Cigarette in my mouth, I sit in the garden of a pub and read old diaries.
1933. What a dream summer! Out-of-work. Doing nothing. No ambition. But what beauty I discovered! Almost tragical loveliness. Yes, beauty can be supreme enough to hurt. An ecstatic agony. That night I wrote, “Tears are in my eyes as I write…” Even now, (semi-sophisticated pseudo-cynic) the mere reading of these words has the old effect. Tears were in my eyes just now – not caused by cigarette smoke.
When I realised that the summer sweetness could not go on for ever, I wriggled and cried out, impotent against that which must be. “O God, why cannot this go on for ever and ever” (I wonder why not?) The end coming nearer when I wrote; “What shall I do? What games shall we play tomorrow? What is going to happen to me next week?”
How wonderfully significant it all was! The end of boyhood.
So many things, good and bad, which I had not done then and have done now.
I don’t regard myself as some sort of prince of sin now – almost a “hyacinthine boy” indeed! – but how utterly and delightfully youthful I was then. I must pack up and go in. It is almost dark – and the moon coming over the trees. Diana’s letters are beside me, thirty eight dear pages. Came out here to re-read them; instead I’ve been pondering of dead days.
Cigarette in my mouth, I sit in a room just behind the public bar. Half an hour before closing time. Damnation! Out in the garden, I became quite sentimental and dreamy. (Bloody fool!) Must have been the result of the dusk, plus a moon nearly to the full. Seriously, I consider there is a comparison between 1933 and now, and the garden and this room.
Shadows, peace, dreams, innocence, loveliness.
Electric light, bar-room noises, thoughts, rather hard facts; and progress.