20 July 1983

Last year father attacked me as a ‘wet radish’. This caused me to give up writing diary entries. I resolved to write fiction instead. My lack of success caused me to want to choke Norman Tebbit and stab my father. Almost every word I have written since August last year is arbitrary. In May cancer was discovered in mother’s stomach. I feel I have let her down. She has told some of her friends that I write.



21 July

I shall be acclaimed as a great writer for ‘The Minister’. I no longer read a newspaper and listen to less radio news.



22 July

Kafka is guilty of circumlocution. Should I send the story to Encounter? Fear I have said everything in this one work.


23 July

The purpose of deconstruction is to make every thought collapse into its opposite. Proust’s maid misheard ‘York’ as ‘New York’. Mrs Edwards played the piano while I picked blackcurrants.



25 July

In ‘The Minister’ I explore my opposition to capital punishment and my desire to hang Norman Tebbit. I would not be sorry if he was assassinated. A man pointed a gun at me in a dream.



27 July

Mother is becoming weaker. She can only climb the stairs twice a day. There is a commode downstairs in the garage. She helps me prepare the dinner but is no longer able to strain the potatoes. I dropped my slice of ice-cream roll on the garage floor near the commode. I ate it quickly.



28 July

If the government wants to take responsibility for the improvement in productivity it must also take responsibility for the rise in unemployment which has caused it. A critic said TV has replaced works of art with programmes about artists. Oil companies employ scientists to prove that the lead in petrol does not damage the intelligence of children. Recently a famous actor was acquitted of putting his hands inside the costumes of young girls. He was cheered by his fans as he came out of court.



30 July

Shouted at my father over dinner. We argued about baked beans. David my brother was visited by his friend Stephen, who will start work in October. Father said to mother ‘They have all got jobs bar our two. The difference is that they look.’ I put the incorrect pillowcases on mother’s pillows. I took mum coffee in bed. She said it was all very well David telling her to take vitamin tablets, but she was getting weaker all the time. Mother thought she should go into hospital so she would stop being a burden on the rest of the family. I was about to tell her to remember to visualise the destruction of the cancer cells when she said meditation did not work. It had not reduced the pain in her back. She said ‘go away there’s a good boy’. I told her it was no use resuming the meditation unless she believed in it. David said carrot juice was just what mother needed. It would replace the vitamins drained from her body by chemotherapy. During the night mother received new strength and got up for breakfast. This was the first time for a week.


Days of Awe
Snow Job