a fate that we spin out of our own bellies like a spider caught
in its own web……….all that is nonsense and I have to shake it off, stop having
these feelings……..I want this to be beautiful for Andreas and myself………..I want
us to be beautiful together for this evening…….mustn’t let depression get the
upper hand………………

I mix and cut the lettuce and vegetables for the salad and begin to set the table, setting out the three wine bottles I have bought with the corkscrew Andreas is so good at using. I set up the expresso machine and delight in the deep narcotic fragrance of the coffee beans. I add spices to the Beef Stroganoff simmering on the range, stirring the
oregano and scallions into the rich creamy sauce…….I baste the baked apples in
their juice to keep them from getting dry and hard…..

When I talk to Vanessa and her friends they give me the same story……their lives are wracked with a battle against guilt that is as irritatingly irrational as it is inescapable……guilt at taking time to live for one’s little bit of happiness for oneself…….taking time from children and husbands and lovers and family………it’s a senseless habit of nerves we women can’t shake off………..its because our happiness is still connected by the invisible umbilical to the happiness of the people we love……we can’t live like a man being self-directed towards a goal…….the invisible umbilical is
always jerking us back……. and if we try to escape we punish ourselves with our
own guilt……they cut the umbilical at the belly but they never cut it at the
heart………

I realize it is getting late……..Vanessa calls from the cinema to say that all is well and that Sarah is having a ripping time with Robby…….

“Is Andreas coming?” she asks and I tell her yes, but there is a tone in her voice that tells me she doesn’t think he will……I resent her……..the cats soft paw conceals the retracted claw….the note of her voice is telling me I am a fool to be with a younger man…….the motherly advice that it won’t last…….the motherly claws mixing just a drop of poison in her creamy sweet-milk……I know she is jealous……..I don’t know if she is right…………..………..I start to turn down the gas jets on the range to the lowest simmer just to keep things warm without overcooking…….I baste and rebaste the baked apples………the steam is accumulating on the inner window panes and the last light is dimming from grey to black across the overcast sky. A gentle rain begins to splatter more heavily across the blackening glass and I feel the dull hollow sound of the old paint-flaked wood frames shaking against the sills in the night wind.

The phone rings. It is Andreas:  “I’m so sorry Beautiful, I can’t make it for dinner tonight…..the planning session at Jung Communications for the upcoming Global Appeal Media Programme is going into overtime…….we’ll make it up another night.”

I thrust the Beef Stroganov into the Tupperware plastic containers and ram them into the stuffed refrigerator.  I begin to cry. I know he has been seeing other women.  I
cannot know if he is telling the truth or in a younger woman’s bed. I am crying
for half an hour until I hear the door and Sarah and Robby’s voices on the
stairs. I collect myself together. I have to be strong for Sarah and protect
her from all this. I give them the strawberries and cream and baked apples I
had prepared for Andreas for a midnight snack. I recover my courage with their
happy voices. Only Vanessa notices the red rims around my eyes. She gives me a
kiss and prepares a dish of strawberries and puts whipped cream on a baked
apple for me. I thank her but do not eat it, putting it into the fridge after
she goes downstairs. After getting Sarah into the bathtub and into bed I cannot
sleep. The bed feels cold and dead without him. I put on my robe and slippers
and turn on the light at my computer. I access my Blog page and click on ‘My
Journal.’  I begin to write…………..

Eva’s Blog Journal

Last Sunday afternoon after lunch Andreas was pacing around all about the sitting
room, getting up from the chair where he was pretending to read The Economist,
to the balcony, where he would stare out the window blankly towards the trees
below, then back to the chair.

After an hour of it, he said that he had to go see Julian about preparations about a conference for the Appeal and gave a long involved explanation about how how the workcouldn’t wait until Monday because of the scheduling problems. I listened to
him but I could tell from his voice that this was an excuse. I told him “Of
course, of course.”

Then, after a moment of hesitation he said in a loud voice, exaggerated and very aggressive
“You’re very permissive.”

I answered, “What do you mean permissive? I am not your keeper. If you want to go
out to see somebody you don’t have to ask my permission.”

“Good” he snapped back, “That is very nice to know.”

Later, he came back very late at night after I was already asleep. I felt his arms
about me, very cautious, very measured. I turned to him, just awake.  I could tell that he didn’t want to make love to me but felt he had to put on a show of wanting it. His penis was limp against me, and it annoyed me that he wanted to put on this kind of a dry show, moving against my thighs and buttocks without any real desire for me.

Sharply, I said to him “I’m sleepy” and turned my back to him.

He stopped moving. Then I immediately felt bad, because I thought I might have hurt him…. Suddenly I realized that he was very big and very hard pressing between my back cheeks. I felt dismayed that now he wanted me just because I had just refused him. But I knew because I loved him I couldn’t refuse him, so I turned around to him and gave him what he wanted. After the sex was over I realized that he was satisfied at
accomplishing something important to him, but without any feeling for me.

Suddenly, without meaning to say it, out of instinctive knowledge I just blurted out
“You’ve just been making love to someone else.”

He snapped back just as reflexively “How did you know?” ….then, just as if he
hadn’t said, how did you know, he says again “I haven’t. You’re imagining it.”

Then because of the unbearable silence lasting so long between us, he confesses: “I
didn’t think it would matter. You have to understand., I don’t take it
seriously.”  I felt utterly diminished and destroyed, as if I did not exist as a woman.

Today, a week later I was still cool to him, so I locked myself in the library and
pretended to work on my children’s books. We have an understanding that if I am
working on my books then he will not disturb me so that I don’t loose my track
of concentration. I laid down on the Persian rug on the floor with a sofa
cushion behind my head and just stared at the ceiling.  Through the ceiling I could hear Andreas pacing up and down in the room above, coming halfway down the stairs and then turning back and going upstairs again. Every movement he made went right
through me. I thought I should get out of the house and thought I would go see
Vanessa, but I was already trapped inside the pretense of working on my books,
and I knew that I couldn’t discuss Andreas with her anyway.   After two rum cocos I was getting desperate so I called Vanessa on her mobile. After five minutes of chit-chat she asked casually: “How is Andreas?” I caugh the inflection of a cattish note in her
tone of voice as she asked the question. “Fine” I said.  She remarked that she had
had lunch with Yoriko Oe, who she had become friends with from the Committee
office, and who was in town from Tokyo working on the Global Appeal, and how
over lunch she was in a real state over Andreas.  I hadn’t thought about Yoriko for a long time, so I quickly shifted the conversation to some other things for another five
minutes and hung up. I laid back on the floor, sipping another rum coco, as I
listened to the sound of Andreas’s feet pacing in the room above.

Without any effort the dismal green computer in the back of my mind began to put things together. Yesterday about eight-thirty he had gone out after dinner, saying he was feeling keyed up and had to take a long walk if he was going to be able to clear his mind and get some sleep. He had been gone about three and one-half hours before he came back and slept with me, not making love.  We didn’t make love
because I was still frigidly defending myself against the pain of
knowledge…..Yes…yes, I remember he had gone into the bathroom before leaving
and I had heard him talking on his mobile phone to someone through the bathroom
door……When she comes to London Yoriko always stays at the Arriva Hotel where
the Committee has a bulk long-term contract for discount rooms for travelling
Committee staff.  It would take half an hour to get from here to the Arriva, and half an hour back…..that would have left them two and one half hours………………………………………………………………………..I thought nothing
for ten minutes and started hyperventilating……..I couldn’t believe that this
was me trapped in this anxiety state…..it must not be me but someone else…….but
this thought didn’t help any. I was clenched up with tension laying on the
floor on my back telling myself over and over again……I don’t care……I don’t
care……..it is some other creature inside of me that cares, that is jealous,
that sulks and clenches and broods and wants to strike out and hurt back.

The damnest part of it is that I don’t really care……or lets say the better part of me doesn’t reallycare……possession and control of a man are not my values or my obsession……I would have always characterized myself as something of a free-thinker…………I lay on the floor sipping and listening……..I hear the same pacing, then after ten minutes the sound gets stronger as he comes down the steps and I hear a quiet ap at my locked door.  He says through the door, “I don’t want to disturb you, I’m going out for a little walk”, and I heard steps in the direction of the front door.
Without any knowing that I was going to do this, I went to the door,
unlocked it and shouted down the hallway after him “Are you going to see Yoriko Oe?”  He stiffened, seized up for a split -second, then turned rigidly towards me and said “No, I’m going for a walk.”

I was going to confront him further about last night, but I didn’t but just made some flippant remark as he went out. I didn’t say anything because I felt it was not possible that he would simply lie if I confronted him directly and I didn’t want to hear either
possible answer. I carried on undercutting and stabbing him with my remarks or freezing him in a sudden coldness, the guerilla warfare of woman, the asymmetrical battle of the heart, striking back at his vulnerable places where direct confrontation with the stronger would be futile.

When I got back into the library I shut the door and couldn’t move. I was sick to my stomach. I slumped back down to the floor. I couldn’t think or move. I kept saying to myself that he’s got to go now, he will have to leave. I knew I could never ask him to go but going in this direction he would come to that himself…..You will have to
prepare for it when it comes I told myself…..you will have to try to
disconnect……..

When he came back later that night I had been waiting for the sound of his footsteps for several hours. He blurted out a loud friendly greeting and rushed upstairs to the bathroom, locking himself in. I thought it was not possible that he had just come from
making love to another woman and just went upstairs to wash her scent off him
before making love to me, but I knew that that must be exactly what he was
doing. Waiting for him to come down I screwed myself up to ask the question.
When he came in and sat down next to me, putting his hand over my hand on the
armrest of the chair and pretending that nothing had ever happened, I fired off
at him: “Andreas, have you been sleeping with Yoriko Oe?”

Hegave a loud crude laugh like you might hear in a Berlin cabaret routine and
said emphatically “No I haven’t.”

“Eva you simply work youself up over these things and you just invent things in your own imagination out of your own insecurity. You have got to snap out of it and get some control over yourself. Your trouble is that you are just too fine a woman, you love so much that you just unbalance yourself in the wrong direction, and you above all don’t deserve that. I for one am not going to let you do it to yourself—–now go and make me some supper—it will be good for you and help you get balanced again and
put these silly fantasies out of your mind—–you are a homemaker at heart and
lets not spoil our lovely home with these absurd jealous fantasies that are
getting you out of control.” Musing sullenly to muself “I always pick the ones
who do it to me, or else I do it to myself” I made him dinner.

He was right. After making him dinner I felt a lot better.  For me food
has always been a medium for expressing love and I guess you could say that I
am really a domesticated woman at heart if given a chance. Eating
he smiled ingratiatingly at me:

“Lovely to have you back to your old self again!” he said.

“And who would that be?” I retorted, wishing I had swallowed the words a second too late.

After dinner I felt better and we didn’t talk about the matter again but watched a DVD of an old Alfred Hitchcock movie. Then we chatted before bed and he made love to me wonderfully and I was happy to put the matter behind and be together with him again on the old basis. I was ready and happy to admit that I had got myself worked up unjustifiably out of feminine insecurity and delirious to have things back to the old happy state.

When he got up late the nextmorning he went to shower and had a happy time singing German Lieder in the  bathtub and I went down to the kitchen to bring him up some toast, marmalade and coffee. While he was still singing in the shower his mobile phone went off. I answered it just to tell them to call back in half an hour when he would be
out of the shower. It was Yoriko Oe. I recognized her from her voice and
accent. I went to the bathroom and pulling aside the shower curtain handed
Andreas the telephone, with a taxingly bitter stare towards his eyes and
averting away from his wet penis as I slammed the door behind me.

After that I went down to the kitchen and finished fixing a big English breakfast
with bacon, bread, porridge, sausages, eggs and muffins. I set the table in the
breakfast niche and he came down and ate heartily. I expected him to make some
shoddy explanation of what Yoriko had wanted but he didn’t mention the
telephone call.  And he didn’t mention at all what Yoriko had said or why she called. I was angry again. Yet last nighthe was wonderfully sensitive as a lover, touching and caressing me in all the right places and ways, and kissing me so deeply and movingly that I felt sure our relations were back to their loving beginnings.

We ate in silence and then sat in silence. He read his newspaper and I washed
up. Then I brought two cups of coffee and hoped he would open to me. Nothing
was spoken and the silence grew almost tangible and thick between us, and
seemed to set down roots. “You hide yourself behind yur silences…..” I spoke to
him, “……..I know you hate talking about what is between us and you hate
conclusions, but that is not just an attitude. Nothing is too good or bad for
clear thinking and clear speaking. You hate conclusions because you might be
compelled to change them or change yourself from them. You stultify youself to
any extent rather than admit that you too have been wrong.”

Not venturing any more than a fumbling response, he said that he had
to go out. He made a long and detailed explanation of having to meet with
Medvedev and Julian Jung about funding for the South American caucuses and
concerts. I knew because of the wooden obstinate look on his face and the
overly detailed explanations about the difficulties of the South American
organizing activities that he was going to see Yoriko Oe, and that he had just
made arrangements to meet her to make love again over the telephone.

After he had left I was out of control. I went up to the bedroom and searched through
his pockets and suitcases for I had no idea what. I pulled his clothes out of
our drawers and looked for bits of hair or lipstick on them. I opened all of
his suitcases and found some letters in them. Some were from a girl in New York
asking why he did not come to see her recently, and others from his fiancée in Berlin,
written in German which I could not understand. I found some recent receipts from a hotel in Beijing including bills for room service dinners and breakfasts for two and a hotel laundry bill for cleaning and pressing a western suit and a soiled cocktail dress. I knew that Yoriko Oe was the only female Committee staff member staying at that hotel in Beijing, since I had made the reservations from the London office two months
ago myself.

When he got back he acted as if nothing had happened.  He took his place in the sitting room andbegan to read his newspaper.  I was angry and depressed but I didn’t want to re-open the same wound again. I retreated into the kitchen and cooked an extra wonderful dinner of veal cutlets, cursing him under my breath but accepting my hopeless dependence on him.  While I was pounding the veal with the tenderizer hammer he came into the kitchen and squeezed by me to get a glass to pour some wine in. As he brushed his crotch against the backside of my skirt he gave me a little kiss behind the ear. I was furious with him but gave in to his advances and responded by lifting my lips towards his. A kiss later I was back to a complete submergence in the tasks of cookery and outdid myself, serving him slavishly.
In my head I could hardly contain my anger, but my body purred like a
kitten towards him.

After dinner and some chit-chat affected on both sides I relaxed a bit and said to
him “Andreas I don’t think you are treating me fairly.”

“Fairly!” Andreas laughed out loud, “You Englishwomen talk as though love and sex were some kind of a football match with a referee holding up a yellow or red card
and sending you off the field if you are offsides……..Everyone makes use of one
another……and anyway if we lived a completely sanitized life by bourgious
middle-class rules never daring to touch another deeply for fear of hurting or
getting hurt we would never love each other either but just own each other like
furniture in a interior-decorated flat. I don’t pretend to live my life according to those middle-class rules of fairness and exclusive ownership and property…………..and I don’t apologise for using my freedom……..to be fair I gave you clear and fair warning when we began that I was not cut out to be either some woman’s prized poodle, “catch” or furniture for home decoration of her little domestic dream. If I am involved with a woman I want her to love me or who I am without trying to own, cage or smother me…….”

“………..You talk about fairness Eva, but the fact is that we are all voluntarily or involuntarily using each other and we couldn’t live otherwise———You!—-you are using me to fill the male leading role in a little Hollywood melodrama of domestic bliss that is hardwired into your fucking female brain and you are outraged when I turn out to be something beyond this romantic stick figure with a life, mind and libido of
his own—–when you find I have a life of my own and that I am not to be owned
or caged then it is me who is in the wrong and me who is the brute—-well I’m
sorry—-you heard it, I’m really sorry for being such a poor actor in your
happily-ever-after movie and having a life of my own off my female director’s
little movie set——I’m sorry for not being the actor out of central casting
that you ordered—-you can tear up my SAG card and put me on the Hollywood
black list of the politically uncorrect——-If  I didn’t have to carry around this goddamned white man’s burden of social responsibility and saving the whole fucking world from its nauseating fucking self,  I’d half-well be happier to go back to the veldt in Africa and say to hell with the whole fucking human race, especially the female half of it dangling and rattling their goddamned fucking jailhouse keys down their ever-so-alluring clefts in their heaving fucking bosoms……….…”  and he got up and started to move towards the door, but I ran after him and threw myself at his feet clutching him and started crying miserably and uncontrollably.

“Andreas, Andreas don’t go, I can’t live without you!………I’ve been crazy out of my
mind with the pain and hurt of it but I can’t stand the thought of losing
you……….I don’t know what I would do……..I don’t want to own you, really I
don’t……I want you strong and free and beautiful…………like your lion on the velt………….It’s just I can’t control the green-eyed creature inside of me when I get caught up in those situations……………” I sobbed at his feet.

Andreas was moved by my outburst, and rather than flaunting or gloating over his power to humble me like he could so easily have done,  he fell to his own knees and kissed away the tears in my eyes and he held me there, both of us kneeling before eachother andholding each other in each other’s arms, and I could see a line of tears
streaking uncontrollably from the corner of one of his eyes as he pushed his
face down  against mine and rubbed his eyes and warm kissing lips over my tearing eyes and stroked my hair over and over again, like a mother caressing a crying daughter, and he sobbed out “I’m sorry Eva, Forgive me, I’m sorry, I never wanted to hurt you, you have to believe me, I would never try to deliberately hurt you; I love you Eva, you’re too good for me really, I don’t deserve somebody with your kind of love, I’m not good enough for you, really I’m not…………….”

“No….No……No!…………..Andreas no!………you’re right, you’re right, you’re right…….I’ve been the worst kind of controlling possessive little bitch……….believe me I hate the same thing in myself……… but I can’t control myself when I feel I might lose you…………I want you to be strong and free Andreas, I just want to share that with you……………I hate Poodles and lapdogs—-I loathe the women who keep
them——–I want a strong Shepherd or Wolfhound or veldt lion running free……….I
don’t want a man who can be tamed and caged by a possessive bitch…….….” I cried,
pressing my face into the open breast of his unbuttoned shirt.

Andreas picked me up and carried me in his arms up the staircase and we started pulling off eachother’s clothes unable to stop crying and unable to stop laughing at the same time. And for that moment I gave myself completely to him as I had never completely given myself to another man before or since and we made love through the sobs and soft laughter until we exhausted each other and I then fell into a pure sleep
of oblivion with my arms clenched about his neck and my face pressed hot and
wet against the side of his face, not loosening long into the night even after
I had long lost all consciousness of myself and the world.

2

After Andreas had been gone for three days on a Committee business trip to New York I lost myself in my housekeeping and my office work, in my cooking for Vanessa an的 her son andin my plants. I caught up on my sleep and recovered a smidgen from the anxiety and depression I had been going through with Andreas here. I began to go for
long walks in the streets and in the parks, first just walking free and then
walking and walking, not knowing exactly what I was walking for. I had the
feeling—-how can I express it—it’s like a feeling of being with someone who
had always been walking with you, and you always have the feeling that there
was one that was with you that was seeing everything with you and feel then
that they are seeing that thing the way that you are seeing it and then you go
sometime with that one to the doctor to have that one have their eyes examined
and then you find that thing you are seeing you are writing only for one that
is yourself then and to every other one it is a different thing; You know it
then, yes, but you don’t really know it as a continuous knowing in you for then
in living always you are feeling always that someone else is understanding
feeling seeing something the way you are feeling, seeing, and understanding
that thing……..

……..Then it happened. I got the idea for my new children’s book A
Rope of Remarkable Length.
I hadn’t really written anything for a long
time so I really wondered if my imagination and inspiration had gone and dried
up and died completely on me. Then it hit me.—-There is an unknown hour
somewhere in the middle of the night when these things seem to emerge. It is an
hour when one wakes suddenly into a world of scattered dreams. It is a time out
of time when yesterday has vanished and tomorrow has not yet emerged. It is a
kind of intermediate space where the business of life does not intrude.

I woke up in this interspace and the image just hit me: A giantess of a little girl, a little girl out of the family of Pantagruel and Gargantuan perhaps but only eight or ten years of age in a sporty dress, coat and straw country hat, striding across the forest, looking
down onto the green treetops, but whose head itself consisting of an immense
balloon floating at the level of the mountaintops, which balloon her
fully-dressed body held tightly on a long, strong rope lock firmly in its fist
as it pulled in the wind and lurched now and again to get away from her. That
was the image—a little girl walking like a visitor to the zoo with a balloon
wafting along above her, but the balloon was her own head!

I jumped up immediately from my bedand sat down my laptop to sketch all this out in a flash draft so that the image wouldn’t disappear on me in the night. This little girl giantess I named Jamie, and I sketched out her wanderings across the earth, over mountains and plains, plateaus and grasslands and how she would chase the clouds along with the body playing out the rope to let the head rise to their level, but then
pulling it back down decisively if a strong wind threatened to carry it off. Little
Giant Jamie’s body would gesture all akimbo and laugh and thank Little Giant Jamie’s
body for all the wonderful experiences they always shared together. I wrote the
dialogues where Jamie’s body would prattle and ramble on, talking to her head,
and how the head would answer laughingly, smiling at the niave questions of the
body, and how they would run and run with all their might and then lay down on
the thick grass and sleep together, the rope tied with a firm knot around the
body’s wrist, clutching through the night to the balloon of experience.

Sometimes Little Giant Jamie’s body would get bored and lonesome while Jamie’s head floated high up in the clouds or whistled to the flying birds aloft. So Jamie’s head  and body agreed to takealong a pet monkey, who they named Arthur. Little Giant Jamie’s body kept Arthur in the broad pocket of her coat so that he could ride along as shewalked and keep snug and safe with just his head sticking out of the pocket to
watch the amusing sights along the way. That way, when Jamie’s head was
preoccupied aloft then Jamie’s body would have a playmate to keep her hands
busy and not get lonely.

One day Little Giant Jamie came to the end of the world. The end of the world was at the end of the last horizon. At the end of the world was just one giant mountain with a green garden on top of it around which flew gyres and gyres of angels. But at the foot of the mountain there was a deep dark tunnel which stretched downwards as far as
anyone could see into the endless blackness below. The mountain with the
unscalable summit and the unfathomable abyssal tunnel beneath it had a name. It
was called Mount Mundus. Jamie’s head looked up at the end of her rope and saw
the beautiful, beautiful Garden atop the shear cliff leading the summit and
wanted to run fast to the very top. But Little Giant Jamie’s body, whenever
Jamie’s head pulled forward to go upwards, could only move forwards downwards
into the endless tunnel. The more Jamie’s head pulled upward, the more Jamie’s
body ran forward, but only farther and farther downwards into the dark
frightening tunnel. Jamie could only keep herself together by letting out more
and more of the rope which she held tightly in her fist, and which was attached
securely at the farther end to her floating head.

At last Little Giant Jamie’s body came to the end of the rope, which jerked back with a snag and sent her with a pratfall sprawling on the ground, while Jamie’s head could neither advance any further upwards towards the angels hovering above the lovely Garden, and Jamie’s head began to weep and weep. Now both Little Giant Jamie’s head and Jamie’s body were weeping and weeping an endless flood of tears that threatened to drown the whole world in a flood not seen since Noah’s time! She cried for twenty days and twenty nights and the tears poured down the slopes of Mr.
Mundus and half covered the earth as if the prophesies of Global Warming had
already come to pass.

Little Giant Jamie’s head called ever more frantically to Jamie’s body to keep moving forward. But Jamie’s body was so terrified at the thought of losing the end of the rope that held Jamie’s head that she just kept gripping the rope-end tighter and tighter. Jamie’s head shouted to her: “Let go, let go!—just keep moving forward and let go and we will be sure to meet on the other side of the mountain!” But Jamie’s body was
too terrified to let go, and she would only try to move forward through the
dark, dark tunnel and then the rope would snag and they would fall back
together again hopelessly.

Now after twenty days of crying and crying the sea of tears was already up to Jamie’s waist and and the salt waters were rising to the top of her coat pocket, making Arthur screech and squeal with dismay as he peered out.

“Do something, Art!” Jamie’s body yelled, and then the golden monkey climbed up atop her shoulders and began to jump and tumble in wild somersaults and screeches as he paniced  the more Jamie’s body frenzied herself jumping this way and that, twisting and turning at the end of her rope over their dilemma.

Then Art remembered that behind his ear he always carried a special magic rod like a scrivener’s pencil that could telescope and collapse. He assured Little Giant Jamie’s body that this rod was a magic wand that had the power to make any rope longer and longer without any imit and he would wave his magic wand and then she could continue walking through the abyssal tunnel until they came to the other side of the End of the World and that Jamie’s head would have enough rope to continue upwards and over the summit with the immaculate Garden and the angels gyreing above it, and that they would all meet again at the other side of the End of the World.

Now Little Giant Jamie stopped crying and the flood waters receded. Jamie began to laugh and sing, and Jamie’s body began to skip joyfully forward along the abyssal tunnel. There was one problem though. Art’s rod was not really magic but could only extend about the length of a long fishing pole when fully extended, which was what he mainly used it for. So now Jamie’s head was speeding upward in joyous ecstasy and
Jamie’s body was skipping down the abyssal tunnel at a wonderful pace and the
rope was getting taughter and taughter and about to snag again when Art decided
to play a mirthful trick on Jamie’s body. He took out his pocket knife and
severed the rope, cutting Jamie’s head to float ever upwards towards the
heavens. He tied the severed end of Jamie’s body’s end of the rope to the top
of his rod, just like the line of a fishing rod, and he pulled the slack rope
upwards and held it above Jamie’s body so that to her hand it felt like the
head was still floating at the upper end of the line. The tricky monkey thus
rode on Jamie’s shoulders holding the rod like a long fishing pole, and Jamie’s
body just kept skipping and humming along contently through the dark abyssal
tunnel, reveling in her joyful movements. Art screeched and whelped and turned
summersaults and had a glorious time riding and losing himself in an orgy of
laughter.

Meanwhile, Little Giant Jamie’s head, none the wiser, floated free towards the heavens, running in the winds along with the cavorting angels, her imagination running free and unfettered on the West Wind before her. You will not believe the Elsewhere Worlds she visited and reveled in! Jamie’s head, freed from its tether rode the joyous whirlwinds over Laputa, past Balnibari, sojourning at Luggnag and Glubdubdrib and even getting as far as Japan! She even stopped to pick up a Doctorate at the Academy of Lagado before partying with the Yahoos and Houynhnms and Munchkins in the Emerald City of the Great Oz!

Jamie’s body skipped blissfully past the deepest caverns of Tartarus, over the Elysian Fields, and tripped through the concentric circles of the underworld in happignorance of the dark things around her, and finally came up, like the proverbial tunnel-digger to China, on the other side of the Grand Horizon, emerging from the other end of the tunnelinto the brilliant warm sunshine, which, having no alternative, shone on
nothing new, but just as ever so joyfully.

But what do you think happened to Little Giant Jamie’s head when it passed over Mount Mundus and its summit-top  beautiful Garden and was blown by the four winds past Laputa, and Balnibari and the Academy of Lagado and Luggnag and Glubdubdrib and the Emerald City of the Great Oz? Why remarkably as it may seem it finally floated down to earth out of the most fearful whirlwind and touched down at just the exact spot where Little Giant Jamie’s body emerged from the abyssal tunnel into the joyous sunshine! Really, everyone thought it was a most remarkable coincidence and they talkedabout it for weeks and weeks after that! And just as the two ends of the rope
came together, Art with a wink used a secret sailor’s knot he knew to splice
and knit them together so that nobody knew that they had ever been severed! And
Little Giant Jamie’s body and Little Giant Jamie’s head talked it all over
about everything they did and everywhere they had gone and they finally agreed
with one another, as they occasionally did, that that rope was, it certainly and
surely must be and must have been, a Rope of Remarkable Length!

Thus I ended the first rough draft
my story just as the sun was beginning to come up and show its rosy-fingered
dawn at my window panes. Then I tried to envisage how I would revise it, what
style I should put it into. Style—-I have not invented any device, any style
but write in the style that is me. You have material in yourself, in humanity
and you apply it. That’s all. I describe what I feel and what I think. My books
are called romantic, but I am essentially a realist of myself.

I closed the shade to try to get some sleep, full with the satisfaction and
the exhaustion of a new mother giving birth. It was so hard to get back to my
Faery Land and yet I had done once again it for once in the bluest of moons! It
is my little World Elsewhere, my enchanted Kingdom of Possiblities without the possibility of return to which I would not feel myself quite fully alive, or alive to the
very romance of life. To visit it is to establish a little magic theatre, a
little removed from the highway of ordinary travel, a little beyond the beaten
path, far beyond the actual events of real lives. It is a kind of Neutral Territory,
my fictional World Elsewhere, somewhere between the real world and the Fairy-land,
where the Actual and the Imaginary may chance to meet on amiable terms, and
each imbue itself with the nature of the other. My mind slipped beneath the
horizon of consciousness and into a profound and redeeming sleep—-thankful I
was—–for we had travelled far together that night.

1

Eva’s
Blog Journal

I had been at a more peaceful level with Andreas for the last two weeks and hoped
that our arguments had cleared the ground for the growth of newer buds in the
growth of our relationship. We were working together at the Committee office on
a new project and we saw each other during the day and then went home to make
love or relax in the evening. I love seeing him at the work he feels is so
important,  as it makes me feel that my work supporting him at home and slightly in the office has soulful significance, whatever its daily triviality. Working occasionally alongside him I can see him in his calling and life’s mission and vicariously I become a part of him that is a complement to what we are together when we are at home. As a woman I love the realization that my man is an extraordinary man making a powerful
extraordinary potential contribution to the world, and that I am part of that
contribution. I love the characterization one often hears about traditional
Japanese women or housewives, that they are “aircraft carriers” or “mother
ships,” providing the maneuverable life-giving home-base that then sends their
men flying off to duty day after day in their air machines off their flight
decks and into the harsh outside world to carry out their vital missions, and after
their completed missions welcoming, receiving, replenishing and returning them
re-energised to the battles of life each day.  Looking at Andreas hard at work through theglass partition of his office I imagine him in the glass cockpit of a carrier-based
fighter-bomber lost in the clouds with one engine shot out and fuel supplies running
low, making his way, plane half-crippled and losing altitude, staring into the
endless expanse of waves below that may soon be his grave. He knows that there
is only one rendezvous left for him that day, the only question being whether
it will be a rendezvous with life or with death. Leagues and leagues of dark
water appear and disappear below him and he tries to fight off feelings of
desperation and despair.  Then I imagine the feeling in his heart when there is a parting of the cloud cover and he sees 发ar below the curving wake of his mother ship waiting to receive him—turning with clear and open deck into the wind to receive him from behind—It is me he sees below—he is my winged hero as he enters me from astern, the nose of his plane angled upward and flaps down, but I am the life which sustains him and without which he and his cause would surely die. This is my dream of Andreas as I see him through the office glass, busily at work—-I feel a melting feeling
through my abdomen and womb and rubbing my hand across my lower belly I imagine
Andreas’ sperm from our lovemaking last night on that long dark anadromous
journey of rendezvous with life or death, and shutting my eyes in my mind’s eye
I see Andeas’ sperm lost in the dark fallopian clouds, energy running low, and
then an opening in the darkness below and then a crackle over the radio “This
is Flight XY we have Mother-ship XX in sight—stand by tower—clear all
decks—we are coming in—-Repeat XX—we are coming home—-HCE,Tower—HCE—–Confirm our touchdown—HCE—HCE—Here Comes Everybody!—-Stand by for Landing XX—we are coming home!” and I see my egg below, small, round and bright,  like the photographs of the blue, bright Earth against the blackness of space through the cockpit windshield of the descending Apollo spacecraft returning from the moon!—–in the back of my mind I know some feminists are criticizing this dream, saying why don’t you become an attack pilot too—but I reject the criticism—–I know I am not so well suited for the combat of life, though I can do it in a pinch or crisis, as to the
tendering of the mother-ship, and I feel that Andeas and I, my man and I, can
be much more together with me supporting him than separately if I were simply
competing alongside him—At best in the additive model 1 + 1 = only 2 and more
often in the competitive model 1 – 1 = 0 but in the complementary model 1 X 1 =
A Unity & An Infinity—–what’s more it is a ‘sustainaable’ model in every
best sense as well—-I don’t believe in rigid and inflexible reactionary roles
either but in each partner being flexible and versatile within and without ,
yet with the bulk of emphasis on the natural complementarity through cultivated
and mutually supportive difference rather than an artificial and competitive
sameness. (That’s where the dogmatic feminists and I part company—-trying to
pretend we don’t have a nature—that we are not part of nature and not part of
nature’s plan, harmony and balance but just can be anything we can egotistically
engineer ourselves to be—trying to perfect ourselves in an isolated little
plan of selfhood cut off from our natures, nature, our men and our families and
traditions rather than in fertile union with them). I insist as well that the
issue of justice for women is but one part of the greater issue of justice for
all and for everyone.

As my job at the Committee is only part-time I leave early to shop for groceries to
prepare dinner for Andreas and myself when he comes back later in the
evening.  I plan out a lovely Beef Ragout that my grandmother used to make for us. I rush to the grocer and purchase ample amounts of tenderized beef Round Steak, flour, onions, potatos, mushrooms, vegetable oil, red wine, chili, bacon strips, oregano and garlic clove. I race home to have time to prepare everything in case Andreas gets off
early.

I cutthe Round Steak into long strips, pounding them with a steel tenderizer hammer.
Then I get out a large re-sealable plastic bag and put in the flour, salt and a
¼ teaspoon of pepper. I than add the strips of beef one-by-one, shaking hard to
coat them all over. Then,with a vision of Andreas in goggles and a fur trimmed flight jacket searching the dark waves below, I take out a large skillet, saute the sizzling beef and onion in oil over medium heat until it is is crisply browned and the onion is
tender. I then lovingly add the water, wine or broth, chili sauce, bacon,
garlic, oregano, thyme and remaining pepper; mix well. For me, thinking of
Andreas, cooking is both a sensual art and an act of love.  Bringing the pureed mixture to a boil I sense my own heat and feelings for Andreas boiling over and I reduce the heat—covering the large sausepan and simmering for two hours, stirring occasionally. I add carrots, diced potatoes and mushrooms; covering and simmering it all together
for another thirty minutes until carrots and meat are ever so tender. I am almost
delirious with the sensually penetrating scents and aromas of the spices and
sauces, interspersed with my recurring fantasies about Andreas and our
love-making. I prepare a large dish of egg noodles over which to serve the
ragout and put them under glass.  It is past seven-thirty and I expect Andreas to enter the door soon. 

                        I wait. I try to pick up my novel and read but only stare blankly at the pages thinkingof I don’t know what. I glance up to notice the clock at intervals: 7:45; 8:10; 8:35; 9:00; 9:35—-I call Andreas on his cell phone but the power is off. At
ten o’clock I am frantic and furious and the telephone rings—-It is
Andreas.—–He is being held up by a late video-conference call planning
session with Julian who is in the New York office and several hours later due
to the time difference—-He’s sorry—tells me to eat without him as he won’t
be back until quite late.

I am furious. I take the glass lid off the saucepan holding the noodles and fling them against the wall.  I open the bottle of wine and down it all in half an hour glass after glass. I throw myself on the sofa crying and sobbing. I throw the ragout in the garbage pail and don’t eat a drop of it. I go to the bedroom and continue drinking rum cocos. On the bedroom table Inotice Andreas’s laptop. My mind is boiling over. I open it, and notice again that Andreas has again forgotten to log out of his e-mail page so that his
e-mails are visible. I cannot stop or help myself but I begin searching through
his e-mails and private messages and files. At the top is an e-mail from Yoriko
Oe. She is arriving from Beijing in London this morning and invites Andreas to
have dinner with her at the Arriva Hotel tonight. I call Andreas’s cell phone.
It is shut off.

I fling the rum coco in my glass against the wall and it drips down slowly, making an ugly mark on the wallpaper. I fling myself on the bed and begin to cry, burying my face in the pillow, then turning over and staring blankly at the ceiling light. Suddenly I
get up and frantically start searching everything on his computer. I read
through his e-mails for the last three months and find half a dozen love trysts
with their ping-pong back-and-forth love-message trails recorded.  One girl from New York complained that he hadn’t written for months after the lovely excursion-trip they had shared for a week in Bermuda.  Another thread of
interchanges with another girl—-Patrice from Paris—complaining that he
hadn’t written for weeks after their weekend at Nice together. Then I find a
file listed under My Blogs. In it Andreas has kept a Blog Journal linked to a
popular Blogsite using an avatar and pseudonym—“Byron.”  I read through the entries “Byron” has made on the dates of the last two years. They had dated entries like a running Diary, detailing dozens of adventures, rendezvous, trysts, and broken
involvements. I leaf through many of the early ones, not reading them
completely but getting a running impression. An undending series of details of
love affairs, conquests, adventures and caprices, accompanied with details of
place-names, women’s names, and recountingss of personal feelings and
reactions, events, most of which center on his loneliness, detachment,
isolation and feelings of existential resignation. I looked through the more
recent entries and found entries for myself under the name of “Eva” which
correspond to the times and places of our actual meetings and activities.

I read the reports and 没accounts of the sexual liaisons of “Byron” and his reflections on the women he has had. I was first appalled at the cold ruthlessness of them. I could not square in my mind the warm loving presence of Andreas with the cold analytical
scalpel of the recorder of those sexual memoires. I read through the entries:
“Paris. I must get out of town as Patrice is becoming unbearable with her
possessiveness. She had me followed by a private detective employed by her
father, the Vice-mayor. She presented me with a written report and photographs
of me with Noreen Moritz, who had come over on the Chunnel Train to spend the
night with me in the hotel. I tore the report and photographs up without
looking at them and threw them in her face, telling her I wouldn’t sleep with
someone who spied on me. She shouted after me down the street livid and out of
control. She is so possessive because she’s a beautiful spoiled rich brat used
to getting anything and everything her own way and because of the total vacuum
between her ears and total lack of any deeper sense of her own identity or
integrity that causes her in convulsions of her inner insecurity to attach
herself to the possession of men like a vampiress sucking out the warm human
blood lacking in her own frigid veins and heart.”

Could this possibly be the same Andreas that I have so loved and known these past months?—I find it beyond belief. Then I think of my own Diary and Blog Journal. I recall re-reading entries from five years ago and criticisms I made of others and not
recognizing them as mine. ‘Who is this woman?’ I remember a voice inside my
head asking. I recall it was because the writing singles out a single facet or
part of you without the balance of the underling context or unconscious
presence and re-presents itself as something hauntingly alien.  Sometimes when I read my own writing I am appalled at the cutting unfeelingness of it—I am afraid of this second intelligence which says things so cruel and cutting—-an intelligence at work
too painful for ordinary life—-one couldn’t live if you used it for ordinary
live—but somehow it finds a life in some super-real dimension on the page. Who
is this other Andreas?  I read on to another entry: “I stood without my shirt on the beach at Nice, wearing aviator’s dark sunglasses. I was grinning slightly, grinning self-smilingly at my seducer’s pose, with my thumbs hooked into my belt-loops and my hands pointing boldly and more than suggestively towards my crotch. ‘Come on baby—I like your style—lets go up to the hotel room and fuck our brains out’ I say in
English to the French girl I have met just two hours before on the beach. The
thrill of the brashness of it all gives me an adrenaline rush as she hooks her
arm around my waist taking up the challenge in sexual good humour and we make
our way up the beach towards the hotel entrance. She mirrors my excitement at
the daring of it, and we magnify each other’s libertine cavalier spirit. She
has some cocaine and amphetamines in her purse which she shares as we strip and
explore each other’s bodies and release ourselves into the kick of it. I rub
some cocaine into her lips cleavage and clitoris. We fuck splendidly and
wantonly for a full hour. We drink rum coco after rum coco. Though the
encounter borders on the tawdry we delight in the attempt to live splendidly.
It makes a difference. I take out my MP3 and dial up an old Cole Porter song I
love and I sing it to her dancing as I slow-grind my hips into her naked pelvis:
‘I Get a Kick Out Of You:’

I get no kick from Champagne

Mere alcohol doesn’t thrill me at all

sotell me why should it be true

thatI get a kick outof you;

Some get a kick from cocaine

I’msure that if I took even one sniff

thatwould bore me terrificly too

yet I get a kick out of you;

I get a kick every time I see you standing there before me

I get a kick though its clear to me you obviously don’t adore
me;

I get no kick in a plane

Flying too high with
some guy in the sky is my idea of nothing to do–

Yet
I get a kick

Out
of you!

I get her happy out of the hotel room before Patrice
arrives on the evening train from Paris. The night is still young!”

               I read more entries: “Back in London. Noreen Moritz came over to the hotel suite in the Arriva Hotel and started to make trouble. I had Yoriko Oe with me. I had
to go out into the hallway in my robe to send Noreen away. Strange, I was crazy
about Noreen a month ago and now she bores me. She is beginning to suffocate
me. I am determined to live life fully and splendidly while I have the chance.
The war in Africa taught me too much how precious and fragile freedom,  life,  and its moments of happiness are. I am determined not to let anyone turn me into a piece of furniture for the interior decoration of their pre-fabricated tinsel dream of feminine bourgious comfort and possession.”

               Then I scrolled over to the entries that began to make reference to me. “Began
staying with Eva.  Noreen Moritz offered to let me live with her but she is too cloying. I could never live with her. She’s a good lay but that’s all—nothing upstairs either in intellect or in imagination. At least with Eva there is something to talk about after the
fucking—too bad she’s only middling at that.”  Followed by:  “Slept over with Yoroko on her trip into London. We drink heavily and then make love in her room at the Arriva. Soon I am bored. She senses my boredome and cuts me: ‘Maybe you should go back to your devoted Eva’ she says. ‘Is she my devoted Eva? I answer her back. Then she says ‘I’m sorry I said that about Eva—I like her—but we are so different, you know: She likes being good, and I like being happy.’”  Then: “Queer —I like Eva
more than anybody but she doesn’t excite me sexually in-bed like when I first
started up with her. Talking to her afterwards is like talking to your
mother—-you love her but the thrill of the speedway is gone. I don’t know how
long it can last.” And: “Noreen making trouble. Doesn’t want me to stay with
Eva or see Yoriko. She is making scenes like a mad dog. Somebody should put her
down—where is the Dog Pound for these rabid bitches when you need it?” Next:
“Broke it off with Noreen. I couldn’t take it any more—-Life was becoming
intolerable. All’s the Pity. She was the best fuck in London—and with one of
the best bodies in Europe.” And: “Spent the last two evenings making love with
Yoriko—-she is in London for a week. The sex was good but she seems to be
cooling off a bit. She told me she is seeing her old boyfriend in Beijing
again. She seems more balanced and healthier but the sexual energy in her
battery seems to be running down.  Maybe
her energy is going into her old boyfriend again, though she said he is
married. Maybe the life-cycle of the affair is just coming to an end. It was
probably just an accidental fling for both of us. Luckily the new affair with Jodie
is heating up rapidly after our first night in bed together after the disco
night.”

               I was angry with the cold vindictive anger of the sex war—-so angry I switched off my brain while switching off Andreas’ laptop. I could have gone on for days
reading the juicy details but I wasn’t interested. I had seen more than enough.
I couldn’t take in anthing more. I couldn’t think. I just lay down on the floor
looking up at the ceiling with my eyes wide open staring at nothing. After
fifteen minutes I went downstairs to the bar and pulled out the bottles of rum,
gin, vodka and whiskey. I began to pour out glasses, first shot glasses then
tall tumblers with a bit of coke.  I lay on the floor of my library workroom and felt the knotting and wrenching of the nervous energy in my lower stomach. The entry—I don’t like sleeping with Eva anymore cut me worse than anything. I began to lose faith in myself sexually, in my value as a woman, and worst of all in my sexual judgment about the man I am tied to. I am physically ill and feel like vomiting but do not. Instead I
get drunker and drunker, emptying one bottle after another. My arms and legs
are shaking and I am shivering in fever like I am coming down with a case of
malaria.

              I remember nothing further. The next morning Andreas brings me breakfast in bed, kissing my eyes awake as he readies to go to the office. He comforts me
sweetly. He tells me he had found me unconscious on the floor with my clothes
soaked with sweat when he came in late last night and that he carried me up the
stairs in his arms, undressing me and putting me to bed after being unable to
wake me up. He apologises for last night as he slides out the door, saying he
will make it up to me tonight.

Copyright Robert Sheppard 2011 All Rights Reserved

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