Struck down by a particularly virulent effect of a dodgy chicken panini, I have consoled myself through that which is guaranteed to tickle, amuse and stimulate the mind: Oscar Wilde.
This time it is The Picture of Dorian Gray, and while nigh every line comprises a quip that sets one marvelling at his sheer genius, one paragraph stood out as an enduringly succinct précis on every man I have known:
“He likes me,” he answered after a pause; “I know he likes me. Of course I flatter him dreadfully. I find a strange pleasure in saying things to him that I know I shall be sorry for having said. As a rule, he is charming to me, and we sit in the studio and talk of a thousand things. Now and then, however, he is horribly thoughtless, and seems to take a delight in giving me pain. Then I feel, Harry, that I have given away my whole soul to some one who treats it as if it were a flower to put in his coat, a bit of decoration to charm his vanity, an ornament for a summer’s day.” (p. 12)
Time may progress, but men – it seems – rarely do.