by athens7 as Jack (font: Courier New)
and mazaher as Patrick (font: Verdana)


2. Separation


Patrick leaves (Patrickís POV)

I roll on my side, curl on the carpet, my back to him, and violent dry sobs shake me. Is this the retribution for my guilt? is the Devil already at my heels?
I must go, I wonít let the Devil take my Jack also. I rise, I stand, I pull my clothes back on my wretched frame in haste as best I can, I wrap my cape around myself, push my hat on my head, and I run out.
The door slams on Jackís blank face. I run.
When at last I feel breathless and slow down to a walk, Iím already deep into Bloomsbury, and a few reluctant snowflakes are beginning to fall. I stop for a moment in a dark corner off Woborn Square to button up, more to avoid the curiosity of any passers-by than to better shield myself against the cold.
I am shivering, but the chill comes from within.
Keeping my hands busy in tidying myself to a presentable state floats me nearer once again to that blessed state of nothingness in which not a single thing has any importance, and the only reality is made of night, snow, and the scent of London: coal, and steel, and bleak wet winter gardens.
I walk on, and the sight of the church of Christ the King calls at me like the summons from an angel. Gothic architecture, even this thirty years old neo-Gothic fake, always makes my heart leap in happiness... but not tonight. Tonight I feel like I am called to last judgment. Short has been my respite: the hard truth of facts has caught up with me, calls me back to the cold wet stone of this city of joys and of sins, and I must respond for my actions-- if not to God, then to myself.
Again I ask, What have I done? and my inner voice answers, You have raped him.
Have I? Was it rape if Jack, my Jack, gave himself to me willingly, oh so willingly, as he always does? I know him well, he never denies me anything... Surely taking what is freely offered is not rape?
But no, he did try to stop me, and I forced him.
I forced him!
Perhaps I hurt him.
Certainly I took no notice of his feelings, selfish bastard that I am, wrapped in my fit of jealousy and caring for nothing else than taking back whatís mine, by violence if necessary.
Was it, was it necessary? Would he still have denied me if I had waited as he begged me to?
I assume that I know him, but I donít... I do not.
Who is he, this man who had the magnificent nerve of saying to me ďI come to serveĒ?
He is a mystery of nature, wonderful and secretive like the phases of the moon, or the way the sky clears up after a storm, or the excruciatingly sexual vibration of my diaphragm when I listen to
EugŤne Ysaˇe playing Paganiniís La campanella. I do not know him; I recognize him -- God, Iíd recognize him anywhere, I recognize everything of him, the scent of his cologne, the flower he will choose for his buttonhole, the way he says goodnight after an evening passed talking and smoking and drinking port in my library. I can tell which cigar butt has been between his lips before he discarded it in one of the Athenaeumís ashtrays -- but I donít know a damn of what he feels, or thinks, or wants, for Heavenís sake.
No, I canít call out to Heaven, not in front of this tall ornate rose window through which the faintest glimmer of candlelight transpires.
I am of Hell, I am in Hell, I am damned, and all I can hope is not to draw him down with me.
I must leave him.
I must forget that he is mine, because I cannot be his.
I will not steal him from his life in the light, a life of science and dedication to the health of his patients, and tie him to my life which is cursed, to this dark existence of mine, haunted by ghosts.
They own me, they possess me; I donít own myself, Iím not my own to give. How willingly would I...
No, no, I canít, I must leave, I must give him space to forget me. Itís the only thing I can do to compensate in part the gift he made of himself. He never tried to hold me. I must let him go.
I turn my back to the church where I am unworthy to sit, and walk down Long Acre. The light snow has ceased, and an uncertain dawn is greying the sky. A sleepy starling chirps, and suddenly I want to see flowers. Life is too short, and I canít bear my pain, and Iím going to Hell-- no, Iím in Hell already, so itís as well that I get acquainted with my fellow convicts.
So beautiful, so innocent: ďConsider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of theseĒ.
But ďGod so clothes the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the ovenĒ.
I burn, theyíll burn; I deserve it, they donít, but neither shall be saved.
The dusky bulk of Covent Garden raises in front of me. A cartman unloads baskets of hyacinths on the pavement on the other side of the road, and the fragrance wafts to me on the cold faint breeze.
I am tired to think.
I close my eyes, and I am ready to die.


NdA: The quote is from King Jamesí Bible, Luke, 12:27-28.

Patrick leaves; Patrick goes to Jack,


Patrick leaves, Jack goes to Patrick