Still —– seems the focal point of my life. My mental life, my emotional life, even though we are not together. I still orbit around her star, a distant orbit, but quite happily so. I cannot give her what she needs, and cannot be the man she wants—any man who can be the man his woman wants is not really a man, surely. Less than a man. A castrated man. An emasculated man. The type of man who is taking over Europe, at least, unfortunately. “Snowflake” man, if I have understood the meaning of this phrase correctly. 120. Any man who can be the man his woman wants him to be is a man who I instinctively, perhaps stupidly, lack respect for. A nice man, for sure. And I envy him his happiness and his contentment to be with the woman he so patently loves. Yet nice, it can never be me. Never.
I still wear my ring, because it is the only thing I have ever achieved in my life (even though she says she flushed her one down the lavatory). I found a woman I loved, who loved me back, and wanted to put a ring on my finger. I cannot see any other achievement in my life apart from that. I do have a good job now–£–,000 a year; that means an awful lot to me, too. Belgian soldiers on the streets of Brussels fascinate me; they don’t look like Belgians. They are too tall, too strong, too muscular. They look like an alien species. I never see Belgian men like this normally. In London it is different. You see lots of tough, brawny, tall, strong men in their office suits and ties; but in Belgium I never see men like this, except the soldiers.
The only regret I feel from my marriage is that we did not make Phoebe. I feel like she must be angry at us, “mummy and daddy, why have you still not made me yet! I would love you so much!”. And she would be a lovely quiet little girl, like her daddy, not loud & manic like her mother. I have the horrible feeling that if I ever did have a child with another woman, I would never really love her, because I should have made her with ——. I love Phoebe like a real child.
When you’ve climbed Mount Everest, you’ve done it all. The funny thing about my climbing career, though, is Everest was the first mountain I climbed. So I started with the best, and was happy to retire after that.
I feel no craving whatsoever for another relationship. It is one of those things you should definitely do once in your life, like climbing Mount Everest or going to the Moon, but you wouldn’t want to do it a second time. I never feel lonely anymore. I still feel married to my wife, even though I have not seen her for 300 days. In fact our marriage feels happier than ever. We email each other now & again, keep in touch. It feels a perfect relationship. If only all marriages could be as happy as this. She makes no demands on me and I make no demands on her.
Why do I still wear my ring? If I took it off it would feel to me like I was repudiating, and rejecting that part of my life, as being something wrong, and a mistake. But it was not wrong and it wasn’t a mistake, and I have not a single regret about that part of my life. That woman remains the greatest thing that has ever happened to me, the lodestone of my life—till the day I die. When I die and you cut me open, you will find she runs through me like the words in a stick of Blackpool Rock. Yet the more I came into my true self, the more I became not the man she wanted me to be, so we can only go our separate ways. For me, I am happy she is safe and looked after. This gives me even greater relaxation to continue to grow into my true self, without worry, without guilt. So, 6th can.
I love Brussels. As Munich and then Berlin’s stock has sunk, Brussels and Vienna have risen. The destruction of Stuttgarter Platz destroyed Berlin for me, and as for Munich it was probably only my young, starry-eyed naivety that ever made that place seem special. The relatively new discoveries of Fifth Avenue and Cine Paris in Brussels has brought Brussels back to life for me in this second golden age (the first was before my marriage, the second after it) (not saying that the long 3½ years of marriage wasn’t also a golden age of a different kind, of course). The discovery of WSK and Fortuna Kinos has brought Vienna back to life for me.