Yesterday I had a big night with a handful of very old friends and today I am suffering the consequences of getting to bed very late, a habit which used to be normal for me but is now somewhat of an aberration. I did have a range of topics to choose from for today but I must admit that my mind is blank and unwilling to participate in any form of hard usage.

But I have a backup plan. On the plane to Perth a few days ago I read John D. MacDonald’s thriller titled Darker than Amber. I discovered it recently in a secondhand bookshop in Melbourne which was a great thrill as it is one of the very few books in the series that I had not read.

There is a quote from the book that I am now going to take the time to copy out for all of you. It concerns women and is an observation from the book’s hero Travis McGee who has just turned down the advances of a seriously beautiful woman that he has just saved from a very nasty death. For those of you young-ins out there she would be a HB10. Keep in mind that this was written in 1966 but it just goes to show that the rules of hypergamey and the male/female dynamic are timeless.

With a swift and sisterly kiss on my cheek, she left the lounge. I turned the light out and settled down again, the weapon back under the pillow where it belonged. I’d felt no slightest inch of desire for her, and knew why. It had been a white lie. I was a prude, in my own fashion. I had been emotionally involved a few times with women with enough of a record of promiscuity to make me vaguely uneasy. It is difficult to put too much value on something the lady has distributed all too generously. I have the feeling there is some mysterious quota, which varies with each woman. And whether she gives herself or sells herself, once she reaches her own number, once X pairs of hungry hands have been clamped tightly upon her rounded undersides, she suffers a sea change wherein her juices alter from honey to acid, her eyes change to glass, her heart becomes a stone, and her mouth a windy cave from whence, with each moisturous gasping, comes a tiny stink of death.

I could not want her on any terms. But I could like her. And wish her well.