Savour your victory, Sir. In this moment, you have certainly outwitted me. You had me at the disadvantage when you struck. Though you knew it, it did not slow your attack, nor did it diminish your victor’s ardour. Very well done, Sir.
For you could not have conquered so feasibly were we on an equal stance. I do not prop up my intellect, do not misunderstand my confidence. I merely guide you back to the memory of our encounter. So that you might acknowledge that I was hindered, not by lack of wit, but by manners expected. Were I to throw away said hindrance, I am certain that I could defeat you.
For you do not desire a challenge, and you prefer an already weakened opponent. And I enjoy a good whipping, if not in actual deed, but in the language of proper conversation.
Alas, alas, it comes to this.
For you know me well.
In turn only to find,
That you knew me once.
Was I not before you just yesterday?
In that guise that screams your notice?
Was this shell so thin?
That this ghost now holds no sway?
In time, with time, I long, I sigh.
It is not permanence, my dear, so take heart.
This pale reflection was once in dreams.
Where tomorrow it will fall again.
Life made a spectacle of itself, and I was unprepared. Though I may laugh gayly, with obvious merriment, I am not amused. In truth, it can be said that I possess no sense of humour.
No, I mock you not, sir. I speak only facts that you do not wish to pry from me. For you seek only a brief acquaintance. A dalliance. An affaire. A momentary nothing.
But I must ask you to check yourself, sir. Check the reasons that you have chosen to approach me and place your noble, if slightly intoxicated self at my side. For I am not one of those other chicks you see out there. I am no debutante, though my dress is of the finest white silk and lace.
I am without whimsy, I am without mercy, and I will pity you once you are gone from my side. But go you must. I do not want you here.
Go you must, you tiresome creature.
It is true that I am one loosely termed impoverished. But I must have cotton. And if my meager funds should allow for it, some silk. Even that acquired from the cast offs of those on Grand Row.
For even in circumstances unfortunate and inconvenient, I must be comfortable and true to myself. My dignity is not tangible but it is mine. My skin must not blush for shame, but for the comfort of fine wool and cashmere. There is no reward for me in mediocrity. It is only in quality, authenticity, and appreciation of craftsmanship, do I gain my sense of purpose, meaning, and being.
So you see, ma’am. I am not impertinent. For I am lowly and poor after all, and cannot afford to be.
Might I consider love a most spectacular mess?
I am keen to point out that I am a romantic, though not hopeless. I do at times consider the practicalities. I shield my mind from irrelevance, yet I am in lust for the possibilities, the passion that could be.
I write love; romantic love, dramatic love, gentle love. Might I yearn for this fictional tumble in my own life? Or have I forbidden myself from indulging in that self-serving immersion and emotional gluttony?
I despise waste. Maybe that has a bearing here? Oh, but it is so romantic! So lovely to be in love with the notion, just a notion of love!
May I bow out? I fear that I have not made a convincing argument for why I must embrace the ideals and practicalities of hunting down a good mate.
What a mess, I muse. What a fantastically lovely mess!
I suppose you think I need rescuing. That I am like a bird in a cage, in need of assistance. Let me disabuse you.
I am not so fragile. I am not inclined to dramatics or hysterics, like some females I know. I do not bemoan my existence, falling to my knees to beggar myself before the Almighty, wailing “Why me?” like a confused samaritan. My tendencies are not such.
Instead, I am determined. I am cold and I am heartless. What you feel is pity, and I feel no particular emotions about your condescension.
Please, refrain. Direct your energies and affaires of a more delicate nature to a more worthy corner. I do not sympathise, for indeed I cannot.
Thank you, sir, for your consideration. I am most heartened.
I see you looking at me.
Your gaze, lingering.
But I am not yours.
I promised you nothing.
I owe you dust.
You should see that.
My eyes, they animate.
I smile, I buzz.
It is not our secret language.
These are not stolen glances.
For I am skittish.
I am romantic.
Locked in place, in lieu of constant release.
And you still do not wield the key