And most of all, to irresistibly dream of her, to clasp the entirety of her soul in fantasy, to strip her soul bare, in front of me, brought down onto the golden carpet of my desire; a soul that writhed in the shame of its desires, that looked up at me smiling, and then hid itself, that hoped, rejoiced and scolded, as ever so slowly the joy of waiting came to an end. Then the corporeal would disappear entirely, even as the banal instincts of the animal and the human gushed forth.
And so I loved Alice in every hour, whether she was here with me now in my room, or only an image in my dreams.
What she was chatting about, I could so easily dispense with.
She had just come from having coffee with the ladies. She gave information to me that, Alice, herself, was indifferent to, but it was not without interest as it concerned that world which I so happily observed. It is exceedingly difficult for a man to know what goes on when ladies are having coffee.
“So Frau Meyer was there? But which Frau Meyer?”
“The lady supreme court justice naturally.”
“Naturally the lady supreme court justice. She is a nice Frau.”
“Yes, so you think so too? Still Frau Meyer says that you are a bad one.”
“Appalling, why does she say that?”
“She has it from your aunt, the court councilor.”
“Yes, if she got it from my aunt, then really . . .But what did she give for particulars?”
“People have seen you with a person.”
“With a—person? My God, I know many persons!”
“With a female, naturally.”
“So now you believe something scandalous of me?”
“No, you know it’s just . . .”
“Yes, a man has occasional talks; today with the laundry woman, tomorrow with the lady dentist, with the hair dresser or some other “person” that a man especially needs—to look good. But continue—what now stands on the register of my sins?”
“To continue: your free thinking and that you no longer allow yourself to be seen in good company.”
“Do you think those go together?”
“She said them together.”
“My good aunt, if she only knew, how ridiculously un-free my thoughts are; their hair styles have them climbing mountains. But the young girls, what do they say, when they are not skillfully destroying their husbands?”
“They sit there so grandly listening and keep their thoughts to themselves.”
“Do they understand it at all?”
“No, naturally not; they are not as depraved as I am. Yet there is one of them . . .”
“One . . .”
“That has a friend as debauched as you are.”
She said that in such a flattering way and pressed against my breast as strongly as her weak strength allowed.
“Haven’t you suspected?”
“What do you think? That is so beautiful! Not even slightly; not the least suspicion!”
Yes, I believe Alice was proud of that. That gave her a powerful incentive for us to be together, to be secretive and do the forbidden. It replaced much of the lust of the first sins and was also not without its own dangers.