I would be the first to admit that I can be somewhat dense when it comes to my dealings with the fairer sex. Come to think of it, I might not be first, as I am sure Brigitte, and probably Justine, would readily admit it for me. Come to that, so might Helene and a few others. OK, maybe I wouldn’t be the first, but I’m sure to be in the top ten. Maybe.
Sophia came over to the tavern last night, in search of a break from ruining a pie and to obtain a recuperative brandy. Helpful as ever, I suggested that she speak with her neighbour, Mitternacht, and given the nature of her neighbour, I’ll admit I did put a certain equine slant on the neigh part. Childish, I know, but I couldn’t resist. I told her about Mitternacht giving the princesses lessons on baking and suggested she take some advice from her, with the caveat that she should halve the quantity of sugar that Mitternacht told her to use. The brandies, on the other hand, those I could advise on myself, having on just recently counted them all, and, it has to be said, consumed a fair number of in my time. I selected a Hennessey XO, which, from her expression, went down very well.
Then she asked if I minded if she asked a personal question. I could not imagine what this might be, so assented with a nod. She then asked how I managed to feed myself. Her mother and Lucy, apparently, fed every night, and she did not see that there were enough people on the island to feed a mosquito. I had to agree with her there, and confessed my diet was largely furry, supplemented from the occasional palace guard or other servant foolish enough to fall asleep where I could see them.
This is where it started to go wrong, and I think I made a bit of a mess of explaining things. She asked if I had any regular donors that would let me feed from them. I told her that I didn’t, not since I had left London and didn’t know of anyone willing here. She said that maybe there was and that I just didn’t know it. I replied, not thinking it through, that the supply of potential volunteers was limited.
She then offered herself as a donor, saying that as I had done so much for her; it was the least she could do to repay me. That put me in what my mother would have called a terrible tizzy. I like Sophia, I really do, and yes, I do find her attractive, but what with the somewhat peculiar nature of how we came to be friends, via her late mother, and my own denseness when it comes to women, I had not even thought to think of her in that way. I gabbled a somewhat confused explanation about the intimate nature of feeding, when it comes to willing participants and that it would be a bit like me walking around the bar and suddenly kissing her. It wasn’t a particularly coherent explanation, and I fear I offended her in some way. Perhaps she would like that level of intimacy, and maybe she even likes me more than I suspected – it would not be the first time I have failed to notice that – or maybe not. I don’t know, and I don’t know who I should ask for advice. She finished her drink and left soon after, saying that she would find some other way to repay me. I do hope I haven’t spoiled our friendship. I shall have to leave a small note as an apology, and hopefully repair any dent I have put in our friendship.