European Diary

Love and Fiction

I said I had fallen conditionally in love, and now anyone apart from myself would have paused to wonder what on earth, if anything, this awkward phrase could possibly mean.  “Great!  A penniless foreigner, a writer courting failure, a serial adulterer running off with an American teenager!  He has a condition to make, would you believe it.  He has got himself affianced to this delicate little flower, who also happens to be, potentially, one of those Saturday Night Movie heiresses that his papagallo kind of prince of taradiddle is always trying to snag, and he says?  What is it?  That he isn’t ready to make a commitment?  That he wants to paint the lily a little less white?  I can bloody well see we’ll be needing another round of drinks over here.”

This would have been the male voice, while the female might try another tack, more Bloomsbury-wine-bar sympathetic than Jug-and-Bottle sarcastic.  “Listen, honey, I do think you love her and everything, which is just great, but maybe the chemistry isn’t right between the two of you.  Like the spark, you know?  [Pause.]  Maybe there’s no spark.  And you can go on and try to reform her all you want, but what, you’re Scorpio and she’s Pisces, you’re never going to change that.  [Lights a Vogue with plastic cigarette lighter encased in gaily beaded...

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