Six in the morning, Floribunda noticed. There was some noise outside—yesterday, she had seen one of the bad lads riding a quad bike again—maybe the noise was that. Or—it was Monday morning—maybe this was an early start for someone in a car— maybe letting it rev over.
She wondered where she was—her mood was not exactly as it had been.
She was pretty much down, to say it was her good time of year—even the extra darkness was getting to her.
She had put Imprisoned1 aside—it had been getting on her nerves too much—you didn’t have to read the books—you could just read what Gigi said about them, reiterate that, and that would do.
Except that it wouldn’t.
This thing about literary criticism had always got to her, and got to her more and more towards the end of her time at the university—what was the point of it? Give a reading of something. Say why you agreed or disagreed with other readings—except that she never really did that—and that was why she got on the wrong side with the Castle—it was that they had demanded. To them, progress was made through that method. To Floribunda—it was a knockout-contest that approached no truth.
Oh, it was okay as a discipline—she could see that—but she didn’t want to partake. It turned out that it wasn’t exactly to her taste—which was why she was having trouble with Gigi now.
This was where she was—still working out all that—what went wrong with her and the Castle, or the Castle and her (she was okay—it was them—it wasn’t as though she had nothing to offer in place of what they’d wanted)—and, at the time, she had known what the trouble was—but she hadn’t been able to articulate it—and—at one time, she became ashamed of her use of that word (as being too posh) in relation to that, but it was the right one—and, you know how it is—if you can’t articulate something, it isn’t fully there. She knew what she meant by this, though she could see that it sounded contradictory—it was there, but seemed not to be.
And that was precisely where that whole thing linked in with her past—and why she was so much feeling down just lately—the past was impinging again. Maybe—just maybe—she was going through particularly painful stuff at the moment, and so she had chosen (maybe) this good time to begin looking at it—maybe she wouldn’t be strong enough at other times—yes, there was a mechanical noise out there of some sort—she’d never have kept on sleeping through that.
The past was there—her past was always there, in one way or another—
But she was telling it—she was telling it.
And now—she was getting over that a lot more—because she was remembering it and acknowledging it—but the reasons for not remembering it and acknowledging it—this was difficult for her to try to think—it was a two-edged sword—but then, of course, her past was a two-edged sword—
That thought was straining her—she’d go back to what she had been thinking (of course she would because that was it, as well)—
She felt pulled up—she felt as though she should be apologising or something—she was getting more and more into tangles.
But—she was gradually opening out, and she couldn’t expect to just—sail through it—but that was a phrase her mother would have used…
1 Imprisoned: A Study into Facets of Women’s Existence Through History: a Literary Disclosure, Second Edition, HH Gigi, Castle Press, London, 2010