The Blue Notebook
Yesterday she even told Tommy that he ought to be planning for his old age. Can you beat it?’ We laugh together, but it’s no good. She goes downstairs, saying good night. She says it gently (as I said good night to Janet) and I know it is because she is unhappy for me because Michael won’t come. It is nearly eleven now; and I know he won’t come. The telephone rings and it is Michael. ‘Anna, forgive me, but I can’t come tonight after all.’ I say it is quite all right. He says: ‘I’ll ring you tomorrow — or in a couple of days. Good night, Anna.’ He adds, fumbling with the words: ‘I’m sorry if you cooked especially for me.’ The if suddenly makes me furious. Then it strikes me as odd that I should be angry over such a little thing, and I even laugh. He hears the laugh, and says: ‘Ah, yes, Anna, yes …’ Meaning that I am heartless and don’t care for him. But I suddenly can’t stand this, and say: ‘Good night, Michael,’ and ring off.
I take all the food off the stove, carefully saving what can be used, and throwing the rest away — nearly everything. I sit and think: Well, if he rings me tomorrow … But I know he won’t. I realize, at last, that this is the end. I go to see if Janet is asleep — I know she is, but I have to look. Then I know that an awful black whirling chaos is just outside me, waiting to move into me. I must go to sleep quickly, before I become that chaos. I am trembling with misery and with tiredness. I fill a tumbler full of wine and drink it, quickly. Then I get into bed. My head is swimming with the wine. Tomorrow, I think — tomorrow — I’ll be responsible, face my future, and refuse to be miserable. Then I sleep, but before I am even asleep I can hear myself crying, the sleep-crying, this time all pain, no enjoyment in it at all.
[The whole of the above was scored through — cancelled out and scribbled underneath: No, it didn't come off. A failure as usual. Underneath was written, in different handwriting, more neat and orderly than the long entry, which was flowing and untidy:]
15th September, 1954
A normal day. During the course of a discussion with John Butte and Jack I decided to leave the Party. I must now be careful not to start hating the Party in the way we do hate stages of our life we have outgrown. Noted signs of it already: moments of disliking Jack which were quite irrational. Janet as usual, no problems. Molly worried, I think with reason, over Tommy. She has a hunch he will marry his new girl. Well, her hunches usually come off. I realized that Michael had finally decided to break it off. I must pull myself together.