Is it love, obsession, infatuation? You don't know. You think of a strange and beautiful word you read about once, Limerance, a psychological term, meaning an obsessive love, a state that's almost like a drug. Need like a wolf paces the perimeter of your world, back and forth, back and forth, never letting up. ...You're appalled by the new appetites within you, kicking their feet and clawing to get out.
I know I am but summer to your heart, And not the full four seasons of the year; And you must welcome from another part Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear. No gracious weight of golden fruits to sell Have I, nor any wise and wintry thing; And I have loved you all too long and well To carry still the high sweet breast of Spring. Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes, I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums, That you may hail anew the bird and rose When I come back to you, as summer comes. Else will you seek, at some not distant time, Even your summer in another clime.
So, in spite of all apparent contradictions, this strange love of Hitler for Stefanie falls into the pattern of his character. Love was a field where the unforeseeable might happen, and which might become dangerous. How many men who had set out with great intentions had been forced off their path by irregular and complicated love affairs. It was imperative to be on one's guard!Instinctively, the young Hitler found the only correct attitude in his love for Stefanie: he possessed a being whom he loved, and at the same time, he did not possess her. He arranged his whole life as though he possessed this beloved creature entirely. But as he himself avoided any personal meeting, this girl, although he could see that she walked the earth, remained nevertheless a creature of his dream world, towards whom he could project his desires, plans and ideas. And thus he kept himself from deviating from his own path; indeed, this strange relationship, through the power of love, increased his own will. He imagines Stefanie as his wife, builds the house in which they live together, surrounds it with a magnificent garden and arranges his home with Stefanie, just as, in fact, he did later on the Ober-Salzburg, though without her. This mixing of dream and reality is characteristic of the young Hitler. And whenever there is a danger that the beloved would entirely escape into the realm of fantasy, he hurries to the Schmiedtoreck and makes sure that she really walks the earth. Hitler was confirmed in the choice of his path, not by what Stefanie actually was, but by what his imagination made of her. Thus, Stefanie was two things for him, one part reality and one part wish and imagination. Be that as it may, Stefanie was the most beautiful, the most fertile and purest dream of his life.
Which was why he reflexively turned when a flash of iridescence caught his eye. His first thought was: Morpho rhetenor Helena. The extraordinary tropical butterfly with wings of shifting colors: blues, lavenders, greens.It proved to be a woman’s skirt.The color was blue, but by the light of the legion of overhead candles, he saw purples and even greens shivering in its weave. A bracelet of pale stones winked around one wrist, a circlet banded her dark head. The chandelier struck little beams from that, too.She’s altogether too shiny for a woman, he decided, and began to turn away.Which was when she tipped her face up into the light.Everything stopped. The beat of his heart, the pump of his lungs, the march of time.Seconds later, thankfully, it all resumed. Much more violently than previously.And then absurd notions roman-candled in his mind.His palms ached to cradle her face—it was a kitten’s face, broad and fair at the brow, stubborn at the chin. She had kitten’s eyes, too: large and a bit tilted and surely they weren’t actually the azure of calm southern seas? Surely he, Miles Redmond, hadn’t entertained such a florid thought? Her eyebrows were wicked: fine, slanted, very dark. Her hair was probably brown, but it was as though he’d never learned the word “brown.”Burnished. Silk. Copper. Azure. Delicate. Angel. Hallelujah. Suddenly these were the only words he knew.
They didn't exchange a single word. But in the weeks that followed, Trip spent his days wandering the halls, hoping for Lux to appear, the most naked person with clothes on he had ever seen. Even in sensible school shoes, she shuffled as though barefoot, and the baggy apparel Mrs. Lisbon bought for her only increased her appeal, as though after undressing she had put on whatever was handy. In corduroys her thighs rubbed together, buzzing, and there was always at least one untidy marvel to unravel him: an untucked shirttail, a sock with a hole, a ripped seam showing underarm hair. She carted her books from class to class but never opened them. Her pens and pencils were as temporary as Cinderella's broom. When she smiled, her mouth showed too many teeth, but at night Trip Fontaine dreamed of being bitten by each one.