I look into your well of loneliness to see you thrashing out to stay alive. Your body, fine-boned, angular, flat-chested, in tailored suit and tie contemptuous of feminine mystique, looks otherwordly through refraction in the cold congealing water. Above it your strong head tosses defiance at a callous world that looks down on your suffering with arms extended in abhorrence not in help. Where are your friends, I ask, with ropes to toss to you or other means of rescue that I lack? How can you be alone, full of compassion, sense and mellow words to hold true friends, rich and sophisticated to attract acquaintances?... I see. The world felt nervous with a woman born into a study, not a kitchen or a nursery; making no marriage vows, yet not a spinster; living with one who couldn’t be a wife. Where is she now? – in fact, forgotten more than you; in fiction, thrust into the sun to find a man and earn stiff nods from hard humanity. Some of your friends and fellow- sufferers climbed after her while others sank below the surface, drowned in despair or drink. Maybe some knew a secret happiness. Now only you survive in memory, explorer-missionary, sinner-saint, too proud to die.
To Radclyffe Hall