He thinks he will leave. School life is unreal. All this is unreal. He has had enough. He can’t bear his colleagues. He can’t bear the boys any more either; en masse, he thinks, they’re horrible, like haddocks. He has to get out. He’ll live on his writing. His last book did well. He’ll write more. He’ll take a cottage in Scotland and spend his days fishing for salmon. Perhaps he’ll take the barmaid with him as his wife, the dark-eyed beauty he’s been courting for months, though he’s only in love with her emotionally, so far, and he hasn’t got anywhere, really, and those long hours sitting at the bar reduce him too often to hopeless drunkenness. He drinks too much. He has drunk too much, and he has been unhappy for a long time. But things are certain to change.
The notebook he writes in is grey. He’s stuck a photograph of one of his grass snakes on the cover, and written ETC above it in ink. The snake is suitable because this is his dream diary, though there are other things in it too: scraps of writing, lesson plans, line drawings of sphinxes and clawed dragons rampant, and the occasional stab at self-analysis:
1) Necessity of excelling in order to be loved.1
2) Failure to excel.
3) Why did I fail to excel? (Wrong attitude to what I was doing?)
An outsider with the breeding of an insider, sought rarefied air but resisted joining the ranks of the well-to-do... well to do …
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