A Short Walk from Harrods by Dirk Bogarde

By Dirk Bogarde

The most recent quantity of Dirk Bogarde's autobiography.

'I realized very early on in my lifestyles that not anything used to be for ever; so I must have been conscious of disillusion in early center age: yet, one way or the other, we strive to obliterate early warnings and cross cantering alongside confidently, idiotically ...'No subject that the tide will flip once more and smash all that you just construct (and within the depth;of your soul you recognize that this may happen), you thrust the spade within the hard-packed rippled sand, define the start of a moat. quickly the citadel will come up, adorned all approximately, as soon as again,with shells and weed, with towers and turrets, arches and a drawbridge, each one turret capped with a conical limpet shell. As excellent because the first one ever was once, most likely even greater from the event received through its destruction, and each bit as impermanent ...'How abnormal it really is that one isn't ready for the "dissolving of the fort" one has developed with such care in later existence. yet we don't research. We constantly think that it'll be okay for us. That our citadel will stand, the tide won't ever flip. yet, after all, it does.'

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He was seventeen, an age when one needed parental consent I got mine readily, but Ruth had The Desire and the Successful Pursuit of the Whole • 29 refused to give hers and so he had stayed at Duke University on a scholarship paid for by the Washington Senators. But then, when he came of age at eighteen, he enlisted. The last letters that he wrote to her are more those of husband to wife than son to mother. I had also not realized how much of an artist an athlete is until I read, again and again, about ''my arm," the pitcher's arm which he guarded with the same single-mindedness that a dancer does his legs.

As it turned out, Jimmie had been involved with another boy, while I, despite wet dreams, had never even masturbated. As it was, mutual masturbation was impossible with Jimmie-too painful for me because his large callused hands gripped a cock like a baseball bat. So we simply came together, reconstituting the original male that Zeus had split in two. Yet "sexual pleasure could hardly account for the huge delight we took in one another's company:' There was no guilt, no sense of taboo. But then we were in Arcadia, not diabolic Eden.

I tried to recall, as I looked into what proved to be Jimmie's eyes across the table from me, what it was that we had talked about when alone together. He was an athlete; I played nothing except erratic tennis. I read everything that I could; he read as little as possible. But I am intrigued by a letter he wrote his mother from Guam, in the South Pacific. Would she send him Whitman's Leaves qf Grass? This set off a tremor. He and I had certainly lived out the Calamus idyll. -had suggested that he read Whitman.

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