like you think you'll get through better with a woman's backing. That's why you're so jealous. That's what sex is to you...a vital little dynamo between you and Julia, to bring success. If you began to be unsuccessful you'd begin to flirt, like Charlie, who isn't successful. Married people like you and Julia have labels on you, like travellers' trunks. Julia is labelled Mrs Arnold B. Hammond---just like a trunk on the railway that belongs to somebody. And you are labelled Arnold B. Hammond, c/o Mrs Arnold B. Hammond. Oh, you're quite right, you're quite right! The life of the mind needs a comfortable house and decent cooking. You're quite right. It even needs posterity. But it all hinges on the instinct for success. That is the pivot on which all things turn.'
Hammond looked rather piqued. He was rather proud of the integrity of his mind, and of his not being a time-server. None the less, he did want success.
`It's quite true, you can't live without cash,' said May. `You've got to have a certain amount of it to be able to live and get along...even to be free to think you must have a certain amount of money, or your stomach stops you. But it seems to me you might leave the labels off sex. We're free to talk to anybody; so why shouldn't we be free to make love to any woman who inclines us that way?'
`There speaks the lascivious Celt,' said Clifford.
`Lascivious! well, why not---? I can't see I do a woman any more harm by sleeping with her than by dancing with her...or even talking to her about the weather. It's just an interchange of sensations instead of ideas, so why not?'
`Be as promiscuous as the rabbits!' said Hammond.
`Why not? What's wrong with rabbits? Are they any worse than a neurotic, revolutionary humanity, full of nervous hate?'
`But we're not rabbits, even so,' said Hammond.
`Precisely! I have my mind: I have certain calculations to make in certain astronomical matters that concern me almost more than life or death. Sometimes indigestion interferes with me. Hunger would interfere with me disastrously. In the same way starved sex interferes with me. What then?'
`I should have thought sexual indigestion from surfeit would have interfered with you more seriously,' said Hammond satirically.
`Not it! I don't over-eat myself and I don't over-fuck myself. One has a choice about eating too much. But you would absolutely starve me.'
`Not at all! You can marry.'
`How do you know I can? It may not suit the process of my mind. Marriage might...and would...stultify my mental processes. I'm not properly pivoted that way...and so must I be chained in a kennel like a monk? All rot and funk, my boy. I must live and do my calculations. I need women sometimes. I refuse to make a mountain of it, and I refuse anybody's moral condemnation or prohibition. I'd be ashamed to see a woman walking around with my name-label on her, address and railway station, like a wardrobe trunk.'
These two men had not forgiven each other about the Julia flirtation.
`It's an amusing idea, Charlie,' said Dukes, `that sex is just another form of talk, where you act the words instead of saying them. I suppose it's quite true. I suppose we might exchange as many sensations and emotions with women as we do ideas about the weather, and so on. Sex might be a sort of normal physical conversation between a man and a woman. You don't talk to a woman unless you have ideas
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|