Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Middle Class Child - 10.10.4


Lizzie Jenkins-Strathmore is confused.

She believes that she loves her husband Marcus dearly, yes, yes she does.

Although this belief, however solid comes with the slightest nagging uncertainty that her feelings for her marriage is not the result of a love that has matured.

It is true that the passion, desire, the very joie de vie that once dominated every aspect of their union has now all but dissipated. That is normal, surely? After all this time it is so unlikely she’ll feel the same way she did when they first met at Durham University all those years ago. It was the subtle manipulation of the media, with it’s impossible yet commercially lucrative depiction of love that now suggests there is some wrong here.

Yes, she is certain of that. She is certain that both her and Marcus are above all that; for goodness sake, she is part of the media, only she controls her feelings, her and her alone.

Even with this rationale, Lizzie simply cannot shake the thought that it is at least possible that routine and her fear of change now masks the deeper, more worrisome possibility that there is actually no love here at all.

“This is nonsense”, she asserts, “This is the result of an innocent flirtation, nothing more”.

The ‘innocent flirtation’ had taken place a few days earlier. Whilst researching a piece for the London Standard on up and coming writers she’d met with an impossibly beautiful novelist based out of Shoreditch.

From the moment they had sat together in Starbucks (which he’d insisted upon as an ironic statement against the elitism of the literary classes) she had been immediately entranced by his all pervading enthusiasm, and piercing blue eyes. Eyes which she could have sworn were saying more to her than his eloquent explanations of how a socially deprived childhood and one good parent had driven him to understand, to experience and ultimately to write the great English novel.

He had not got there yet. His belief that ‘Shoplifters of the world unite’ was such a novel was all part of his arrogant charm.

The book was good, very good, but it wasn’t the great English novel. Yet Lizzie was certain that he would get there, and despite only knowing him for a few hours she felt a churning in her guts which she feared to translate, although she already knew it was her desire to be with him when he did finally get there.

When the interview was over, they chatted more casually,

“Are you married, Lizzie?” He asked before taking a long thoughtful drag from his Gauloise.

“Yes, yes I am”


“Yes one.”

“Girl or boy?” he asked leaning in much closer than before.

Lizzie could feel her cheeks flush like they would have done when she was a shy teenage girl and the cool boy in class was asking her to school disco.

“I have a daughter, she’s 10 years old”

“Exactly ten?” He pushed with a playful grin.

“Esmé is 10 years, 10 months and 4 days old”

He took her hand, placing his other hand gently upon her cheek; he looked directly into her eyes.

“It’s not possible you have a daughter that age, you’re a liar

It was stupid, ridiculous, insane even that such a cheesy action and comment should have had her question her whole life so deeply.

But maybe this man, this young talented, passionate man was her soul mate; not that she actually believed in anything so preposterous.

No. It was a simple flirtation. That was all. A simple innocent flirtation that had so very briefly turned her head from a functioning successful relationship that had produced a wonderful, lively and intelligent daughter.

“That isn’t true”, she thought, “I can’t kid myself anymore.”

The fact was if she was questioning her marriage then there was had to be a more fundamental problem than transitory lust.


Anonymous said...

Were you a middle class child Herge?

Herge Smith said...

I was a upper working class child and now a middle class wanker.

pissoff said...

It's okay Lizzie... I question my relationship daily. More recently (yesterday) when the Nemisis called me a cunt and hung up.

We love you nonetheless Herge.

garfer said...

If he lit up that Gauloise in Starbucks he'd have been beheaded on the spot.

I like the look of Lizzie. Perhaps she'd like to come up and view my etchings sometime.

Herge Smith said...

Good point Garfer - this story is set in the future when they discover smoking is good for you, particularly french ciggies.

pissoff said...

Where did all your links go Herge?

Sniffy said...

"I question my relationship daily. More recently (yesterday) when the Nemisis called me a cunt and hung up."

Fantastic April!

I was a working class child and now I'm middle class too. My children will be canine or feline, so I have no worries about ruining the life of a human child - apart from one that I might murder if it annoys me in the supermarket.

Ahhh, Lizzie, your life is so empty, despite having everything. Are we right to laugh at you? Probably not. It always seems ok to poke fun at the middle classes, but why? Why is it OK to ridicule one group of people and not another, simply because of "class"? Personnally, I think all dolescum and incapacity benefit scroungers should be lined up against a wall and shot, but that's not the done thing. Yet it's OK pour scorn on those who at least try to contribute (yet still fuck it up).

Ho hum.

We're all cocks, no matter what.

And here endeth the lesson.

Herge Smith said...

You make a good point about Lizzie - I think it's interesting that we feel we can mock the middleclass so much but I guess it's because it's what we are.

As for the links - dunno, lost them when I changed format - been ages now, no ones noticed. Might put them back - dunno.

Rowan said...

I was an upper working class and now am middle class.....isn't it odd that we are all now bloggers? hmmmm.......