Even my physical appearance changed while I was under the influence of the Christian. I ditched the t-shirts (my usual staple) , started shaving every day, cut my hair short. People told me I looked better. People always tell you that you look better when you start dressing like an accountant on his day off.
I don't know why I went through such a wholesale change. It just seemed that everything I had assumed about the past was a lie, and once I had lost the notion of myself as belonging anywhere other than at my job, the outer trappings of the bohemian life (to quote a poem of mine), no longer had any meaning. I looked at myself in the mirror and just saw a slob.
I had submitted to some kind of hypnosis in my efforts to defeat the depression and loneliness that were squashing me flatter than chewing gum on the pavement. I look back on the period now rather as you'd look back on being happily stoned. And I was happy, until the hallucinations became hellish in nature and I went completely off the rails.
I don't blame the Christian for any of this. I have done many ridiculous things while under the influence of powerful women in the past. It is a pattern of behaviour that goes back years. Though I don't think I've ever lost myself as comprehensively as I did with her.
The reason I mention all this now is that I looked in the mirror this morning and saw an unshaven, shaggy-haired t-shirt-wearing poet glaring back at me, and I liked what I saw. I still wonder how many chances at happiness I am kissing off by presenting myself in a way that most women seem to find unsavoury, but what the hell. I can't judge everybody by the conservative tastes of Northamptonshire care workers.