"The Past Is a Foreign Country..."
"... they do things differently there", or so L. P. Hartley wrote in the opening line of The Go-Between. I find these words to have an altogether more sinister meaning to me than they were probably intended. I did things very differently indeed, and yet it is as if that very "foreign land" can never leave me, no matter how much I would like it to -- or perhaps, no matter how much I would like parts of it to leave me. I think of all the opportunities I wasted when I was younger; particularly, the secret vices I kept from my parents through subterfuge. To be precise, those vices which I indulged heavily in (instead of doing coursework) were boys, alcohol, tobacco and delusions of grandeur, all four of which my parents disagreed with vehemently at the time.
But it was if, to those who cared for me, I was an entirely different character: allegedly gifted, academic, well-behaved and studious, the very picture of my parents' dreams. For those years when I first had the opportunity to forge my own freedoms, those who love me and who have devoted their lives towards my upbringing never knew me -- not truly; they knew a false waxwork acted for their benefit -- and I think that is the saddest thing of all, even if they may partially know me now. Some of the lies I told back then I cannot now correct, because I fear of ruining those pleasures with those I told them to. They ranged from the absurd as to my personal means, accomplishments and whereabouts to the little yet recurrent things, such as my alleged walks to smoke, drink and release my sexual tension with some guy who was willing. I don't believe my parents even know now the depth of my subterfuge that I undertook; it could they never knew the genuine self that I was throughout that period.
This is why I would like to leave the past behind, for the sordid undercurrents of my life which I would like to erase would be left with it. There are sordid undercurrents, however, in my current life -- which I have every intention of keeping hold of, and will remain secret to all until someone should unmask them.