Since I need to go, and I need to be writing other things, I probably won't ever finish it.
So, for posterity's sake, I present Humbert. What there is of it, anyways.
Quilty didn't kick me out for gettin' old -- he kicked me out for not being young. Which is a totally different thing, if you think about it.
It's easy to pretend, see, to dress yourself up so that you can go places with an old man and he doesn't get those looks that used to make me laugh, that made me do stupid things in front of the waiter. Lipstick, eyeliner, my hair up -- it's easy to fake being old, to choke down your giggles and smile a bit, just a bit, just enough to show your teeth. You can fake being old easy enough. But being young? Being able to giggle, kick your legs around, stick your tongue out?
It takes a lot of energy to be young. And after a while, you just get tired, and you start using a little less lipstick, stop laughing and start caring about what people are thinking. I stopped laughing at the looks me and Quilty got, me and Hump got -- and just like that, we stopped getting 'em.
Being young for so long takes it out of you. Being young ends up making you feel old way too fast.
I'm writing all this down because I used to watch Hump do it, see, and he'd sit with his pen and his paper and he'd frown until he got down some words that seemed to make things make sense. And then he'd look up at me, like I made sense, too. And he'd smile.
Hump always smiled with all his mouth, all his teeth -- his eyes, too. He'd smile like a little kid. He'd laugh like one.
I don't know if he still smiles like that anymore. Don't know what's happened to him. Sometimes, I wish I did -- wish I could blame him for all the dump that happened to me. 'Cause if that summer hadn't happened, I wouldn't be sitting in this hotel with no idea of what happens next. I wouldn't feel worn out, that's for sure. I feel like I'm a hundred and eighty. I feel like someone from the Bible.
And not the Virgin Mary, either.
I bet that as far as he's concerned, I'll be a kid forever, the same as I left him. I understand all that, because he'll always be an old man to me.
Thing is, though, that while he'll never get any younger, I'm gonna get older.