The mind is the most cunning weapon we have against ourselves, and we never spend enough ttime to realise that we use it against ourselves constantly. Looking out over the bay last night, a part of me found the silence between M and I oppressive because, in this new circumstance, what had previously seemed companionable and grown-up silence, seemed strange in a time of what should be elation at freedom. What my mind was doing was telling me that because circumstance had changed, we should have changed. Such nonsense – a change in environment doesn’t change a relationship, doesn’t suddenly make it necessary to talk constantly, doesn’t mean that what was gentle and comforting before should no longer be so. This is why everyone should have therapy. I had this conversation with myself, my own therapist at last, before I finally fell asleep.
An admission – I am not using the Bluetooth keyboard I bought at great expense (not). It ended up seeming like a faff, and the speech marks and other punctuation were triple keystrokes which would have slowed me down even more. On a normal-sized keyboard I can do 2k words an hour when in full flight, and I do hate to be slowed down. By finally copying the children, I have come to be able to type quite quickly just using two thumbs, although accuracy is probably not that great (as yesterday’s post evinces if you proof-read it). No matter. The keyboard will come in handy in the future. On rainy holiday days, perhaps, although the weather forecast here is for unbroken fabulous hot weather until we have to leave.
The locals were out in force again last night. They come out, it seems, after midnight, when the tourists, exhausted from doing nothing, have retired to their air-conditioned rooms and start sleeping off their food and drink excesses. I wish I was a local, wish I could just assimilate the language in seconds. But that’s not how life, nor language acquisition, works.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 128
Martin keeps struggling. Aggie watches him, by now close to his death throes. She searches inside herself for that place of peace, that place of happiness where her desire not to kill is the strongest, the desire not to be like anyone else, the wish for peace. At first she can’t find it, and when Martin’s tongue starts lolling out of his mouth and his struggles become weaker, she feels the pleasure, the absolute and undisguisable pleasure, of killing something evil, of snuffing out a life that doesn’t deserve to be lived, a life full of lies and death and malevolence, and she breathes in the sweet scent of impending death while she keeps looking for that lost secret place. A light, a shiver, a sliver, a crossed code, a sudden connection, and she freezes, starts at the sight of a man so close to death he may not recover, burrows deep down within herself to follow rhe light and warmth, and finally lets go.
She stands back, arma trembling. ‘Sorry, sorry,’ she says to the unconscious still twitching body, to Robert, to Anna, to Zav, to Lilibet.
‘For what?’ Anna says. ‘He deserved it.’
‘No-one deserves death,’ Aggie says, close to tears for the first time in her life.
‘He’s not dead,’ Robert says. ‘Though, by God, and God forgive me, I wish he were.’
Martin’s chest rattles with renewed fresh breaths. His eyes are still closed, his tongue still out of his half-open mouth.
‘I … I couldn’t let him talk like that, not about mad … not about Cassandra,’ Aggie says.
Robert puts his arm around her. ‘You only just beat me to it.’ He takes a deep breath. ‘And I would have killed him.’
‘It’s the joy in it that scares me,’ she says. ‘I’ve never come that close, not ever.’
‘Unless that’s another fake implanted memory,’ Anna says.
Robert shakes his head. ‘That really wasn’t entirely necessary.’
Anna shrugs. ‘It’s all part of this.’
Aggie untangles herself from Robert, however calming his presence is to her, almost like the father she never had or can’t remember, or the memory of whom has been removed from her. ‘She’s right. But that doesn’t change how I am now, how I never want to kill, how guilty I feel.’
‘I wish I could be like you,’ Anna says. ‘I still feel like killing is better than fucking. An incredible high I can’t get anywhere else, not from anybody or anything.’
Zav looks disappointed, but knows better than to say anything.
‘Perhaps that’s your implanted and false memory,’ Aggie says.
‘Then why didn’t it go away when my control device stopped working, or when you took it out?
‘For the same reason my memories, false or not, are still with me although I haven’t even got a device,’ Aggie says.
Martin coughs, a raw hacking cough that makes them all jump. ‘You couldn’t do it, could you?’ His smile is a distorted thing, straight from hell. ‘I knew you weren’t strong enough.’