Monday, August 13, 2007

Changes in the preceding weeks have brought their expected allotment of pain and enjoyment. Though delight and gratitude can still overwhelm me, and thoughtlessness or unkindness still prick me, I grow weary and restless. I feel much like an old actor continually cast in the same part: new faces and phrases around me repeating well-worn patterns, and I undoubtedly doing the same to some of them. Will I ever be surprised at anything ever again? Never mind novelty for novelty's sake- it's substance that seems to elude me.

What does not escape my notice is the selfish aspect of my desires. Certainly, I took my work seriously- this isn't a matter of a lack of teas to attend or jewels to acquire or serfs to exploit (if one has time to study Marx amongst frivolous social obligations), but one grows accustomed to responsibility. I was not banished, and I could return- could even have my council post again, for after my example, I hear with a somewhat vengeful pleasure that they cannot fill it. I could be endlessly useful again. I could also throw myself into a particularly conveniently placed volcano, and therein make an equal sacrifice by a less painful method. Neither truly appeals, but the shadow of my old ambition follows me far.

Additionally, though it seems thoroughly ridiculous to feel ill at ease for lack of conflict, the fact is that I've never forged a friendship that was not based at least partly upon a shared enemy, or the binding of wounds physical or otherwise. The idea that polite conversation can create bonds of any real strength is an utterly new concept to me, and my ineptness in this area is reflected quite clearly in my lack of intimate friends. Then, too, such a history gives rise to a certain amount of what used to be healthy wariness, but now feels more like paranoia. Always before, I could count upon some awful event to shatter a period of calm. I keep waiting for what I had accepted as a child as a fundamental fact of life, and how does one unlearn that? I was wrong, before; the dreams have not lessened, but increased, and if I did not know his conscience to have been reawakened since our quarrel last year, I would suspect them of having been sent deliberately by an old friend.

The fault, of course, lies in myself-- to write otherwise would be ungrateful and wrong. The panmilitary O'Toole remains a ready and delightful subject for occasional expressions of flirtatious energy, and I have some hopes of knowing the (Right Honorable) Lord Bardhaven and Mr. Welinder better. I wasn't certain that they gained a favorable impression of what they politely term my wit, but they both offered their hand in friendship, so... perhaps. And then of course my neighbor, Mr. G. Hax, whom I find excellent company but occasionally difficult to predict; I do not know what to hope there. Last but hardly least, Mr. Abel, who seems as genuinely kind a man as I have met, not to mention hilariously inventive, has been very welcoming.

Beginning again, even with such prospects, is daunting enough. But the simple truth is that, for all my wariness, I had never really planned to be alone. I never truly have, for good or ill, been without a father or guardian or tutor or husband. I might have (and at times, have been) glad to become independent of them, but not of my last, the only one I chose for myself. It is this, above all, that renders me unfit or at least unreliable company. When around others, I throw off my sadness as I cast off my black gowns- but I always return to it, and how often later do I condemn myself for each laugh or lighthearted phrase? How often do I wonder why I should even care whether I have friends, when I'm not even certain of my right to live in a world where he does not?

I made the mistake of referring to this, vaguely, to Mr. Abel some weeks ago, and found myself in a position of being completely unable to answer when he asked if I had lost a companion recently. "Something like that," I replied, quite stupidly. For once it was neither reserve nor a desire to guard my secrets. It was and is a simple inability to express it aloud. Where does one begin to speak of such a thing, a loss that was less a death than an amputation? I feel there's little benefit to learning. It is a wound I don't think I want to heal, for to grieve less would be a disloyalty I do not wish to consider.

4 comments:

Qlippothic Projects said...

Madame Thibaud,

If it is excitement and comeraderie you seek, may I invite you to join the ranks of the Caledon Volunteer Fire Brigade?
Our new firehouse in the Cay is almost complete and will be a pleasant place to sit and chat over tea while waiting for the occasional cooking accident, brushfire, or alien ivasion. Also, the aerial fireship patrols are quite a thrill!

~Fire Captain Q. Projects

Kira said...

If you keep an eye out for myself, or my sister, the Lady BardHaven, we usually can find some entertainment, trouble, etc., to get into. :)

Kiralette

Kira said...

Also, I hope you do not mind, but I have added to you to my blogroll, and kirawill will add you to hers.

Kiralette Kelly
www.oneforkira.com

Diamanda Gustafson said...

Hey. People say I lead an interesting life. I don't. Poke me anytime you want.