|• Main||• Contacts|
sewing. On my telling her whom I was seeking she stopped sewing
and looked at me quickly: "Oh, are you her husband? I know her.
_I have seen them together_." She looked as if she were going to
tell me something, but merely shook her old-fashioned head in a
mournful, indescribable way, saying "Why don't you keep your wife
with you?" I went to the door and presently saw Miss T. She tried
to avoid me, I thought, and looked more vicious than ever, but
after a minute's thought reluctantly told me where she and A.
were staying. To hide my fears and suspicions I had assumed a
careless demeanor, but I think I should have strangled her had
she refused to tell me. I hastily went to the place indicated and
going up the stairs (to the astonishment of the people) opened
the door and found myself face to face with A.--but how changed!
She had the hard, harlot, loveless look I detested. I felt for a
few minutes that I did not love her, and she regarded me coldly
too, but presently old habits reinstated themselves. She put out
her hands, very pitiably, and then was sobbing in my arms. I
could get nothing out of her but sobs, and to this day do not
know where she spent all these weeks nor why she did not write.
Miss T. came in after rehearsal, pale and hard-faced. I greeted
her politely, but was watching her, trying to puzzle out why A.
did not look as she usually did after long absence from coition.
Miss T. took another room in the same house and was soon joined
by another ballet girl, young and very pretty, who soon began to
have fits. A. was always crying until Miss T. went away with her
pretty friend. I knew nothing, could hardly be said to suspect
anything definite, and yet I pitied that pretty girl whose eyes
looked so helpless and appealing.
I set to work again. But I continued to live on fruit and bread,
and taking off my clothes I would stand up at the window in the
sun. A lot of prostitutes, however, who lived at the back saw me
and were scandalized or shocked or thought me mad. The landlady
heard of it and spoke to A. So I had to desist from my glorious
We slept on a single bed, and though I did my best to avoid
coitus (I wanted to wait and think out some theory of it), A.,
who knew nothing of this, wanted to resume our old habits, and
finally I surrendered. But my sufferings next day were intense,
and I had the sense of having fallen from some high estate. My
thoughts were divided between two theories: one that our misery
was caused by our diet, more or less; the other that we had
fallen into some error as regards coitus, and this was becoming
almost a certainty with me.
There is one incident I think worthy of note which happened
before the "fall" just mentioned and when I was living on fruit
and in splendid health. At a performance I saw a girl on the
stage with handsome legs in tights, and once as she straightened
her leg the knee-cap going into position gave me such a strange
and keen joy--of that quality I call divine or musical--that I
Page 5 from 7: Back 1 2 3 4  6 7 Forward