Iris and Her Friends
We sell Rare, out-of-print, uncommon, & used BOOKS, PRINTS, MAPS, DOCUMENTS, AND EPHEMERA. We do not sell ebooks, print on demand, or other reproduced materials. Each item you see here is individually described and imaged. We welcome further inquiries.
or no work to do. He was intensely loyal to the big concern he had been with since before the war, and he never breathed a word against his employers when he was passed over for promotion. I think in those more upright business days, the firm felt equally loyal—at any rate, they never got rid of him. He had gone to the war in 1914 and married my mother in the course of it; she had been engaged to an officer who was killed. He used to say that he would have liked to have stayed in the army, but
up in London, my mother and I, and I was due to return to the barracks the next day. I very much wanted to sail Toucan on the Round Pond in Kensington Gardens before I went back. My mother was doubtful, but she agreed. We had Toucan with us in a bag. It was a fine day, nice breeze. I was just bending down in my cap, tunic, and army boots to put her in the water when my mother gave a warning cry. An officer was just about to walk past us. We were supposed to salute officers. I left Toucan to her
almost worshipped, the loneliness of childhood, the immense pleasure one felt in being alone. But that, like our marriage, was being alone among invisible but watchful angels. This is the real thing. Iris can comfort me by her presence, but she cannot watch over me anymore. In memory and daydream, there is nothing but solitude. The friend I have come to depend on. Six Solitude. A friend I’m glad to say, although he could well have been an enemy. My awareness of solitude today brings back a
reassurance, while they are going on. Something in what’s left of Iris’s mind would know that her anxieties were not being paid full attention to; and they would increase. Alzheimer’s is implacable: It grows worse all the time, but insensibly. It is only by thinking back a few months, or looking in my diary, that I can register the changes. But as the condition grows worse, and its successive stages more difficult to cope with, compensations multiply. It is these compensations I think of as
premises, just off Trafalgar Square. Both, I knew, represented what life, real life, was about. In fact, these two things did not so much frighten me as produce a dire and settled kind of hopelessness in the pit of my stomach. How different they were from the evening game with Michael, when we pretended to stalk and shoot each other on the deserted links. The Germans never won at those times and there were no shadows in the long evening sunlight. The turf of the fairway smelt of thyme, and in