Had C. on the phone
promised her to come out
to Spring Valley tomorrow,
as I intended to go for a
rest for the week end, I
shall go there as it is the
nearest place to the city.
I need the rest badly.
Papa's Diary Project is, among other things, a way for me to have some sort of grown-up conversation with my grandfather, to look at him not just with a four-year-old's awe but with an adult's admiration for his strength and accomplishments. I look at each page, each word he writes, and try to find in his thinking and behavior the seeds of his future, the hidden keys to his character. To me, every choice he makes, every movie he sees, every phrase he composes is a potential lead, a unique clue, a moment filled with intrigue.
Once in a while, though, he acted just like any other young man, and I think this was one of those times.
He told himself he was finished with "C." a.k.a. Clara II, the distant cousin he was attracted to but who took advantage of his affection, returned his overtures only with unfulfilled promises and arms-length titillation. He had, in recent weeks, forsworn his pursuit of her; he had vowed not be fooled by her "trickery"; he had said "I am indifferent to her" and "she don't interest me anyway." Yet when she called, he answered. And not surprisingly, he rationalized: she just so happened to be near the city, he needed the rest anyway, he probably would have gone to Spring Valley even if she hadn't been there.
I don't think this needs more interpretation. I suppose you can't grow up to be wise and wonderful without kidding yourself into making mistakes along the way.