“He honestly mistook his sensuality for romantic emotion, his vacillation for the artistic temperament, and his idleness for philosophic calm” – Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham.
He let slip a flaw. It was a delivered approach. With honest contrition, he was forced to assemble himself as a convict. She felt as her position had run its course. She stood up and muttered a few swear words under her breath. The curse words were not intended for him as implied he might have thought so. Rather, she was furious with herself. Plunging into the dark waters of hatred were no longer barricaded with indignation, she thought. The moment alone was despicable. She went to the mirror and observed her reflection acutely. It was not that bad altogether. Neither too ugly. But the picture was – and so was the insinuation. She left the room after a solemn goodbye.
Years later, she admitted to me the impact of this particular incident.
“I started loving nude art,” she said with a quiet laugh. “Ironic isn’t it?” This was little less of a question for me than a reassurance for herself.
“So what went wrong?” I asked absent-mindedly.
“I was too altruistic.”