Friday, July 04, 2008

Wednesday 23rd August 1939

Short country round, eleven calls and a warm sunny day. Most clients were deep in the depression – all men sacked and so forth – but I got two orders from luckier people. £3-10-0.

Home early. Wrote letters. Felt at a loose end, with nothing in my engagement book. I didn’t feel peaceful enough inside to sit reading or go to the flicks alone. George and Jacko both gone – oh hell! Well, I might as well get involved still further… Went to the phone, asked for a South Benfleet number. (It wasn’t too late! Cancel the call!)

“Is that Miss Brooks?”
“This is Stephen, Stephen Dawson”
“Could I see you tonight Rio?”
“I’d love you to!”

She gave me careful instructions for meeting her on the main road on Canvey Island, at 8:30p.m. So – here I go again!

Yes, I met Rio at dusk on a Canvey Island road. Ye gods! My heart beats a little quicker even now as I think of her! Sheer physical attraction on both sides, of course. Nothing more.We forgot all about War and ARP for a few hours. Her neck and shadowy throat, arising from white shoulders… As she candidly explained, she isn’t a virgin. And this state of affairs was not brought about by riding horses and bicycles, she added.

We parted on a dark road on Canvey Island, near the place where we’d met. I almost expected her to dissolve, fade into the island mists from which she seemed to have come! One last mad embrace, then I jumped into the car and hurried homewards.

Reached Stock 3 o’clock, bed 3:45 a.m. The trouble with me is that I can love too many people! I never feel the least insincere or disloyal. Of course, I ought to!


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