John

I wish today to speak of news totally unexpected. I’ve learned I have a grandson. He’s the son of my late son Albert, of whom I’ve written from time to time in pages past. I never thought I would have a grandson, because Albert just didn’t seem the sort of man who would father a son for reasons – painful reasons – I long ago spoke of.

For reasons of security, I’ll refer to my new-found grandson only as “John”. John, now in latter middle-age, came to know of me through the various contacts he has within high circles of the English and American establishments. John, I should explain, is one of America’s best known political journalists. He writes for one of the big American newspapers, and also appears on the television a lot in the capacity of – what men today call – a “pundit”. So well-known is John that most of you reading this, and who own a television, would know his face immediately.

I have, by the way, no doubt that John is the biological son of Albert, because, from photos he’s sent me, I see a definite likeness to Albert as I remember him. John came into the world out of a love-affair Albert had with a young American woman while, as a young man, he was living in France. The young woman, on learning she was “with child”, returned home to America where she gave birth to John, and where she brought him up.

You, if you read regularly this blog, will understand the risks John is running by communing with me and revealing our propinquity. Were it to become widely known that John is not only communing with me secretly, but is my grandson too, he would be sacked immediately by his newspaper, and shunned by the men of television. John would thus be ruined. And not only him, but his family too, for John has a wife and children to whom he says he is devoted.

While, for reasons of John’s well-being, I cannot reveal more of his current outward life, I can reveal something of his current inner life, which – without putting too fine a point on it – is in turmoil. John is undergoing a spiritual crisis, for, over the years, he came to learn that what actually goes on in America and in the world, isn’t what he thought it was. So that most of what he writes for the public, and most of what he says on the television, isn’t about what is actually going on in America and in the world, but only about what those who really rule America, and who really rule the world – the ones who pull the strings, so to speak – want the public to know.

Were John to tell these hidden truths to the public, he would be finished as a journalist and television pundit. He would be as ruined as much as he would be were he to reveal his propinquity to me. As added insurance against professional and public ruin, he reveals none of these hidden truths, as well as nothing of his propinquity to me, even to his wife and family. The emotional toll on him has become such, that he feels he is now merely a mask – a hideous grinning mask.

John decided to establish contact with me, not only to find out more of own origins, but to find an outlet for telling at least some of the hidden public truths he can tell to no-one. I, as John’s grandfather, have agreed to allow this blog to be his conduit for saying the things he feels he must say, else he will go mad.

I have to say, though, that from the smidgen of the hidden truths which John has so far revealed to me, there’s almost nothing I haven’t come across before. But – and this is important –  none of it was in the big newspapers. So, if you, yourself, get your news only from the big newspapers, or from big television, you could find your safe comforting little world upended when you learn what John has to say. It may even send you mad. You are therefore warned.

I cannot say when John will begin his revelations. It may be soon. Or not be soon. It may be never, for, who knows, John may have second thoughts. Even if he does, I can say only that what little he has revealed to me so far, does have the ring of truth. I say this from having been an active General, and from a very long life……….
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Humiliation

Although it’s been a mere three weeks since last I posted, this is long enough for a man my age, 118. The chances of my dying suddenly are, after all, much greater than if I were a young whippersnapper of, say, seventy. So I can understand if you and others of my readers become worried if too much time passes before you see a new posting on this site.

If you do in fact become worried I find this touching because you’re the only ones who would worry. No-one else would, because I have no longer Friends nor Family – well, as far as I know. The last friends I had were my men, Mikey Squeaky and Freddy, who I left behind in Mexico because I could no longer abide them. They could now be in jail or even dead. Even should they not be dead and they heard that I was, I doubt if they’d shed a tear, for I think they could no more abide me than I them.

The thing was, they felt it humiliating have as a leader a man (me) who was so much older than them, a man seventy years older – a man they couldn’t defeat in a bout of fisticuffs, although they tried many times in order to displace me.

Looking at it now from their point of view, I can see how humiliated they must have felt. Perhaps you may see this too. If not, and if you’re a fifty year old man, and you have as a next door neighbour a man of over 100 whose dog keeps digging up your flower beds, and you go over to complain to him, and he takes umbrage and beats you up, would you not feel humiliated, especially if your wife were watching? You would ever after be sleeping alone at nights on your living-room couch, I’ll bet.

As for Family, most men, if they’re over 100 as I am, have lots of descendents to mourn them by the time they Cross Over. I, on the other hand, had only one child – a son, Albert – who was attracted not to young women but to young men, so he left behind no progeny. And I had a wife, Gladys, who was attracted more to other women than to me. So my opportunities to father more than one child with her were almost miniscule.

Seeing as I’ve slept with many women over my very long life, it’s entirely possible I do have progeny somewhere. However, it’s as though I don’t because I don’t know who they are and they, if they exist, don’t know who I am. So they won’t be weeping when my time comes to Cross Over. And Gladys and Albert won’t be weeping either because they Crossed Over long ago.

As long as I’m alive it’s always possible I could make new friends here on the Pacific Rain Coast where I’ve found refuge from policemen who may still be looking for me. However, I must always be wary of making new friends because they could be undercover policemen or policewomen. This aside, the older I get the less I seem to have in common with anyone. The “Generation Gap” may be why.

It seems, then, I’m destined to have no-one weeping for me when I Cross Over. However, I’ve not entirely lost hope it’ll be otherwise.

Mountains

I’m settling down well in my new home on the Pacific rain coast. The cold and wet weather and the green and lush topography remind me much of my beloved England – the England I’ll probably never see again.

I wonder what became of my old home there? Are its walls crumbling, and its windows broken? Are homeless hippies illegally squatting in it, and the house reeks with the marijuana they smoke? Or does it now belong to a modern young professional couple – he an investment banker, she a lawyer – who have done the house over so completely, I wouldn’t recognise it if I saw it?

The Pacific rain coast does have more of something that England has less of, which is mountains. There are lots of mountains here for me to hike up and down on. I need to do this, so to keep myself in top physical shape, which is important because I’m 118. Any let-up, and I know I would soon be a shrivelled bag of bones in a wheelchair, which would make me indistinguishable from most men of over 100.

Mountain-hiking, while exhausting, does have its pleasures, for I meet many desirable young women on the trails. Most of them smile at me and say “Hi”. I smile and say “Hi” back. I haven’t yet asked any back to my little house for an afternoon of love because, somehow, I’m not presently in the mood for love. This particular time of year – the approach to Christmas – may have something to do with it, for I get sad. I think of the Christmases at my old home in England with my wife *Gladys* and son *Albert*, both long dead. I suspect I made their lives unhappy, which led them to die earlier than I expected.

I could easily have married again after Gladys passed away, for I’ve always been a magnet for the ladies. But I soon became accustomed again to the single life. Also, any woman I might have married after Gladys, might well have wanted children. Having to go again through fatherhood was the last thing I wanted.

Truth to tell, I never did have the parental instinct so normal with manly men like me. And, truth to tell, I never did really love Gladys. I was somewhat fond of her, of course, but we had almost nothing in common. I found her – not to put too fine a point on it – boring, and she just may have found me boring. However, I married her because getting married was essential to moving up the ranks in the Army. I never would have become a General if I didn’t have a wife.

I’ve always liked being alone and have always wondered why. Quite recently I happened upon *this questionnaire* which purports to tell you if you’re Autistic. I have to say, I laughed when I saw this questionnaire, for I’ve always considered psychology merely a prop for the weak-kneed. But, just as a joke, I did the test, and the results showed I was mildly autistic. I laughed again, but nonetheless did the test again, and it again showed I was slightly autistic.

If indeed I’m slightly autistic, I would always have been so. It would explain much about me – that I’ve never felt close to anyone, that I like to be alone, and find any human company emotionally draining after just a short time, so that I have to get away and be by myself in order to feel truly myself again. I now realise I can only be truly myself when I’m alone.

But, throughout my long life – from when I was a boy at boarding school, to when I was a General in the Army who had the power of life and death in war over many thousands of men, and was on a first-name basis with many of the powerful men who have shaped the world over the last seventy years – I’ve presented myself to the world as a gregarious back-slapping devil-may-care man’s man, and believed I was really so.

Could it be, then, that this was just a role I played? If so, has my life been a sham?

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.

Albert

Neville Chamberlain
It was seventy years ago this month, September, when the Second World War began. I would therefore have expected that – since I commanded many thousands of men in this war, thus giving a shot in the arm to my military career which had been flagging in peacetime – I would have been thinking much about Hitler, Poland, Chamberlain, and all of that.

Not so, for I’ve been thinking instead of my late son, Albert, of whom I had spoken in a posting of a few months ago, and who, when war was declared, became a conscientious objector to fighting in it. You will therefore understand how humiliating to me – the consummate military man – Albert’s actions were.

Since most conscientious objectors, being mere cowards, were thrown into prison, what Albert did, threatened my career in the British Army, for no army can afford have men leading it, whose sons are in prison for being cowards. Fortunately, belonging to what now would be called the “old boy network”, I was able to keep Albert out of prison by getting him a job as a firefighter, who would help put out fires caused by bombs dropped on London by the German Luftwaffe, and help rescue people from under bomb-caused rubble.

St-Pauls-Cathedral-During-London-Blitz-1940To give Albert his due, he did – according to his mother (my wife Gladys), and according to others who helped pull the strings to get Albert into London’s fire-fighting brigade – perform heroically during the London Blitz. This was obviously the residue of whatever influence I had on Albert when he grew up – an influence far overshadowed by Gladys’s, for I was away for long periods during Albert’s boyhood.

No, had I not been away so much, Albert would, when at Eton, have been outstanding at rugger and cricket, and, after Eton, would have become a career soldier in the British Army, and, during the war, would have become a decorated hero through killing many enemy soldiers on the battlefield, and later, after the war, would eventually have attained, like me, the rank of General.

Also, Albert would have married a fine upstanding girl, and have furnished me with many grandchildren on whom I could have doted in my old age. Albert did none of this. He was an abject failure on the rugger and cricket fields, was a pacifist, and never did find a fine upstanding girl to marry and provide me with adoring grandchildren.

In fact, Albert, far from finding a suitable girl to marry, seemed never interested in girls at all. Those friends he did have when growing up, were only boys his age, with his same interests – art, literature, poetry, drama, violin, piano and all of that. After Albert left Eton to study at the Royal College of Music – where he might have had more opportunity to meet girls, since they studied there too – he continued to have only young men as his friends.

Royal-College-of-Music-London

I did meet two or three of them, and……well………I’ll say no more than that they were the very opposite of the sort of rugger-playing outdoorsy fellows I would have liked Albert to be friends with. Of his friends, it was Antoine who Albert seemed particularly to like, and with whom Albert went on occasional short holidays, mostly to France, as I recall.

When war broke out, I hoped this would be the end of Albert’s friendship with Antoine – given that war changes radically the circumstances of all who are sucked into it – and that Albert would now make friends with rugger-playing outdoorsy fellows who would introduce him to the sorts of fine upstanding girls from whom he might find a wife to produce the grandchildren I so wanted. However, Albert’s friendship with Antoine not only survived the war, but became closer, for, when peace came six years later, they moved to Algiers, where they set up a home together.

When I learned this, I felt I could not be more disgraced, for, not only did I have a son who had refused to take up arms in the war, but a son who – it was obvious now even to me – had for another man the love which dare not speak its name. All this, in addition to Albert’s changing his name, so he’d never again be seen to be associated with me, the father who had given him life.

I’ll break off now and will try to resume it next time, since my talking of all this has dredged up emotions so intense, I may have a heart attack…………

Dreaming of Lucille


Last night I dreamed of Lucille, who I had been so in love with ninety years ago. It’s been some while since she last appeared in my dreams, so she was due for another visit. I wish she’d appear more often because hardly a day has gone by since 1917 when I haven’t thought of her. For me, she will always be the beautiful twenty year-old she was then. The night of love we made before I had to return to the trenches in France, will be with me always.

You who are regular visitors to this site will remember I’d spoken *in a previous posting* of Lucille and our night of love, which turned out to be our only night of love. You will also remember my speaking of how crushed I was when I sought Lucille out on returning to England after the signing of the armistice, but learned she had returned to her home country of Martinique with another man, who would appear to have been her lover.

Why did Lucille appear in my dream of last night? Was it because, this being now December 2008, it was ninety years ago to the month, December 1918, that I learned of her absconding with her lover, and that she was gone from me for ever? Or was it because she realized how foolish she was to run off with another man before I returned at the Great War’s end, and so told me – through appearing in my dream – that she’ll be waiting for me when I cross over to the Other Side? I’m assuming Lucille is by now on the Other Side, since she’d be on the order of 110 were she still alive. However, since I’m 113 and still alive, why shouldn’t Lucille, a mere 110, be alive too?

But, given that nearly all people of 110 are now dead, the chances that Lucille is dead too, are high. So she is likely dead, and is waiting for me on the Other Side. But when we do meet I will insist she explain why she didn’t wait for me to return from the Great War, but went off with that other man back to Martinique. And had she made naked love with him while I was fighting in France? Lucille has much to explain.

What happened to her after she returned to Martinique? Did she marry the man she returned there with, and become a domestic frump with children, grandchildren and all of that? I know the man she married didn’t become famous like me, because I’ve always noted the names of wives of the men who have risen to prominence during my lifetime, and none had a wife called Lucille. So the man she would have married was doubtless a nonentity, perhaps a boring government official, or a Lothario who subsequently left her for another woman, or he was a drunk who beat her, and from whom she fled in fear.

Had Lucille become my wife what a life she would have had, for I served in the British army throughout the Empire. I became a general and rubbed shoulders with the high and the mighty, and Lucille would have basked in my reflected glory. And what wonderful children she and I would have made together, for my loins were afire for her as for no other woman. I’ve always believed that children arising out of wonderful love-making, will, too, be wonderful.

Thus Albert, the son I fathered with my wife Gladys, turned out mediocre because the love I made with Gladys was never the most passionate. It was – not to put too fine a point on it – mediocre. It would follow, then, that a child arising out of such mediocre love-making would, too, be mediocre. Only after I’d been married to Gladys for some years did it occur to me, while making love with her, that I think of other women, so to add spice to the love we made.

I began, then, thinking of other women when Gladys and I made love, and, somewhat naturally, I would think of a naked Lucille more often than not. Consequently the love Gladys and I made would be over in next to no time. Since Gladys, who never enjoyed our love-making, had always asked me to try to get it over with quickly, she was happy I was able to accommodate her in this regard.

If only I’d begun the practice, when making love with Gladys, of thinking of other women like Lucille before the night Albert was conceived, he would have turned out the man’s man I wanted in a son. But the die, so to speak, had already been cast.

All Happy Families Are Alike

Living in an underground basement of a demolished house is getting on my nerves. I keep thinking I hear heavy boots outside – policeman’s boots – and that the police have finally tracked me and my men down and will march us off to jail for killing Jimmy and his men, and for killing the eight men who attacked us under the bridge.

We’ve killed between sixteen and eighteen men here in America in the short time since I flew in from England to settle matters with Jimmy, who had insulted my monarch, Queen Elizabeth of England, in a comment he left on someone’s blog.

Our killing all these men in just the short time since my arriving in Texas from England might sound a bit much, but I consider we were acting in self-defense. However, despite my 113 years, I still have a sufficient grasp of reality to know that the upholders of the law in America might not see things as do I. Thus I decided we become outlaws rather than turn ourselves in.

Last timeI spoke of our laying out in a field the bodies of our attackers under the bridge, rather than burying them, for I felt it would be more environmentally friendly. Then we resumed our journey southwards through Texas. As I drove our SUV south I began, oddly, to think about my son, Albert, who died some years ago. I say “oddly” intentionally, for Albert and I had had no contact in the sixty years before that morning when he collapsed while waiting for a train at London’s King’s Cross station.

I assure you, dear reader, that it wasn’t my fault that Albert and I had been estranged throughout the last sixty years of his life. No, the fault was Albert’s, for he wanted nothing to do with me. I couldn’t really blame him, though, for Albert was always a mother’s boy. From when he was born, my wife Gladys (now dead) doted on him. In her eyes Albert could do no wrong. Always it was Albert this, and Albert that. Bestowing all her love upon Albert, Gladys had none left over for me. Thus whenever I demanded my conjugal rights she complied reluctantly, asking that I be quick.

I did all I reasonably could to make Albert a man’s man like me. I tried to teach him to box, made him do military drill in our back garden, and made him play rugby and cricket at his public school of Eton, which I had also attended as a boy.

Albert was so hopeless at rugby and cricket, I felt humiliated whenever I watched him play. I felt palpably the derision from the other fathers attending these matches as they turned their eyes on me as the father of that unutterably clumsy boy out there on the field. Afterwards I would chastise Albert, telling him he was a disgrace to me. When he cried, as he did often, I would beat him with my cane, as I also did whenever he was sloppy in his military drill, or howled if I hit him too hard when teaching him to box. Lest you think me a beast, I should tell you it was as painful for me to beat him, as it was painful for him to be beaten. I was acting only in Albert’s best interests.

Albert, more than my conjugal demands, was what drove Gladys and I apart, for I failed to convince her that my beatings of him were for his own good. I told her I just wanted Albert to be a man, essential to which is being beaten and not complaining. Instead, Albert went blubbering to Gladys, who, rather than telling him not to cry, gave him novels to read, enrolled him in violin and piano lessons, took him to museums and art exhibitions, accompanied him on nature walks, and gushed over the pictures he painted and the poems he composed.

There was created, then, in our little family, a schism, with Gladys and Albert on one side, and me on the other. Meals were always especially tense, at which conversation didn’t go beyond “could you pass the peas, please?” or “pass the butter, will you?”, all said with quiet fury. Otherwise we ate in silence, the only sounds being swallowing, munching, and of knife and fork against plate.

Whenever I was posted abroad for long periods in the 1920’s and 1930’s, as I was in Malaya and India, Gladys would often remain in England to provide a home to Albert so he wouldn’t have to become a boarder at school. Gladys considered boarding school as barbaric, since she didn’t think its bullying and beating of boys a good thing. My being overseas so often meant my opportunities to make a man of Albert were limited. I would so have liked for him to have made a career in the army as I had. But this came to nought when, after Albert left Eton, Gladys enrolled him at the Royal College of Music to further his studies in piano and violin.

Albert also consorted with pacifists and socialists, having joined the Labour Party, and also the Peace Pledge Union, which opposed wars of any kind, even the looming war with Hitler. And particularly bizarre, it was Albert’s Christianity which propelled him down this dangerous and treasonous road. He had the strange notion that being a Christian meant turning the other cheek when attacked.

When we English declared war against Hitler in September 1939, and conscription introduced, Albert obtained an exemption as a conscientious objector. Since I was rising to prominence in the British Army, the anomaly of my having a pacifist son was something the British newspapers couldn’t have ignored. I therefore had no choice but to disown Albert. He responded by changing his legal surname. However, he would always be the man who wasn’t there, since Gladys continued to cling to him.

There is more of Albert I wish to tell, but this will be next time.