Thirty-Six Year Old – Julia Martin

 

 

At night she slept heavily, without dreaming. When she awoke she was still weighed down with fatigue, so that she could dress only very slowly, and with great effort.

She thought: ‘I’ve been back a week and three days – a week and four days today. Well, I can’t go on like this.’

She got up and shut the window, so as not to be overlooked.

She wrote:

Jeane dame (36), conaissant anglais, francais, allemande, cherche situation dame de compagnie ou gouvernante. Hautes references…

As she wrote references, she thought: ‘Now, where did I put that letter?’ It had been given her three years before by a Frenchwoman.

A feeling of panic seized her. She was sure she had lost it. And if she had, where was she to get anything else would serve as a reference? Her hands trembled with fright as she searched.

‘Anything puts me in a state now,’ she thought.

She found it at last, in an envelope with a card on which was written: ‘Wien, le 24 aout, 1920. Menu.’ At the back of it were a number of signatures.

She looked at the menu for a long time. ‘I can’t believe that was me.’ And then she thought: ‘No, I can’t believe that this is me, now.’

Jean Rhys, After Leaving Mr Mackenzie

Published in: 36 Years Old | on July 21st, 2010 | No Comments »