If I could have had enough of a life it would have had everything in it. I would have married the blond Austrian au pair girl in Kensington. "Ingrid you know I'm an English gentleman." The sparkle in the blue eyes, the simper smile about the lips and teeth. "You are only an English gentleman until you take your trousers off" she would reply. If I could have had enough of a life I would not have had a wife that betrayed. The pain, humiliation and inward withdrawal. Nonsense. You would have left her anyway. And if you had stayed, you would not have done, what you have done. The whores you genuinely loved in Africa & the respectable girls that cared for you and whom you just went through the motions with. You only gave good value to the ones you lied to. If you could have had enough of a life, if you had taken the arts, would you have been happier? Certainly not wealthier unless you really had talent. So you went for the money and now you scramble against the odds to learn that for which you chose not to gamble on.
There was nothing in this life about using what you had in a rational manner. Nothing of wild day dreams, obscure fantasies when drinking Guinness in Kilburn High Road.
If this had been more of a life it would have made you less desperate at this late hour to fill the unforgiving minute. If this had been more of a life you would by now have drunk that stein in Munich, slept with that fiesta dancer in Rio, fought in a Northern Territories bar, cooked suppa da cotza for friends in Palermo and taken that decaying apartment in Havana with the high ceilings and the noisy street outside.
If this had been more of a life you would have had more contact with those you shed your skin with, the friends you shared girls and drinks with, the ones that passed away who you should have committed to, the ones you passed by on the other side.
You chose that life, though at times you were led, tempted and coerced. You chose more than one home in more than one country. So many friends and women in that life of yours. Different countries, different cultures, to accommodate your selfish needs.
If this is to be the remainder of your life you must always return to childhood London. Nobby says things are changed and he won't go to London any more. And London is changed, of course, but not as much as we are older. I know things change now and I do not care.
We'll all be gone before it's changed too much and if no deluge comes when we are gone, the Thames will still be the same dirty familiar colour, it will still rain in summer and the sea gulls will still return to the Round Pond in winter to swoop and dive upon the bacon rind you throw in the air.
If this is to be the remainder of your life then get your work done and see and hear and learn and understand; and write when there is something that you know; and not before; and not too damned much after.