The Blue Notebook
Then the delight vanished as I came across an entry which frightened me, because I had already written it, out of some other kind of knowledge, in my yellow notebook. It frightens me that when I’m writing I seem to have some awful second sight, or something like it, an intuition of some kind; a kind of intelligence is at work that is much too painful to use in ordinary life; one couldn’t live at all if one used it for living. Three entries: ‘Must get out of Detroit, I’ve got from it all I need. Mavis making trouble. I was crazy for her a week ago, now nothing. Strange.’ Then: ‘Mavis came to my apartment last night. I had Joan with me. Had to go out into the hall and send Mavis away.’ Then: ‘Got a letter from Jake in Detroit. Mavis cut her wrists with a razor. They got her to hospital in time. Pity, a nice girl.’ There were no more references to Mavis. I was angry, with the cold vindictive anger of the sex war; so angry I simply switched off my imagination. I left the mass of diaries. They would have taken weeks to read and I wasn’t interested. I was curious now to know what he had written about me. I found the date he had come to this flat. ‘Saw Anna Wulf. If I’m going to stick around London, it’ll do. Mary offered me a room, but I saw trouble there. She’s a good lay, but that’s all. Anna doesn’t attract me. A good thing in the circumstances. Mary made a scene. Jane at the party. We danced, practically fucked on the dance floor. Small, slight, boyish — took her home. Fucked all night — oh boy!’ ‘Today, talking to Anna, can’t remember anything I said, I don’t think she noticed anything.’ No entries for some days. Then: ‘Funny thing, I like Anna better than anyone, but I don’t enjoy sleeping with her. Perhaps time to move on? Jane making trouble. Well screw these dames, literally!’ ‘Anna making trouble about Jane. Well too bad for her.’ ‘Broke with Jane. Pity, she’s the best lay I’ve had in this bloody country. Marguerite in the coffee bar.’ ‘Jane telephoned. Making trouble about Anna. Don’t want trouble with Anna. Date with Marguerite.’
That was today, so when he went off it was to Marguerite and not to Jane. I am shocked at myself because I am not shocked at reading someone’s private papers. On the contrary, I’m full of a triumphant ugly joy because I’ve caught him out.
(*15) The entry, I don’t enjoy sleeping with Anna, cut me so deep I couldn’t breathe for a few moments. Worse, I didn’t understand it. Worse, I lost faith, for a few minutes, in the judgement of the female creature who responds, or does not, according to whether Saul is making love out of conviction or not. She can’t be lied to. For a moment I imagined she had been deluding herself. I was ashamed that I cared more for his not wanting to sleep with me, since at the best I would be ‘a good lay’, than his liking me. I put away the diaries, but carelessly, out of a kind of contempt, as I had put away the letters, and came downstairs to write this. But I’m too confused to write sensibly.