The Blue Notebook
[The blue notebook continued.]
15th September, 1954
Last night Michael said (I had not seen him for a week): ‘Well, Anna, and so our great love affair is coming to an end?’ Characteristic of him that it is a question mark: he is bringing it to an end, but talks as if I am. I said, smiling but ironical in spite of myself: ‘But at least it has been a great love affair?’ He, then: ‘Ah, Anna, you make up stories about life and tell them to yourself, and you don’t know what is true and what isn’t.’ ‘And so we haven’t had a great love affair?’ This was breathless and pleading; though I had not meant it. I felt a terrible dismay and coldness at his words, as if he were denying my existence. He said, whimsically: ‘If you say we have, then we have. And if you say not, then not.’ ‘So what you feel doesn’t count?’ ‘Me? But Anna, why should I count?’ (This was bitter, mocking, but affectionate.) Afterwards I fought with a feeling that always takes hold of me after one of these exchanges: unreality, as if the substance of my self were thinning and dissolving. And then I thought how ironical it was that in order to recover myself I had to use precisely that Anna which Michael dislikes most; the critical and thinking Anna. Very well then; he says I make up stories about our life together. I shall write down, as truthfully as I can, every stage of a day. Tomorrow. When tomorrow ends I shall sit down and write.
17th September, 1954
I could not write last night because I was too unhappy. And now of course, I am wondering if the fact that I chose to be very conscious of everything that happened yesterday changed the shape of the day. That just because I was conscious I made it a special day? However, I shall write it and see how it looks. I woke early, about five, tensed, because I thought I heard Janet move in the room through the wall. But she must have moved and gone to sleep again. A grey stream of water on the window-pane. The light grey. The shapes of furniture enormous in the vague light. Michael and I were lying facing the window, I with my arms around him under his pyjama jacket, my knees tucked into the angle of his knees. A fierce healing warmth from him to me. I thought: Very soon now he won’t come back. Perhaps I’ll know it is the last time, perhaps not. Perhaps this is the last time? But it seemed impossible to associate the two feelings: Michael warm in my arms, asleep; and knowing that soon he would not be there. I moved my hand up and the hair on his breast was slippery yet rough against my palm. It gave me intense delight. He started up, feeling me awake, and said sharply: ‘Anna, what is it?’ His voice came out of a dream, it was frightened and angry. He turned on his back, and was asleep again. I looked at his face to see the shadow of the dream on it; his face was clenched up. Once he said, waking abrupt and frightened out of a dream: ‘My dear Anna, if you insist on sleeping with a man who is the history of Europe over the last twenty years you mustn’t complain if he has uneasy dreams.’ This was resentful: the resentment was because I wasn’t part of that history. Yet I know that one of the reasons he is with me is that I wasn’t part of it and I haven’t had something destroyed in me.