Nowadays, when I do my best to make the apartment look as good as if an interior designer lives here, I can never pretend that I do that because the queen may drop by one afternoon for a cup of tea. We have a king now and I think he would drop by in the early evening instead for a beer, and I don't think he would care much about how the furniture is positioned and other cozy design details. He is too much like any other ordinary man to concern himself with such things. Nowadays, I need a different motivation than a spontaneous, although unlikely, royal visit to make the apartment look good.
I have not quite worked out what my motivating factor is now and for which public I perform, so maybe that is why I have sort of lost my direction. I am trying to develop a taste that is purely one of my own, but like anyone else, I do want to please my audience. In the first place I want things to be functional, but I notice that I am moving more and more away from that and am starting to pay attention to the minute little details of nit-picky items that are placed just so in small strategic groups on the coffee table and the bookcase.
And all these things hold memories, even I have collected those, although I pretend I don't care about those sort of sentiments. Once I start looking in all the nooks and crannies of my apartment, all sorts of precious items appear and I think, "Oh, what treasures I have!" For some reason these are important to me now as I enter this fourth era of my life, and things I had forgotten about the end of the second and the beginning of the third one are floating to the top. It seems that I remember much more than I thought I did. Maybe leaving the traumatic behind me allows me access to those memories.
It is good to close off one era and to start afresh with a new one. It gives me a real sense of closure and liberation. And I really have retired, just like the queen has.