At the weekend, we went to see my uncle, my late dad’s brother, and his wife. I was dreading this visit ever since my wife and my aunt arranged it between them; but when we got there, we had a great time. I’m like that when any sort of visit has been arranged. I’m on tenterhooks, and can’t relax until we’re coming away.
I don’t like my routine upset. I worry that somebody will say something which will upset my wife, and I won’t deal with it properly, which will cause tension between us. There have been people-especially my parents- who have said some stupid bloody things to her. Sometimes I didn’t hear them, but then at other times, I simply haven’t said anything because I hate causing a scene. My wife hates me at such times, and I hate myself. So the upshot is, I try to keep us from going out and meeting people.
I worry that the people we’re visiting won’t like me, or will discover something bad about me. We don’t invite people to our flat, on the whole. It’s small, cramped and smells of damp. And I don’t like people looking at my things and judging me.
My uncle and aunt are both conservatives, so I feared a political argument. But we gritted our teeth when they started talking about what made the British Empire so great, and somehow got through it. After all, since my mum and sister deserted me, they are my only real blood relatives.