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Journal Entry: Alleyn Wallace - The Cult of the Beautiful Boys

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15 February

Life has become thoroughly awkward. We are now under munity - under my lead - with Miss Pool's permission. Heaven knows how that will play out between them tonight. She does improve greatly when left alone - but I begin to think she is Rosalinde and this production is a signal to her Alfred that she will have her Eisenstein. Dostner and I will do well together - mutual respect always comes across on stage. I do worry about how tomorrow will go - I've not directed in my life, and while I look forward to it, and we need little help, I cannot help being terrified. Thea won't do at all - I am more feminine than she is masculine. Considerable work necessary, and I don't want to do it.

But there is something even more awkard than Thea. It seems Julien's keeper is friends with Mr Dewing, for August Lowell came in today as rehearsal pianist. He has a happy talet for sight reading and will prove very useful to me in rehearsal if he continues to be as compliant as today. However, today I suspct he was hungover as such acquiescence, and fatigue, seem outside his character. He did not recall meeting me last week - I admit to a certain pleasure in hearing him address me as Falke because he did not know my name. His playing is certainly better than his composing, though I shan't say that to him.

My worry here is not for myself or the show but for Julian. I would very much like him to be at opening, but with Mr Lowell and his keeper present, it may not be possible or desirable. And I feel as if I have intruded on his life, however inuntinded. It is not what I would have wished. After rehearsal, I decamped immediately to a pub, composed a note, and slipped it into the mail slot at the gallery. I hope he may hear this news from me - or even from his keeper - rather than from Mr Lowell. Why do I suspect last night's fatigue was not from Julian? Why do I even care when Julian is patently not faithful to either his keeper or Mr Lowell?

I wish so badly that David could be here to advise me - in all of it. The show, yes, for I need his insight. He was always invaluable as a critic and friend. But I need advice on the personal situation as well. Of course, if David were here, there would be no situation. I would never have met the boy. And God only knows what jobs I might have taken had a still the stability of David's income. But no, I do suspect I would still be here. I've always wanted to try out the German in German. But Thea would be the great awkwardness, not Lowell. I should, by rights, know nothing of him. I should keeep my knowledge to myself, admit only that we were briefly introdcued in the street a week ago. If he continues as today, it shall be simple. But life would be better if the situation were impossible.

What would you advise me, David? Ignoring for the moment that I fear I may be using Julian as a pale replacement for you (I can't imagine French from those lips, in any case - the boy has Italian written all over him), what would you advise? Prudence? Of course. But not at the expense of fun or even of daring. It is friendship, not investment. Only a Forsyte counts his friendships, and his art, as investements instead of pleasures. I wish I could consider mine a pleasure rather than a sorrow. Does it matter to you that I cannot get to Golders Green tonight? Are you even there? Would you really have left all you love? But you're not here. I don't feel you at all. At least I feel something among the graves, even if it is not you.

What would you say to me? Something witty or something dull? Something dull and comforting in this case. All you can do is be a gentleman, for Lowell will probably prove a prat. I'm clubbable, therefore I am a gentleman. Merits and wide friendships, not my father's name and position. Is Lowell really clubbable? Julian isn't, but for a different reason. He's a solitary sort. Dewing is eminently clubbable. I wonder if he knows anything of Lowell. Not the sexual nature. The personality.

The important question here, and I'm sure you agree, David, is what does Julian really see in Lowell? Beauty, of course, and a cocksure attitude. But he would paint him as Apollo, and that will assuredly lead to heartbreak. Not that Apollo was particularly kind, but there is no healing in Lowell. Call him Narcissus if there must be something classical about him. All of his type are Narcissi. His lack of care for the situations of others, and his inordinate pride in the drivel he calls incidental music, show him to be a full member of his tribe. I worry too much for a boy with experience I can barely imagine. My pride wouldn't allow the things he has done. David was always the butt at school; I was always welcomed openly. I suspect Lowell forced himself on people and led quite a crew. That is probably what Julian sees in him, the chance to be liked by the very same people who beat him down. Thea Brannigan is the same type, the old cow. Imagine Lowell twenty years hence with the opportunity to take a reasonably innocent and attractive young man under his wing. Hell, why wait? Shep certainly wasn't that much my senior. If I hadn't known of Julian's time in Italy, I might suspect something of that sort here. I must keep Thea and Lowell away from each other. He's better bred than either Thea or Shep, but he is an American, after all, and breeding may not keep him apart from others who are otherwise like-minded. They could make life a hell for both Julian and me. But Lowell can know nothing if Thea does not tell him or if Julian does not tell him. I shall have to trust Julian. I don't think Julian will volunteer much of me - I suspect he told me the truth when he said I was his only friend in London. I'm the only person he knows not connected with his keeper, and now even that has gone to rot.

I should go to bed. I worry too much for the boy. My concerns should be for the show, not for him. He has taken care of himself before. I can only hope my presence in his life will not accidentally prove the catalyst for a storm.
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