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The End Of An Illusion
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
When I proposed to my (ex) wife for marriage, I told her, “I am, though I say it myself, about the cleverest young man of my age in the country… and I know you would like my companionship.” Of course, she said yes. Like others, she presumed that I had the money or came from money. The truth is I allow people to think that, but in all honesty, and for those who know me well - when was the last time I picked up the check? Never. My recurring motif is to pretend to receive a phone call around the time when the waiter brings the bill to the table. I excuse myself, and I watch the table from a distance to see my dining partner pay the check. It is then I come back to the table and pretend to look for the bill. At that time, the friend good naturally told me he took care of the check.
The truth is I pretty much live off the estate’s earnings. At times, I tend to spend a tad too much on goods, and therefore I find myself stranded in my large home, with many places to go to but no funds to pay for the experience. Since I don’t drive, I usually have to depend on the kindness of acquiescences. Even paying for the bus has got too expensive for me. Food is not so difficult. If you have one piece of toasted muffin and use old coffee grains for your morning café, then you make it through the day OK. I know how to sew so I can keep my clothes in good condition. So for appearance's sake, I’m lovely. I never worry about the lack of money in my life because no one likes to hear someone grumble about finances. It’s such a bore of a subject to bring up, and once you do, you can immediately see the eyes of your visitor or friend clouding over. No, it’s best not to say anything. They may find my starved body by my moldy and mildew swimming pool, but alas, I will still look fashionable.
One of the few pleasures I have concerning shopping is finding used copies of Mantovani albums. If for nothing else, I love his cascading strings, which place me in an imaginary place. Well, my home actually, if it was better cared for. I had to let go of the cleaning lady, due to the financial situation. Nevertheless, I tend to enjoy putting an apron on and wandering through the hallways with a duster. Besides the enjoyment of Mantovani, I focus on the mailbox for a hopeful check, but more realistically, an invitation to a dinner or cocktail party. I know how to control my hunger and not run-up to the catering table and go crazy. Allow a piece of cheese to melt in your mouth with a taste of white or red wine - and one is fine if you keep your wits about. What I have to keep in mind is to “put a higher value on yourself. Being hyper-realistic about everything is too simple a get-out.” At the same, I feel very much like an impostor, and already my mask has begun to bite into my face.
“The falsification of everything is one of the characteristic features of our period, but falsification is not in itself subversion properly so-called, though contributing directly to the preparation for it.” I pretty much live in people’s opinion on who they think I’m. My role is never to give them doubt or a sign of concern on my part. I observed that the more I talk, the less they listen. Therefore my life is a performance. As long as I focus on myself and avoid the outside world, I should be acceptable. One of the beautiful things about my work is a “degree of selection and separation from the dross of living.” I have these moments of doubt and a feeling of fear, but generally, I brush it off. “The end of the world never is and never can be anything but the end of an illusion.”
Inspired by J.G. Ballard, Mantovani, Réne Guénon, and Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, with a touch of Tosh Berman.