Crying again. How I detest these tears. And I cannot tell her
How many times I have shed these tears before. I should
Know better by now, I tell myself. Women will marry.
She is no different than the rest, though I'd thought--
She is weak in the end, and afraid, just like them all:
Mariana, Nibs, Mrs. Barlow, Vere. None will commit,
<or at least not to me, not to a woman>. I told her,
You must make up your mind, and then there will be
No going back. But if you choose him, we could not
Stay friends. It would be too painful. <Already it is
Too painful, like a raw and ragged cut one could have
Avoided with a bit more care: I keep choosing
Women like knives, pour out love like heart's blood,
And wonder why I end pale, worn, weary.> Then she
Frets about the sudden deadline, but seventeen years
Is not sudden. I have awaited a woman's decision
Half my life. I weary of waiting--and worse, of then
Attending a wedding. No. I rise and gather my clothes,
And go. Three days: the time of Christ in the tomb.
I will endure my wait as I must. As Horace wrote,
"Suffering is but another name for the teaching
Of experience, which is the parent of instruction
And the schoolmaster of life." If she wavers, can I
Ever again throw myself into such education again?