Listen. There is a sound like the knocking of railway trucks in a siding. That is the happy concatenation of one event following another in our lives. Knock, knock, knock. Must, must, must. Must go, must sleep, must wake, must get up – sober, merciful word which we pretend to revile, which we press tight to our hearts, without which we should be undone. How we worship that sound like the knocking together of trucks in a siding!
Whatever hour you woke there was a door shutting.
To leave a door shut that might be open is in my eyes some form of blasphemy.
But we-‘ she glanced at him as if to ascertain his position, ‘we see each other only now and then-‘
‘Like lights in a storm-‘
‘In the midst of a hurricane,’ she concluded, as the window shook beneath the pressure of the wind.
They all dreamt of each other that night, as was natural, considering how thin the partitions were between them, and how strangely they had been lifted off the earth to sit next each other in mid-ocean, and see every detail of each others’ faces, and hear whatever they chanced to say.
Love, the poet said, is woman’s whole existence.
What dissolution of the soul you demanded in order to get through one day, what lies, bowings, scrapings, fluency and servility! How you chained me to one spot, one hour, one chair, and sat yourselves down opposite! How you snatched from me the white spaces that lie between hour and hour and rolled them into dirty pellets and tossed them into the waste-paper basket with your greasy paws. Yet those were my life.
Leonard, always the years between us, always the years. Always the love. Always the hours.
They disagreed always about this, but it did not matter. She liked him to believe in scholarships, and he liked her to be proud of Andrew whatever he did.
To be myself (I note) I need the illumination of other people’s eyes, and therefore cannot be entirely sure what is my self.