Alec was a middle aged man. He had been married and divorced a long time ago. He had no children to worry about, and kept himself busy with his job as an engineer for BSkyB. His free time he spent with his mistresses. He had always had several girlfriends at the same time (the reason why his marriage had collapsed). Right now there were three …
Sahar had been there all the time, listening to his complaints on life, business and politics. She had been a school friend of his older cousin, that’s how they first met. Whenever he was unhappy, he would go to her, and she would console him. He was unhappy very often.
He had known Ismene now for 6 years. She was a lecturer at Barnfield College in Luton. She had come all the way from Cyprus to study in Cambridge, 15 years earlier. He loved her interesting and challenging viewpoints on many subjects, and he liked the exotic dishes she prepared for him. With her he could discuss whatever creative ideas had been on his mind.
Gillian, an Irish student in the London Slade School of Fine Art, was his latest flame. He knew the girl only for just 6 months. She had been looking for a father figure, and ‘fate’ had brought them together. Everything he did together with Gillian, was like new. As if he were 19 again.
Like many people, Alec had found a way to fulfil most of his desires. Sahar always removed his feelings of loneliness, of not belonging anywhere. Ismene brought him the unexpected, the exotic, a fast fading kick of new experiences. She also always let him have the last word in any discussion they had, an acknowledgement of his ‘superior’ brain, hugging his pride. Gillian reconnected him with the fountain of youth, the inexperienced that rejuvenates any old experience.
Like many people, Alec was living a lie. Although Sahar knew about the others, Gillian nor Ismene ever thought they shared him with two others. Living the lie meant to always be on guard. Besides, he always had to look for new fountains of youth, or sources of the exotic — things he couldn’t find with Sahar — while he himself grew older and never left the country.
What are your (un)conscious desires?
How does your shadow project these hidden desires into your life?
And how long does the feeling of fulfilment last?