Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 2nd, 1782

The salon was a fruitless effort. I was introduced to Msr and Mme Lavoisier, but found that after the initial pleasantries there was no way for me to begin a conversation that could help Thierry. I tried to talk with Mme L- several times, but in the end I was merely trailing after her and making myself ridiculous. I have nothing to offer them in exchange for their assistance, no way to work upon them. I share none of their interest in science, and can make very little conversation on the subject; though I tried to evince interest, I suspect it sounded more like ignorance, profound ignorance. Nor can I offer them money for their work, because they have no need of it.

A party to celebrate the New Year made me feel even more low. It was like being behind glass the whole time. I tried to interact with everyone, but genuinely felt none of their good cheer. I knew few people there, and even those I did know I somehow felt I had so little in common with as to be strangers. I moved amongst them, but did not seem to be present, and few people spoke to me. In very little time I was exhausted from the effort of trying to be charming, and I left before two in the morning.

Although I try to convince myself that there is still much to do, I am much more inclined simply to remain in bed. I have canceled my Lever for the last two days, and am considering giving out that I am sick with some minor discomfort. The Dowager Comtesse de R- has declined my latest invitation. All of my plans fall to pieces, and I have no will to pick them up again.

I am like a candle sputtering into darkness. It would be so easy just to let the flame go out.

Olympe, Comtesse

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