A couple of years ago I was chatting with Michael Collins and he said something to the effect I thought you would be a kept woman. . . like Anna Nicole. . .
I laughed and replied Certainly. Except I only marry for health insurance. More on that conversation here.
I was not joking. In the schematic of my life marriage is an economic contract, no more, no less. This view is entirely traditional and conservative. I harbour no romantic illusions; emotions are messy and transient. People may feel all sorts of things, but true love is expressed through discipline and hard work.
I am by all accounts quite difficult to know, whether judged as friend, mother, daughter, partner, colleague. But I give as much as I get. The people around me are hugely problematic and adorable in equal measure; we often struggle to take care of each other. If you have been following this journal or reading my published work you might grasp that my life has been a carousel of crisis - but no matter what happens I hold on and even enjoy the ride.
Except sometimes the horses stop moving and I notice that I have been swindled in the particulars of the ticket. Without exception this requires compensation; I am an equitable sort of person, not a sucker.
The six dire years in Cambridge absolutely demanded restitution. My price for remaining in the UK (as opposed to absconding back to Portland, or destinations unknown) was precise and simple: I required a home of my own.
Three bedrooms in Zone 1 of possibly the most expensive city on the planet: early birthday present. Remittance. Settlement. Bribe. Not too much to ask - in fact, quite cheap, considering.
This flat is mine, and anyone who hangs out here is required to follow my rules. Including picking up their dirty laundry.