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this is like most men and must likely be a function of their sex or self. Ladies do apparently, although by virtue of impossibility he has never been with a woman who was, at that moment, also entirely alone.

Archimedes himself, a man who Mister Chu is very fond of indeed, did not float, rather -and famously- he displaced (man and water). Cousteau submerged. Mister Spalding Gray went beneath. Canute impotently commanded. Charon ferried. Banville wrote. The bath, the oceans, the unmelted snow.

But then his train of thought itself falls beneath the tide of his mind, unsupported by the truth. Iris Murdoch wrote also (The Sea, The Sea) and Amelia Gade Corson (August 1926) was the first mother to swim the English Channel starting from France. Another woman filled her pockets with stones one afternoon, walked into the River Ouse and very consciously went beneath. In fact, and throughout literature, there is no single love story as full and empty as her last note to her husband:


Tuesday.

Dearest,

I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that - everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer.

I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.

V.


Today is not Tuesday.

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