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.




try this.


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?


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?


It's all right.

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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