The best way to get rid of the yearning for something, she had always found, was to imagine what it would be like if the dream came true. Once you imagined that, you usually found that you didn’t want the happy ending after all, not at any price, and the technique was particularly sound, in her experience, when it came to men. In the past, when she had felt that dreadful, cloying, having-eaten-too-much-Black-Forest-gateau feeling about someone, she conjured up a vision of living with him, ironing for him, holding things and getting sworn at when he put up kitchen shelves. But in this case, for some reason, it didn’t seem to work. Perhaps it was because what she was feeling now wasn’t anything like eating too much cake; it was more a sort of understanding of what her life had been about all these years. It had simply been Fate’s rather cack-handed way of making sure she was there at the right time in the right place to meet Julius Vanderdecker, the Flying Dutchman. And why, Miss Doland, was that such a good idea? Because. No other reason, just because. If he had been handsome or charming or generally wonderful in some other obvious way, it wouldn’t be the same thing at all; because when the wonderfulness had worn off, there wouldn’t be anything left except a lot of real life. What Jane liked about Vanderdecker was the way she liked him.
—Tom Holt (Flying Dutch)
I know just where you’re coming from, girl.