I am a bachelor — at my age, a confirmed bachelor.
I don’t want anyone to pity me. I am content.
I imagine that couples often forget they are married; I
know that a person who is single remembers it every
day, like a broken promise, that dwindling inheritance he is
neglecting to spend. The married ones remind him of his
condition — children do, too. He feels called upon to apologize
or explain. He resists saying that he has made a
choice. Where is his act? Bachelorhood looks like selfish delay,
and the words are loaded: bachelor means queer, spinster — hag.
Paraphrases from The Consul’s File by Paul Theroux.