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.