6 Nov 2010

Brideshead, Revisited








If you asked me now who I am,

the only answer I could give
with any certainty

would be my name,
Charles Ryder.

For the rest,
my loves, my hates,

down even to my deepest desires,

I can no longer say whether
these emotions are my own

or stolen from those
I once so desperately wished to be.


------


Because a camera
is a mechanical device
which records a moment in time,
but not what that moment means
or the emotions that it evokes.
Whereas a painting,
however imperfect it may be,
is an expression of feeling.
An expression of love.
Not just a copy of something.

And who on earth do you think
cares about your feelings?

I do.


------


I've got a basket of strawberries
and a bottle of Chateau Peyraguey,
which isn't a wine you've ever tasted,
so don't pretend.

It's heaven with strawberries.
Just the place to bury a crock of gold.
 

I should like to bury
something precious
in every place where I've been happy.

And, then,
when I was old and ugly and miserable,
I could come back
and dig it up and remember.


------


Why don't you want me
to meet your family?

Who are you ashamed of, them or me?

I don't have a family.

You have me.

Sebastian and Charles,
contra mundum.
 
Contra mundum.


------


Come here.
If only it could be
like this always.
Always summer.
Always alone.
Fruit always ripe.

Cheers.


------


Now,

try this.

No?

It's a shy little wine. Like a gazelle.

Like a leprechaun.

Dappled in a tapestry meadow.

A flute by still water.

This is a wise old wine.

A prophet in a cave.

And this is a string of pearls on a white neck.

A swan.

The last unicorn.


------


Do you often do that?

What?

Say one thing, mean another?

Yes and no.


------


I want to look back and say that I was alive.
That I didn't turn my back. That I tried.
That I was happy.
Happiness in this life is irrelevant.
All that matters,
the only thing of consequence,
is the life hereafter.


------


You're not in anybody's gang.
That's always been your problem.


------

I don't understand.
How could you be so nice
in so many ways,
and then do something
so wantonly cruel?


------


It's rather a pleasant change,
when all your life
you've had people looking after you,
to have someone to look after, yourself.


------


I'm sorry.

Whatever for?

Everything.

It's all right.
Truly.

I asked too much of you.

I knew it all along, really.
Only God can give you that sort of love.


------

I miss you.

How sweet of you to say that.

------


Was he away long?

Two years,
and it doesn't feel like a day.


------


You people,
you never learn.
You could have had it all
if you'd been a little more flexible.


------


With you, I thought I could 
really and truly be free. 

And here I am again with you,
living in sin.


------


I've known worse cases
make beautiful deaths.


------


I wanted too much.
It's nobody's fault.
But you're not coming with me.
I don't want to make it easier for you.
I hope your heart breaks.
But I do understand.
I have to let you go.


------



Whether by fate or the
divine ironies of some higher power,
I find myself returned once more
to Brideshead.
Let it go.
Did I want too much?


Did my own hunger blind me to
the ties that bound them to their faith?


------




You got someone
special waiting for you?

Me? No.
I've loved and lost
for more than one lifetime.











Brideshead Revisited, 2008


















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