… let them eat cake. (It is organic after all.)

As I looked around the wood panelled bar at the other men standing in small groups chatting away I realised that the world beyond the Burmese teak doors of the club’s main entrance didn’t quit appreciate Lord Chesterfields idea of darkened sanctuary. Here in the European tradition centuries old the rules are as unwritten as the language spoken in tones hushed and purposeful. By invitation only members are admitted into these halls of living history and from within we are given a privileged view of a world beyond the present.

I would love to blame the Americans for the nanny state as they plod around the world imposing their devolved ideology through political correctness but in reality try as I might I just cannot. By replacing the Victorian concepts of classes with the obsession of celebrity we cling to something less fluid but equally important in defining our own identity and place within the world. It would seem that anyone, by accident or birth, can be revered and have no class at all. Paris Hilton has replaced poor misunderstood Marie-Antoinette.

And so, in the almost silent corridors where men of influence and power meet for post-lunch ports and cigars you have to wonder if the tide will eventually sweep away all that is good and proper from the world as it supplicates the Keynesian baying masses or if indeed this venerable institution will evolve like the orchard? What if my new life-choices persist, would a Morlock be welcome even if he did have my heart and I his?

I raise this question because an ex-boyfriend who failed to translate from paper perfect person to lover had applied but never quite succeeded through the doors of this elitist alcove. He wasn’t one of them and therefore would never have been given the opportunity. No matter how accomplished he was. It would seem that the ties that you wear around your neck at school, or in the military or even socially seem to be the ties that bind us together in life.

In the dying days of our relationship I offered to him the membership he so craved. He threw it back into my face … perhaps not so much because he didn’t want it but because he didn’t earn it and I would be a constant reminder that no matter how far you climb socially there will always be some peaks of social respectability that money, or association, can never buy.

As a child I remember once overhearing my Grand-Mother make a reference to a passing acquaintance about a man that had passed our table. When I asked her about it she replied to me that ‘… a person could dress like us, learn to talk like us and even socialise with us but he would always be a fake. We would know it and so would he.’ As I got older the idea of belonging to one Victorian class or another became something shameful and therefore a secret pleasure partaken when no one was around.

But now as I get older I realise that who we are can’t be changed by where we are in our lives. As I ponder that perhaps my next relationship could be with a Morlock the idea of long term compatibility seems to become more important. Surely a one night stand or casual fling would be fun but how serious could it be? As the world becomes less of a planet and more of a global village the have and have-not become blurred. As I sat sipping my excellent port and puffing on a MC. 4 I had to wonder if we can date outside our caste?

Looking around the shop floor of the engineering company, that I am now a partner in, there are many of machinists, engineers in training and other artisans that I would indeed have a casual lunch at any Parkhurst establishment, dinner for two on the pool deck of a certain pale-pink hotel on the Westcliff in North Eastern Jo’burg and yes, to be honest, would if the opportunity were to present itself entertain the idea of having something more than just a one night stand. After all it would be a perfect arrangement now that I might just become an Officer Morlock to his Grunt.

But flippancy aside – when there is more keeping you together rather than pushing you apart it inevitable that there will always be taut differences between the two of you. That’s human nature. After all there has to be something to the notion of true love right? That unmistakably unshakable bond between two people that surmounts all obstacles put in their way. But until I find that special Morlock that can meet me half-way between the light and darkness of our cavernous infallibilities I will be attending many black-tie functions alone.

Getting home and not needing to sleep will be a different matter entirely … 


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