Old Man's Hands

And women's arses. I want to weave these two images together. Woollen leggings were just a fashion, one year. The shapes of women’s buttocks were enticingly revealed. On one Monday evening in the underground station stood a young couple. The girl had such an arse. Her boyfriend was touching it in a lascivious way.

I think with some discomfort upon the continuity of sexual desire, that of myself, my father and my father’s father before him. There is a chain of unknown feeling. In some respects I feel somehow superior and knowing. I know that in history there were countless numbers whose experience was much better than mine, but I don’t have the feeling those were among my traceable ancestors. Theirs was not the sophistication of modern city life or of courts, with their decadence, art and culture. I go by what I have heard, which may not be entirely true.

When I went to see the ninety year old man he would talk tearfully to me. He has spoken for himself, so it is not for me to speak for him now. Obviously there was much that he did not say. I was fascinated, and far from repelled, by those ancient purplish scaly hands. Ever since I have regularly thought of them and that one day I will have hands as old as that and will look at them and they will be my own. Probably not though, I am not likely to live that long. I drink too much.

Going to work one day, I had a look at the house in Leather Lane where his own grandfather had lived in 1861. At first glance I'm not sure whether the building is old or not. Upon inspection it is evidently early nineteenth century. It has four storeys not counting the attic. The ground floor is currently a fast food restaurant. I walk round the nearby streets. The whole area is very historic, with many Dickensian associations.

It was just here that I first kissed someone I knew several years ago. She had a stall in the market. I can’t remember what she was selling, jewellery perhaps.

Nearby I got an interview with a TV scriptwriter. I went into Clerkenwell Churchyard for an urgent urination. The church bells were ringing as I pissed, conceivably on the grave of my own great, great, great, grandfather, who I believe was buried here. Then I walked up St John Street into Seckforde Street and the Seckforde Arms. There I had a pint of Young’s Special. This was in the days when the brewery was still in Wandsworth, at the mouth of the Wandle, and before the taste of the beer was ruined by the transfer to Bedford. Of course happy feelings often come with my lunchtime pint, which I much enjoy, and that is considered a bad thing, sign of deplorable dependency. By then the sun was out. Recall those many times when depressed when you wonder whether you will ever feel really good again, and what it will be like. I did feel good walking these streets my ancestors walked.

The idea of death may make life seem futile. You get out of this by feeling part of something greater, a great stream of life. You can find continuity with the ancestors and their will. Having a grandchild. I think of Viet Cong soldiers fighting the Americans, careless of their own lives. What really was their greater cause? Nation, communism?

A war veteran with a missing arm rows a visitor to the monastery in the middle of the lake.

For those without offspring there are other resources. Nietzsche was an isolated individual, with no children, though he had known ancestors. Eternal recurrence was an idea born out of such isolation. It involves an intensification of his condition to an infinite power.

When feeling good it is important to remember the insight one has managed to reach. The hope is that though the same insecurity may remain you can learn how to cope with it. Depression is letting the problems of life get on top of you.

There was another man who always knew about his own ancestors, he could see their monuments in the parish church. He could feel them looking down on him as a sort of reproach. He was of a higher class, and many of his ancestors had achieved something. Not for them the centuries of petty Christianity, monogamy and respectability.
As for himself, he knew he was superior. His genius, however, was too little known. By the standards he had been taught of course he did not match up, but other standards might be drawn from his own time. That was something he had to do.

That I like to look back at myself, looking at myself distant from myself, the reality of reaction, of trying to take opportunity.

Peoples I like. Russians, Mexicans, Haitians….

Which looks ahead to another time, another day. Recovered from a health scare, nine years on, one meets again a woman one knew. Too much makeup, head and mouth too big. Something Tartar. And what the interest? Circumstances.

People, slightly pitiable, I so restrained, so compassionate.

Whatever one thinks about, there are images that inevitably rise in the mind. An arsehole. An orgasm. There was a sort of depravity, but unsuccessful. Looking back, however, it is interesting, life being better than death. The history, the memories that make up everything. Much of which one may not speak in this place.

Sometimes there is frustration, sometimes other forms of misery. At those times it is hard to imagine how any achieve any lasting contentment.

I hit the irrelevance of democratic and female opinion, with its presumptuous condemnation of adultery.

I have concluded that Hillary Clinton should be the next president of the USA after reading the views of a number of prissy hags with newspaper columns who have it in for her. They seem to hold it against her for not divorcing her husband after he ‘cheated on her’. One suspects they feel personally threatened by any condoning of male ‘infidelity’ worried sick that their own husbands might seek sexual solace with something more attractive than themselves, (as they probably are already).

There is a key in the name of another ancestor, a bit further back on the distaff side.

Peculiar circumstances, throwing together. The element of unfreedom which is in itself exciting. Women oppressed and constrained.

And how different I should have been had I had daughters, it is said. Little girls these days aspire to grow up into little tarts. Times change, revolutions happen and the background against which all your own wisdom made sense has vanished forever.

Something happened even when nothing did. To the poet and story teller.

Again I think of the old man, his hands, and the linkage to the past. Looking back on those now dead for whom oneself, and even one’s father, was some very late incident, a trivial phenomenon in circumstances completely normal, boring at the time, unworthy of mention. Yet one discovers the fascinating insignificance of oneself as one travels imaginatively into the past. As two ordinary substances mixed together create an explosive compound. Me now, so far into the future.

My own existence is defined so differently.

There were some linkages of love, extending like chains far back in time. Grandchildren are loved by grandparents. The grandchild is a projectile shot far into an unimaginable future. There are peculiarities of this love that deserve attention.

The importance of the present and the future reveals the insignificance, nothingness even, of the past. There is continuity, however.

I go to the mixed sauna for some stimulation. I notice one young white woman with a very good arse. One of the rare and beautiful ones. I get a good view of it as it rises out of the water. She looked as if she had been dong some nude sunbathing this summer. Dimples. Good waist.

Others:- a Chinese couple, thin girl with a pony tail. Then there is a little old black woman, fat and one would say grotesque. But she liked standing there stark naked. She liked being naked, visible to all. And I like that, it is very positive. I would have liked to have given her a little pat on the bottom to cheer her up. Life is affirmed against death.

The girl in bed with the boy. “I really like you”, she said. She had already had many.

But love grows bitter with treason,
And the laurel outlives not May.

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