The Blue Notebook
But too soon. Today’s quarrel like a scene from a play. He came in, ostensibly on the grounds that he had to decide about his National Service: he was clearly expecting Molly to say he should be a conscientious objector. Molly would, of course, like him to be; but said it was his decision. He began by arguing that he should do his National Service. This became an attack on her way of life, her politics, her friends — everything she is. There they sat, on either side of the kitchen table, Tommy’s dark obstinate muzzled face pointed at her, she sitting all loose and at ease, half her attention on the food cooking for lunch, continually rushing off to the telephone on Party business — he patiently, angrily, waiting through each telephone call until she came back. And at the end of the long fight, he had talked himself into a decision that he should be a conscientious objector; and now his attack on her was linked with this position — the militarism of the Soviet Union, etc. When he went upstairs, announcing, as if this came naturally from what went before, that he intended to marry very young and have a large family, Molly let herself go limp into exhaustion and then began to cry. I came upstairs to give Janet her lunch. Disturbed. Because Molly and Richard make me think of Janet’s father. As far as I am concerned this was a highly neurotic stupid involvement of no importance. No amount of repeating phrases like: the father of my child, can make me feel different about it. One day Janet is going to say: ‘My mother was married to my father for a year, then they divorced.’ And when she is older and I’ve told her the truth: ‘My mother lived with my father for three years; then they decided to have a baby and married so I should not be illegitimate, then divorced.’ But these words will have no connection with anything that I feel to be true. Whenever I think about Max, I am overcome with helplessness. I remember the feeling of helplessness made me write about him before. (Willi in the black notebook.) But the moment the baby was born, the silly empty marriage seemed to be cancelled out. I remember thinking, when I first saw Janet: Well, what does it matter, love, marriage, happiness, etc. Here’s this marvellous baby. But Janet won’t understand that. Tommy doesn’t. If Tommy could feel that, he’d stop resenting Molly for leaving his father. I seem to remember starting a diary once before, before Janet was born. I’ll look for it. Yes, here is the entry I vaguely remembered.