Monday, May 14, 2012

Mr. Melrose

             '... My experience of love is that you get excited thinking that someone can mend your broken heart, and then you get angry when you realize that they can't. A certain economy creeps into the process and the jewelled daggers that used to pierce one's heart are replaced by ever-blunter penknives.'
            'Did you expect Debbie to mend your broken heart?'
            'Of course, but we were like two old people taking turns with a bandage - I'm afraid to say that her turns tended to be a great deal shorter. I don't blame anyone anymore - I always mostly and rightly blamed myself...' Patrick stopped. 'It's just sad to spend so long getting to know someone and explaining yourself to them, and then having no use for the knowledge.'
           'Do you prefer being sad to being bitter?' asked Johnny.
           'Marginally,' said Patrick. 'It took me some time to get bitter. I used to think I saw things clearly when we were going out. I thought, she's a mess and I'm a mess, but at least I know what kind of mess I am.'
           'Big deal,' said Johnny.
           'Quite,' sighed Patrick. 'One seldom knows whether perseverance is noble or stupid until it's too late. Most people either feel regret at staying with someone for too long, or regret at losing them too easily. I manage to feel both ways at the same time about the same object.'
           'Congratulations,' said Johnny.
           Patrick raised his hands, as if trying to quiet the roar of applause.
           'But why is your heart broken?' asked Johnny, struck by Patrick's unguarded manner.
           'Some women,' said Patrick, ignoring the question, 'provide you with anaesthetic, if you're lucky, or a mirror in which you can watch yourself making clumsy incisions, but most of them spend their time tearing open old wounds.'

 – Some Hope — Edward St. Aubyn