Gladys

John_Bull

I feel again sufficiently well to continue speaking of *what I spoke of last time*, about my late son, Albert, and how utterly he had failed me. Albert couldn’t have been more unlike the sort of son which an Englishman proud and true, such as I, would want. Naturally, I wasn’t wholly to blame for Albert’s cowardice in refusing to take up arms for England in its war against the Germans; his pathetic attempts to play rugger and cricket; his lack of interest in girls; and his developing for another man, the love which dare not speak its name, for, due to my long absences away from England to help maintain the Empire, it was Gladys, more than I, who shaped Albert’s character.

While Gladys was, ostensibly, the model wife and mother, she wasn’t, in reality, quite so. I have before written of the two occasions when I caught her in flagrante delicto – once with *one of my fellow army officers*; and once with *a woman friend of hers*. And, in the matter of Gladys’s conjugal obligations to me, while she complied with my demands, she merely did what was minimally necessary for me to complete the act. Gladys’s lack of passion was why I sought out other women throughout our marriage.

I later on forgave Gladys the two dalliances I’d caught her out in. I regarded them as mere lapses, for who of us is perfect? Thus I gave permission for her to live alone with Albert in our home in England while I was away those long periods in the tropics. But, considering how Albert turned out, I erred in giving this permission, for it later became clear that Gladys was why Albert turned out the way he did.

1800-John-Vanderlyn-mother-and-son

For one thing, Gladys was always very demonstrative in her affection for Albert. When watching them together I felt ragingly jealous. Had Gladys hugged and kissed me as she did Albert, I would never have needed to find love in the arms of other women, for her affections with me, as displayed with Albert, would have made me afire with lifelong passion for her. So I sometimes wondered whether Albert, while being kissed and hugged by Gladys, may have experienced feelings towards her of an unwholesome nature, for Gladys was, throughout her life, a good-looker who always attracted the lascivious gazes of men.

I wondered thus, even before I’d heard about Freud’s Oedipus Complex theory. I also wondered whether Gladys experienced feelings towards Albert of a similarly unwholesome nature as he may have had for her. If the Oedipus Complex theory was being played out between the two of them, this may have explained Albert’s disinterest in girls, and the love-which-dare-not-speak-its-name which he had for men – for I later learned that a mother-complex was often the genesis of these unnatural and unwholesome feelings in young men such as Albert.

It wasn’t until after Gladys had passed over to the Other Side some twenty-five years ago, that I learned things about her of which I was unaware. While going through her papers, I came across photos showing her together with a number of other women, all with no clothes on. Some photos showed them sunbathing on rocks overlooking water; others showed them cavorting in the hedge-surrounded back garden of our house in England, presumably while I was overseas on my many extended tours of duty.

In_Flagrante_Delicto

Image From DeviantART

Gladys’s papers included letters between her and the woman I had found her in flagrante delicto with in the Straits Settlements in Malaya. Obviously the romance hadn’t then ended, for the letters showed it had continued, and with even more passion after this other woman finally went back to England to live. The letters showed also that Gladys and this woman had spent many nights together in our marriage bed in our home in England.

Since Albert was living there too, he must have known what was going on. Thus was created in his mind the belief that such unwholesome carryings-on were entirely natural. Little wonder, then, that he became what he became.

Whatever anger I may have felt on seeing these photographs and letters, was ameliorated by my finally understanding that Gladys’s lack of passion for me in our marriage bed, had come not because she found me repellent, but because she had an unwholesome attraction towards her fellow women – an attraction  over which she had no control.

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5 comments on “Gladys

  1. lalber says:

    ‘Allo, Sir Jeremy,

    Popped in to your fascinating world to thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment though I don’t know this Gellhorn person to whom you refer.

    As to your post, you might want to ponder whether your wife turned “unwholesome” after she entered the marriage bed with you…Just sayin’.

    • Sir Jeremy says:

      Martha Gellhorn was a famous globe-trotting ( and intrepid) journalist who was married to Hemingway for a few years in the 1940s.

      It’s possible that Martha was one of the many women I’ve had trysts with, since she was a war correspondent and may have visited one of the second world war battlefronts where I served. I’ll have to check my diaries of that time.

      As to whether Gladys’s sexual proclivities turned unwholesome only after she entered our marriage bed, it’s possible but improbable, given that I was, until quite recently, irresistible to women.

      So, using the logic of Occam’s Razor, I consider that Gladys’s unwholesome proclivities were innate to her.

  2. Dear Sir J,

    Do you know I once had a pet quail named Jeremy? He lived a whole year which was at least 11 months more than every other quail in our Biology experiment. Jeremys are pretty hard to fell I reckon. Even when I gave my Jeremy his own little Gladys, he came out of it with only a slightly-the-worse-for-wear head.

    Cheers,
    SGC

  3. Sir Jeremy says:

    It’s good to know that Jeremy didn’t quail with terror before Gladys.

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