My Hidden Accounts
Alas, as I put pen to paper I am filled with a sense of stark trepidation. Such an anecdote made solid by the reality of the written word can be and often is a source of evidence. Evidence of things long thought improper or even perverse in our society’s appraisal of such. Yet, I am of an age and have been through a time of such challenge that such improprieties seem, at once, absurd as notions of moral accord.
The depredations of Herr Hitler and his black bloody minions seem to cast into lighter air things once thought abominable. The hideous fume of true evil in our midst gives us all to wonder what indeed is considered a slight odor and what constitutes a noxious stench.
It is perhaps a comparison of grays. One gray is light as a mild cloudy sky in mid-April while the other gray is as black as a starless night sky crowded by the clouds of a brewing tempest. Nothing is pure, I have found. Nothing is ever truly right or wrong in this hellish world of ours. Our vicars in our favorite chapels speak of many high things in clear tones, but such words should be meant only to stimulate a sense of ambition toward a better configuration of moral character. Such words cannot, of themselves, reflect the truth of our realities. Our realities are as they are, as it were. Never white and often never absolutely black.
My many years as a member of the House of Lords and our engagement in the rude employment of politics to decipher the will of God, King, and Country have left me most solidly ambivalent between the many shades of gray. Of such I must needs to extract from my long years of experience a certainty that my life has been lived as best as I can have lived it.
For….I have loved and have been loved.
It is of this love that I write when I proffer terms such as ‘perverse’ and ‘abominable’. For Adrien and I were of like gender and of such things polite company barely thinks, much less speaks. It was also unfortunate for us that Adrien was French! Now, but of course, in polite society this is not of any consequence whatsoever, but, as you might deduce upon closer examination, our situation was precarious. This necessitated the use of various houses of ‘ill repute’ so that we might conduct ourselves to our mutual satisfaction.
Such places are often inhabited by the lowest, most common manifestations of scum. Creatures of that ilk have yet to evolve past the idiocy of Napoleon and his Waterloo and thus hold deathly animus toward the Frankish kind. I was, many times, gratified that I had received due training in handheld firearms. The brandishing of a well polished Browning often causes xenophobic idiots to become the most gracious of national hosts.
It was under such ill stars that I and my beloved Adrien had to comport ourselves: secretly and hazardously. To be caught in the act of sodomy with another man was grounds for imprisonment, immediate and forthwith, regardless of social stature. It even now remains such in these 1950s, alas. Fortunate many of my ‘kind’ are that the bobbies and the barristers have more pressing issues at hand than to otherwise harass young men conducting themselves as can only be natural for them. If you prefer, ‘unnaturally’ should you care to borrow verse from our beloved vicars at the vicarages.
Worse, for those of my standing, aristocrats and courtiers of the Crown, such scandal can ruin names centuries established. The name Temple has stood original to our fair England since the time of Hadrian. Our family has served as Knights of the King and fought for His Majesty or Her Majesty since time immemorial.
But such things are immaterial in light of the high scandal a ‘wonton’ homosexual relationship can unleash upon a family of high standing. Even the faintest breath of such an ill wind can upset our house of cards with amazing destruction. My house could easily be so shattered that I might have needs to take up a trade and move to, God in Heaven forbid, America!
I oft times like to meditate upon possibilities. Some of which might entertain the notion that persons in my class might have been better served serving the needs of the less fortunate rather than badgering their peers with such bloody nonsense. In all honesty, other than the real problem that a bloodline might not run through to the next generation, what possible harm could I be subjecting my society by loving a beautiful soul like Adrien’s?
My Adrien was, as the yogis of the fallen Raj might fathom, a soul out of time. A being of exquisite chivalry torn from the time of blessed French Knighthood to be reborn into the modest frame of a baker’s son. Ah, the baguettes my Adrien could fashion were feasts just in and of themselves! Delightful dainties needing only the kiss of fresh churned butter or Devon cream to bring tea time to the heights of a royal repast. One could vividly imagine oneself being at table with the Devine Sun King himself dining on such baguettes.
The kiss of Adrien was a kin to the kiss of his archangelic surname. To be kissed by Saint Michael himself would be only an equal measure of joy to le belle baiser of my Adrien d’Saint Michele. I remember the taste of him shaming the richness of his pan de chocolate. His kiss was a delicacy that was my addiction. I lived for it. I absolutely would have died for it.
Perhaps a part of me has. Such memories are souvenirs of lifetimes lived long ago. I am old now. A man disenchanted with the wilds of this world. Privilege and peerage are tiresome in the extreme to someone who has lived in Heaven’s light only to be plunged into the depths of darkest Gahenna. My gray reality is a comfort to me now, this time of forgetting and fading. Death yawns his grin for my amusement. I hate and I love that I have these souvenirs of mind and heart to relive what once was. But now how I welcome Death’s sweet embrace.
I have grown tired of remembering. Mes souvenirs tuent. My memories kill me. So it falls to me to make them known in these writings before my soul is set free at last. Once they are put down and made into solid form by means of paper and ink then I can be done with them and perhaps my life can finally close fulfilled.
Perhaps in the fullness of years this anecdote will find some young soul tormented by Nature’s fine comicality. This future child of Sodom may look upon my life and find that even in the most trying of times, love does exists and finds its way most stealthily and assuredly.
Perhaps by looking over my collection of souvenirs from times long gone this future son of my heart will gain strength where mine failed. May he take pride in who he is as a man of heart. May the strength of love overcome this world and bring lasting happiness and change to my fellows so long reviled in the depths of the vicar’s folly. May this peaceful accepting of love in its many colours become a reality one day when tomorrow comes.
So, I shall write. I shall write and I shall tell everything. I will then hide this thing of truth in my deposit box along with my mother’s blue diamonds and my father’s golden devices of ancient peerage.To me this shall be far more precious than either and a greater legacy.
Gold, diamonds, titles, money, and even property are as nothing to love! My God, how we English delude our wretched selves with our ashamed distain for all outward expressions of it.
The French show their elder Roman wisdom with their embrace of all things lovely and affectionate. We English have no idea the debt we owe to our French brothers across the Channel. So much of what makes life worth living….they perfected! We English ape this like we should know what we are doing. We know nothing, I assure you.
I am seriously considering a move to Le Côte d’Azur. Adrien loved that place above all places on this earth. He stole me away to that place when we were young and it is there that I learned what Heaven was.
We were particularly fond of Saint-Tropez and Hyères often living in the former and ‘vacationing’ in the latter. Saint-Tropez was host to a private getaway for those fond of getting away in the all together, as it were. Nudity was and is not considered in any way lascivious there though the gendarmerie used to make a show of ‘controlling’ it in the more public places, mostly to assuage the more tender sensibilities of Victorian prudish prunes.
Honestly, I will never be able to fathom the purpose of a Victorian grand ma-ma being made to enjoin themselves to such locales. They are not places made for comfortably stodgy tea services and vapid games of tiddledywinks.
These were living places where the living would go to find life to live and air to breath…through EVERY blasted pore! Such lovely human dress-hangers will always be more comfortable in the salons of Paris or in the drawing rooms of London townhouses. Do allow the dust of ages to settle in every crease in their wrinkled sun starved visages. Clothes have no place in Le Côte d’Azur. Leave them and their racks at home, please. I would most graciously give thanks for such wise decisions made.
Ah, but the young bucks here about should attach the epithet ‘horrid bitch’ to my lapel. I am so much done with the wretchedness of ‘ye olde reserve’. Englishmen have a secret not unlike the secret fire-halls of Vulcan Etna in Sicily. Fiery, raw and ripe passions flow through our veins as hot as any Viking of old. We are fit to explode in eruption given the correct inducement.
We carry on the black legend that we, as English ‘Gentlemen’, are altogether gelded things reserved for the most clinical and quick depositing of semen into a vaginal oriface. This must be a leftover reticence of more Catholic times where sex was almost always sin…except where making numerous children was concerned. Perhaps it also has to do with an overly small place with and overly large population. Britain is Great not because of landsize. Under such circumstances would not a homosexual couple be a boon? A loving couple unable to add to the already swelling population weighing on limited resources?
Alas, here I am babbling like a baboon. Beware the paths of an ancient mind, they wind like a Medieval sidewalk.
Adrien was clarity to me. He unleashed my volcanism in heavenly gushes. Passion so melting hot that steel could vaporize from our love’s heat. We traveled Europe from the shores of Dover to Mykonos in far off Greece. My Nobleman’s Tour was to exact from me my carnal curiosities so that upon my return to England I would be more fit to settle down with a lady of my father’s choosing and by our union produce my heir.
Poor ‘Pa Pa’. This thing occurred, but only out of complete contrivance and not to anyone’s satisfaction, leastwise to mine. I married dutifully, but could never produce an heir. My wife soon divorced me for lack of the peculiar affections found in marriage. I could not force my body to do things it did not want to do. Not in a sexual way by any road. Thoughts of Adrien were the only things that were fit for my arousal and I am not given to great imagination. Hence, I could not hold arousal for long given my wife’s inducements.
Lorelei was a fine enough woman and gifted with a fine enough body, but it was not Adrien’s body and her gifts were not his gifts.
My father was bitterly disappointed in me. He willed that I produce an heir to continue the family line. As if even his aristocratic voice could induce God to change his plans just for him. As it turned out, I did manage an heir after his death, but not by any means he fancied.
Nonetheless, I soon took up apartments in London away from my father. We became entirely estranged. He never wrote me out of his Will, but I’m sure he was sorely tempted. I supported myself on a barrister’s salary. The Law my family bled from our blue blooded veins. If ever there was a family ‘trade’ to the Temples it was Law.
After the span of one score and two years I saw my father for the last time. Even at death’s door he held me in disgust. I have feelings that he was aware of what I was but dared not make voice to it even in a death driven delirium.
But I digress…these are stories for later chapters, I suppose.
Here now I shall tie off my incontinence of thought. For tonight, this is enough.