The Blue Notebook
I watched the spiteful anger flash through me.
I thought, sanely, for a moment that during that week he had been relaxed and happy as he was capable of being, so why did I react to that entry with hurt? But I was hurt and miserable, as if the entry cancelled out the week for both of us. I went downstairs and thought of Saul with a woman. I sat watching myself thinking of Saul with a woman. I thought: He’s right to hate me and to prefer other women, I’m hateful. And I began to think longingly of this other woman out there, kind and generous and strong enough to give him what he needed without asking for anything in return.
I remember Mother Sugar and how she ‘taught’ me about the obsessions of jealousy being part homosexuality. But the lesson at the time seemed rather academic, nothing to do with me, Anna. I wondered if I wanted to make love with that woman he was with now.
Then there was a moment of knowledge, I understood I’d gone (*18) right inside his craziness: he was looking for this wise, kind, all-mother figure, who is also sexual playmate and sister; and because I had become part of him, this is what I was looking for too, both for myself, because I needed her, and because I wanted to become her. I understood I could no longer separate myself from Saul, and that frightened me more than I have been frightened. For with my intelligence I knew that this man was repeating a pattern over and over again: courting a woman with his intelligence and sympathy, claiming her emotionally; then, when she began to claim in return, running away. And the better a woman was, the sooner he would begin to run. I knew this with my intelligence, and yet I sat there in my dark room, looking at the hazed wet brilliance of the purple London night sky, longing with my whole being for that mythical woman, longing to be her, but for Saul’s sake.
I found I was lying on the floor, unable to breathe because of the tension in my stomach. I went to the kitchen and drank more whisky, until the anxiety eased a little. I went back to the big room, and tried to get back to myself by seeing Anna, a tiny unimportant figure in the ugly old flat in an ugly decaying house, with the wastes of dark London around her. I could not. I was desperately ashamed, being locked in Anna’s, an unimportant little animal’s terrors. I kept saying to myself: Out there is the world, and I care so little that I haven’t even read the newspapers for a week. I fetched the week’s newspapers, and spread them around me on the floor. During the week things had developed — a war here, a dispute there. It was like missing several instalments of a serial on the films but being able to deduce what had happened in them from inner logic of the story.