I met on my way to work [I met] C.
How different she looks now
She lost weight and looks bad,
Saw Clara home from hospital
Poor "C." Perhaps Papa hid her name because she was an old flame or had inspired a bout of infatuation in her younger, plumper days. He certainly didn't suffer any shortage of might-have-beens after 11 years in New York -- he runs into them here and there, goes on blind dates, and can even make a day of wistfully pasting their pictures in a photo album -- so the smart money has "C." among their ranks.
I don't mean to minimize Papa's loneliness or imply that he left New York littered with the prostrate forms of Harry Scheurman groupies who did nothing all day but drink absinthe and fondle his old neckties. I'm just starting to think he was tormented more by his pursuit of a perfect, and perfectly unattainable, romance than by any difficulty in meeting women. As I've mentioned before, his idealism was a mixed blessing at this stage of his life; it drove him to help change the world, but it also kept him personally disappointed. How he finally developed the right mix of idealism and realism, how he discovered the difference between what he wanted and what he needed, and how he learned to feel satisfied with what he had without sacrificing his ability to seek more is not yet clear to me.