My husband is still the same. He can bear seeing me write for a certain time.
Then he cannot restrain himself anymore. Walking past me for the fourth or fifth time, he eventually stops at my side wondering when the living room was vacuum-cleaned last. I give him an honest answer: I have no idea. Then I have a good thought: What’s the point of cleaning it, if he keeps on walking through carrying wood and tools, his clothes and sandals covered in saw dust? He cannot answer that. Next time he comes he leaves his sandals on the doorstep and goes through barefooted.
I have a few minutes respite. Then he remarks: what about our bedroom? When was that done last? I can’t help smiling and saying: “You will find something for me, won’t you? He shrugs his shoulders and doesn’t know what to say. I’m glad he doesn’t show any bad temper and feel I want to show my good will. Which I do. He smiles.
In bed, at night, I cannot sleep. Too many thoughts in my mind. It might be safe to jot them down while I remember. My husband is downstairs still, and I go to my daughter’s bedroom to borrow pen and paper. She is fascinated and says: “I like your way of writing books.” My husband is anything but fascinated.
He comes to bed and finds me half asleep. I seem to keep him at arm’s length and he is disappointed. My mind is filling up with thoughts again. How can I go about jotting them down? I don’t feel like leaving my warm bed, pen and paper are right next to me on my bedside table. Can I dare switch on the torch? I notice he hasn’t gone to sleep yet and speak to him. He is in fact wide-awake and seeing that I am, draws nearer hopefully. I ask him in my most diplomatic manner could I switch on my torch — I can feel him stiffen a bit — in order to write down a few ideas, not much.
Oh dear, this is more than he can stand. He lets go of me, withdraws an inch or two and says: “I do object to that.” And again making it quite clear: “No!”
I ask him why not. He says: “Do you want a discussion now?” He turns over making the bed squeak. I take the opportunity to grab my pen and paper and withdraw into the bathroom. It doesn’t take me long and I return to bed without having roused suspicion.