What truths would I transport myself to if my words, a random collection of possible truths (and half lies) were to convince Martha to invite me home? I’d decided not to bring her to Mount Rise, even if it were an option. There’d be no prize, no sense of celebration, of power, of dominance, in that. To satisfy masculine achievement I desired, above all other considerations, to implant my animal scents firmly and irredeemably in her lair. I know nothing of the forces and influences shaping Martha’s life: she, on the other hand, knows vast details of mine. None of the knowledge she possesses of me is one dimensional, on the contrary, I’m a known quantity. Am I succumbing to the thought she will dominate, tapping into hidden desires, tantalising me through the realisation of my fantasies. Willingly ensnared from the first day we met because she listened, accepting me for what I am. Would a blow fly be this careless entering a spider’s web? Why is she continually questioning and pushing me to seize control over the remaining span of my life? Do I accept partnership under her tutelage: but what sort of partnership involves submission? How often has she told me life’s on her terms, that she won’t compromise?
Is my collection of words for her emotional perusal, a lawyer mulling over a complex contract written in dense, obscurantist legalise? Will it become a contract founded on mutual interests: her on one side, me on the other? A set of assumptions, an over the table, wireless discussion on what we believe is right for us? Will there be codicils and conditions? Will these be inserted as get out clauses before I’m invited to her home in case our fumbled and middle aged attempts at physical love are an absolute flop? Conditions discussed at the beginning of our union to calculate the likely success of this half crazed venture. Escape clauses, rationalisations, excuses real or imaginary, sacred oaths whispered before battle easing mortal pain. Wearying ourselves through a series of desires only to be deflated by the ravages of age and reality, chasms between hope and performance too great to bridge. There are no options, no luxury of choice at my age: or Martha’s. Truth has no moral value, it’s simply a given, a reflection of reality becoming personal history in an existence lacking certainty. A past fact, perfected: nothing more, nothing less. It can’t damage us unless we demand something unreal, or if we choose to resurrect it. Isn’t this what I’ve done all my adult life; resurrecting the past to justify inane and unconscious actions? Doesn’t half of humanity do this, resurrecting old scores, hurts, dubious historical stories, facts and myths to justify ignorance, harm and control.
Perhaps Martha’s truth will accord with mine and mine with hers, complimentary realities to build upon. If our truths clash and conflict, a drunk’s wielded razor slashing an artist’s canvas masterpieces, we call it a day. Our facts too painful to face, our words giving way to battle cries, curses and dreadful recrimination. How can I, used to selfish and gratuitous acts of sex, be expected to make anything but a fist of loving her? If I’m so deprived of feminine affection as I claim, how can I meet her expectations to tenderly and gently, lovingly comfort her?
Can a man and woman only love when they are at one with each other in soul and mind, silently sharing an understanding of their own times and the world they inhabit? One night stands have given intense pleasure, providing emotional crutches without commitment. Physical love has never been important in opening a relationship, preferring instead the other’s take on life. Sexual intercourse, the sheer physicality of loving an aside, never the initiator of a relationship. I’ve searched for something to understand and hold my intellect, not an intensity to spin out of control. With no fixed points from my past I’m willing to go where feelings take me. No longer fatalistically guided by an astrologer’s lodestone manipulated by star juxtapositions, and chance meetings ordained by numerological mumbo-jumbo.
I walked on down West Heath, through Golders Green towards West Hendon, my home, for what it was worth. Tomorrow I’ll phone Martha. Leaden with anxiety and uncertainty I eventually found the sleep I craved.