Ah, the blogs. The tweets. The texts. So many forms of expression! No need for a go-between, these days, to deliver a sliver of wit, of inspiration. All right, I’ll just say it. A dollop of lust.
In the Hof, during my daily hairdressing sessions where I was attended to by coiffe -masters, Greek tutors, and my bevy of ladies-in-waiting, my mind turned to matters of the, er, heart. I cannot tell you how impossibly lonely it was for me at Court there in torpid Vienna! Always getting ready for some formal appointment with a snooty Viennese social climber or one of my mother-in-law’s sycophants. So whilst the brandy and egg yolk masques penetrated my tresses and the ground leeches and vinegar assaulted my freckles, I closed my eyes and returned to my homeland. And, naturally, thoughts of my homeland led to horses. And horses to counts, and, well, that’s when the trouble began!
Had I an instant communication device–a Blackberry a Droid–I might at least have been able to entertain myself–send a little quip to one of my sisters, perhaps. Or a randy little missive to my friend, the Hungarian Count Gyula Andrássy. I might have texted: Hair needs your expert attention. Please come.
Or I might have slipped off: Bodice heaving. Send help.
But, alas, I had to deliver my impulses the old fashioned way: through long, arduous, complicated and dangerous maneuvers which involved my dear Hungarian girl, Ida Ferenczy.
It was a brilliant stroke, I must say. Who could argue with an Empress’s need to expand her knowledge of language? Ida and I blathered on in our pig Latin way, under the auspices of tutelage. Sharp as a boning knife, and nearly as fast as an iPhone, Ida scribbled down my code in her native tongue–unable to be deciphered by the piggish herd of the Archduchess’s ladies-in-waiting–those nasty spies! Then, twice a fortnight, off she tarried, by coach, with my ream of poems in hand. Her perfect translation of my passion. Of my longing.
I awaited with much agitation for her arrival back to Court the following week when she would deliver a crisp square of parchment from the Count. Yes, the wait was torture. But how delicious when at last my red-cheeked Ida strode up with the letter! How I nearly ripped the thing open, gorged on the ripe sentences that returned my desire. You see, my le beau pendu was a political sensualist. Yes, yes, he was vain (as am I!), but no man could fill a uniform the way he could. He was, like me, less a monarch and more a romantic.
He did like his brandy, his cards and anything in a dirndl–but his image, what with the tiger fur he favored, the gems sewed into his jacket, kept me from dissolving under many a leech-masque, and kept my imagination simmering long after the burner in my marriage turned off.