This is rambling. It’s partly inspired by ‘the curious incident of the dog in the night time’ about an autistic child detective and starts from some reflections after my meeting with Jenny on Sunday night. Jenny is beginning to make me feel uncomfortable. I really like her bolshy humour, but she is very close to FH with her errant husband living with him and is apparently still meeting FH for drinks so I have to be very careful what I say. Jenny wants to go to Sao Tome with me, but I am not sure I want to spend two weeks potentially sharing a room with her, and her son does not get on well with J2 at the moment. Generally her conversation made me feel uneasy and sad. Some of that sadness is linked to the fact that her husband may very well come back and FH, in contrast, is so in love with Gill he is spending thousands of pounds crossing the world to see her when he gave me grief about all my spends, even when I’d earned the money myself.
So yesterday I was sad. When I got home about 7.30pm I went to bed and rang people up – as I do when I am sad because they distract me, bring me back into the world of the here and now rather than that of the could have been and ease my sadness. One of the people I rang was Laurence who is an old friend of FH’s and has been flat bound for over a year undergoing two major hip replacement operations. Laurence is a women’s man and insists on getting to the heart of how you are rather than pleasantries or exploring his issues. I told him that I was sad and that one of the things that makes me saddest of all is that FH never gave me a chance to redress what was wrong. He told me, and in a very kind way, that FH had told him he left me because of sex. Now this made me smile. I don’t see any reason why FH would lie to Laurence, but I’m sure it isn’t the only reason. That’s because I think that if it was it would just be so shallow. After all, it’s not as if we didn’t have sex – it just wasn’t quite the kind he wanted. FP and I often talk about this. He left his first two wives because they had affairs. I don’t think that alone would have made me want to give up on FH because my entwinement with him was much more complex and based on lots of things I valued equally or more. To be honest, if FH had said to me, ‘if you don’t do x more often I will leave you’, it would not have made an iota of difference (why he left then obviously!) I just couldn’t do it cold like that. It’s a bit like you saying to me ‘you don’t talk very much do you?’ which has for me the opposite effect. I just freeze. It’s not that I don’t have as much as the next person to talk about or that I don’t like sex – it’s the lead in and the sense of people giving you time that is critical. FP gives me lots of time. I’m on perpetual slow boil for him, as Emma Gold would say in her sexploits column in the Independent. He would make sure it was worth my while to do anything. FH wanted it on demand.
Laurence also said that FH has grown cold. Much of what I loved about FH was his difference to me. I also had huge respect and trust for him. I remember saying to the counsellor that we were a great team, which even at the time I thought wasn’t very romantic. The truth is I was so interdependent with him that I still believe that I was so much greater with him than I will ever be alone. This is what I miss and valued about him the most. I think in all honesty that is what attracted me so much to you, beyond the fundamentals of finding you physically appealing – your very difference. I guess in that way I’m a bit different because people generally look for likeness/ similarity don’t they? I think that’s one of the things I struggle with with FP because there is not sufficient difference between us. I never felt I could fully predict what FH would do (patently so as it turned out!) but I didn’t mind that. I didn’t want to feel I knew everything there was to know about him or control everything about him. Can you possibly understand that? His interests and qualities that were so different to mine added to my life and I would say I was at least 95% totally and utterly accepting of them.
When we last spoke you said to me, ‘you don’t really understand me do you?’ and I don’t, but it’s extremely interesting finding out more! Anyway, I don’t actually think that is a fair comparison as I have now written you about 50 letters, but there are great swathes of your work and social life I know absolutely nothing about and that’s fine. I do trust you though and I think you are fundamentally an honourable person. When I first started to write to you it was because I was so shocked and upset by your illness and I wanted you to feel loved. I also wanted to have an opportunity to demonstrate that I have an equal, if different intelligence to you, because I respected and liked you and wanted that back. Delightfully, you did say last time you rang me that I had taught you a lot with my ‘very different’ life and that my letters engage you sufficiently to read them twice. I was immeasurably pleased with that comment! I always remember visiting FH’s flat in the early days to feed the parrot and rather naughtily reading his cards from Gill. They were all of the ‘I will love you as long as the waves beat against the shore’ variety which amused me rather than invoked envy. I like very specific, meaningful compliments and you gave me those when you last spoke to me – so thank you.
And why did the book spark off the rambling? Because one of the main ‘good’ protagonists killed the dog like FH did Dingle and because Christopher always spoke the truth, albeit more logically!
Enjoy the rugby. J2 is beside himself with excitement already.