Guidelines for Measures to Cope with Disgraceful and Other Events - Part 2



There’s the sex.  You’re nearly forty.  For a while, sex hadn’t been what it was, not for an oversexed individual like yourself.  That’s how you think of yourself, isn’t it?  Proud of the forceful urge, a kind of badge of the profession, proof you belong where the sap always rises.  You have drive, energy.  You get impassioned, then blocked at every turn.  You need outlets.  I can understand that.
            Eva is sex like it used to be in the beautiful days, way back in Cambridge out on the Backs with Miranda Gadding.  Christ yes.  The pumping heart, the shimmer.  Life did burst then.
            Though you express it differently now.  With Eva, in your ‘bright red speechless intimacy’, you two are apparently ‘bridging the gap between man and woman, dissolving.’  Needed to write it down, watermarked paper inside a licked envelope, even though she has barely enough English to understand.  The letters were a way of writing to yourself.  A mistake, Simon.  Not so clever.
            But Eva is life, is living, that’s how you see it, don’t you?  She protects you from the fear that one year might become much like the next, impossible to remember for itself.  An adolescent terror, I think you’ll admit, but no less compelling for that.  Eva is worth it because she keeps life new, and if life is new, you must be young.  That’s the sequence, the logic behind the love story, am I right?
            Continuing in secret, however, is to live every day with the risk of disclosure, leading to disgrace and certain downfall.  Is this then the right option for London MEP Simon Vindolanda?  Let me, just for a moment, play devil’s advocate. 
            Why keep the situation as it is when neither your marriage nor your mistress is perfect?  I have recorded five separate occasions on which you’ve joked to political contacts that yours was an arranged marriage.  Georgia arranged it.  Down to the last detail.  But as the details included a marquee and 400 guests and champagne on the lawn of her parents’ house near Romsey in Hampshire, it was an arrangement you decided you could live with.
            And even though you’d prefer life to be bursting, Eva isn’t perfect either.  On her trips to Brussels for ‘shopping’, whenever you snatch twenty minutes together in the Hotel du Congrès, room number 319 (16 minutes 23 seconds the shortest we’ve put on file), you go in fear for your professional life.  When you’re in there you rarely talk.  Eva’s English is not strong, except for the very basic grammar she’s learnt by heart, the dog-English you’ve taught her, a doggerel of love.  How does it go?
            Love you, you say.
            Love you more, she says.
            Love you most, you say.
            Sweet.  Quick.  That’s your regular shtick, isn’t it?  Love you most but have to dash.  Check your flies, peck on the cheek, check your flies, dash.  It can be so miserable.
            When you were first elected, representing half a million Londoners, of whom perhaps 200 know you by name, you felt so self-important that you wandered the Euro corridors determined not to fall in love with any girl from Europe who said hello.  You did well.  Not bad at all after ten years of marriage and out of the house among attractive European women who wear stockings.  Though you never picked up the knack of not looking, did you?  Can never keep your eyes from flicking down, especially from behind when you think no one’s watching.  Usually someone is, Simon.  It was five years of politics before Eva came along, and by then you were so disillusioned she didn’t even have to speak, just sit behind the Russian trade envoy, shuffle a few papers, cross her legs, occasionally make eyes at you above her low-cut square-framed glasses. 
At the beginning it was so simple, a perk on Parliament expenses.  Dinner-cruises on the Rhine, long drives through northern France with stop-offs for VIP tours of the cellars in Champagne.  Eva loved it.  You shrugged.  That’s the kind of guy I am.
            In return she went to bed with you, barely out of her teens.  You like her to shower first so you can smell her in the flesh, comforting and young like warm plastic beakers.  Is that what really gets you going?  Is that what set you off the time against a tree in the Orangerie gardens when you came immediately and laughed and said: ‘At least it’s not raining. Ha ha.’
            It started raining.  Remember?  You wrapped her in your arms, inside your fawn-coloured raincoat, the collar up over her little head as the two of you ran for cover.  Hard to keep secrets these days.
            But let’s not go back, even though the problem with Eva is that it was always perfect yesterday, because you made it through yesterday without being found out.  Today is always a risk, and therefore much less enjoyable until it’s safely over.  And a baby as well.  That’s going to be tough, nothing but trouble.  Trouble doubled.
            Which makes #2 Continued Deception hard to recommend, in your case, as a dependable measure for avoiding disgrace.  How long can you keep up this charade?  Your landscape of danger is increasing, but how much pleasure do you get from stratagems and survival, from travelling everywhere with cash money, a concealed mobile phone and toothbrush?  Is that how you want to live, how to get where you want to go?  When you first met Eva you were so confident you’d soon have a seat in the House you promised to set her up in London near Madame Tussaud’s.  It was the only landmark she knew, and she was thrilled.  You were so sure, in the good old days.
            If your secret life is exposed, it’s back to #1 and the drawing board.  If you want to avoid the public risk of Denial, and you instinctively understand that in the long run Continued Deception is unsustainable, you might like to consider some further measures we’ve explored in some detail on your behalf.


3. REPARATION/MAKING AMENDS

This may be painful.  It is not by any means the easy option.  You would have to make a decision.
            Decide what is the right thing to do, and then do it. 
            If it is right to stay married to Georgia, and to bring up your children in a stable loving home, then this is a chance to get things right.  Before anyone finds out.  If you act quickly.  And if they do find out, the damage can be minimised by this demonstration of good faith.  Voluntarily, under no pressure at all, you’d already decided to do the decent thing.
            You do love your wife, you sometimes think.  It’s so inconvenient to see her unhappy.  Georgia is a kind of habit, an attraction easily renewed because you’ve always loved your English posh.  The haughty but naughty, the kind of crisp excitable girls you first met off the meat wagons that came to your boys’ school on dance nights.  The private boarding school your mum ruined her health to pay for.  Then at Cambridge you couldn’t resist those fine-grained voices, every rounded vowel a childhood of fresh fruit and Malvern water.  The voices you adored, and also the weekends away at houses with tennis courts.
            Your girlfriends before Georgia were bumpy and blonde.  Georgia was dark though well-built, serious, nice face but thick ankles, not a trophy.  She believed that all people were born equal, as had her grandfather, the Minister of Munitions, whose portraits lined the stairs of the family home.  You looked at them closely just once, the first time you faced her parents’ dismay and were given your own room.  Each night you lay there quite happily alone (after some giggly relief from Georgia in one of the bathrooms), listening to the ancient house and loving the sheets, so stiff and clean. 
            This is what your Mum and Dad had scrimped for, sold all those ice-creams for, to put you in a ‘drawing-room’ with a girl like Georgia, who you’d met at the University of Cambridge and who, between gin and tonics and dinner, was impossible not to love.  Your Mum said she just wanted you to be happy, but you followed your Dad’s script and for him it was a weepy: the heights you might one day reach routinely trembled his lip.  Georgia was duly written in and you wouldn’t want to give her up now, nor the town-house in Pimlico, or the cottage near Marlborough, wouldn’t want to make Dad cry again.  He cries easily, your Dad.
            It’s not too late.  Don’t be a bastard husband all your life, thinking a happy marriage means she’s reliable at social events.  Remember what’s good about Georgia, and why you loved her in the first place.  You could make her laugh, remember, and enflame her with your socialist principles; being young and poor you had to use your personality.  No VIP trips, no expenses, that’s not the kind of guy you were.
Or if not in the first place, later when she was pregnant.  You were surprised by how beautiful she became, and you held her hand more tightly than you should, more tightly than you had before.  Oh the fun before Hugh was born, remember that?  The two of you keeping the anxiety at bay by larking around, and in the last days before birth saying ‘fuck’ as often as possible.  Fuck this, fuck that, her in her high crystal tones, Lawdy! These fucking false contractions can fuck the fuck off!  As much swearing as possible, while you still could, before the baby came and you were on your best behaviour, supposedly for the rest of your lives.
            Hugh Walter Vindolanda, soon followed by Madeleine Federica Vindolanda.  For the first time in your life you had something of your own to lose.  Think of that now, of the kids, those poor privileged children.  You have to work at marriage, make it a long-life proposition.  Throw in some additives, some colouring, some white lies and foreign holidays, and accept it for what it is:  a processed, preserved love, less tasty maybe but also less perishable.
            This is the way back for you, Simon.  Do the right thing, stop seeing Eva, and then look forward to years of buying back your soul.  This will be your penance, and it will do you good.  I mean it.  You’ve acted badly.  Now find out if there’s a way back to the better person you were.  Be ambitious closer to home, work at a future for you and Georgia and the children.  Vow to make things right and act your age, for the years will become indistinguishable.  That’s how you will survive with Georgia.  She will block the light, she will provide shade.  What more do you want?
            Eva.
            Forget Eva.  Enjoy the postponed approval of Georgia’s parents, of your Dad, of your dear departed Mum (god rest her soul).  Be pragmatic.  Divorce is unthinkable, not because of the children but the grandparents.  Enjoy what marriage has brought you, and pity those poor fools who married for love. Looking back, wondering how it happened, they must feel very embarrassed if love was the one good reason.
            Besides, it was Georgia’s cousin the Right Honourable Member for Andover who first mooted that safe Westminster seat.  Between men, keeping it in the family, he offered you a word to the wise:
            ‘You do understand, Simon, if you have any muck they will find it.  Clean out the stables, old boy.’
            As for Eva, you need to deconjugate your flimsy little grammar of love.  Agreeable though she may have been, regrettable though it is to break such shattering news, Eva has been a fling.  Making her, at this critical stage of coping with potential disgrace, the something flung.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Follow by Email

 

Blog Archive

Contributors

My photo

Anika Devi received her Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University in 2012. She began freelancing for Business Solutions BD in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor.
Worked well for Website DA, Entrepreneurship, Starting a Blog, Payoneer MasterCard, Sex Tips, Phone Sex, So how do you think? Want to get into her pants? Read here