I find myself upstairs in a bar overlooking the concourse of Waterloo Station. I do not know why I write, nor what I will say, except that I feel the urge to. Maybe it is the wine or the heat or the medication or, most likely, all three. I am going home to Somerset for my mother's birthday tomorrow and have a wait until the train departs. I should, I think, be happy; birthdays are meant to be celebrated. Instead, I find myself anxious at going back, even for a short time, to home. I feel as I did when I went home after leaving LSE the first time. The situation is different, as I told my parents straightaway what I was doing and I am severely manic rather than severely depressed. Nevertheless, I feel as if I'm being recalled because I have done something wrong; because, in some way, I am weak. There are concrete mistakes I have made. I have overspent over the past few weeks. I try to justify things to myself, & am only half successful, by saying that impulse buys are a symptom of mania and that my father had not paid my allowance in. These are weak excuses.
It seems so long since I had those wonderful days of lucid thinking when I could look at any object and see in it a world of wonder. Truth be told, they were probably little more than crazed gibberings, but they seemed real at the time.
Part of me wants to allow myself an angry moment, to rage against them for stifling me, but the moment that voice comes to the fore I cringe and am almost in tears at the idea that I could lose my temper with people who are so unquestioningly kind to me.
Let me give you an example: tobacco. When I am in London, I smoke around a pack a day. My father knows I smoke, not least because he is from time to time in London and the smell of stale smoke is unmistakeable when I come home. My mother knows I smoke because she has emptied my coat, complete with tobacco and lighter, to wash it. When I am at home in Somerset, I would be in a much better mood if I could smoke, if I didn't have to have furtive smokes out of my bedroom window, fearful of someone coming in whilst I'm alight or smelling this indiscretion. The sensible thing to do, the rational thing to do, would be just to agree with my parents that everyone knows I smoke. I could even, by way of a mark of respect or somesuch, go outside to smoke.
I am so timorous, by thoughtpaths so mixed, that I cannot do this. Instead, I will keep stealing a cigarette from my window and keep cursing both the circumstance and my inability to do anything about it. I have just considered for the first time the possibility that my parents might object, so ridiculous is my thinking.
So I will go back to Somerset and spend a few days with my family, all the while awkward.


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