Diana Quotes in I for Isobel
The idea of losing a job was so alarming to Isobel that she could not leave the subject. “But what are you going to do? You have to have a job. You have to eat!”
Diana considered that idea carefully, then shrugged. “I've got some money saved.”
“And when that's gone?”
She sounded quite belligerent. Interesting. Here was someone feeble enough to bring out the bully in Isobel.
“What do I care? I don't care about anything. I'm finished. I'm as good as dead.”
Isobel reflected. “You know, I think that's right. I mean, if you take life as change and development—and I think it must be, life must be always changing... if you had a life without change, it might be as good as death, I suppose... well, when you can't change, I suppose you are as good as dead.”
She was so interested in this idea that she forgot Diana and spoke with detachment, then was startled at the fury in Diana's eyes. True to form, she made a note: masochists prefer to devise their own sufferings.
Later, she thought wistfully of the vanished prospect of being Trevor's girlfriend, of belonging... Couldn't she have pretended? Would it have been enough, if she had done everything he wanted? That would have been no trouble; she would have been quite ready always to do what Trevor wanted. But she would have had to know what he did want. It would be like being a spy in a foreign country, having to pass for a native. She would be found out. The penalty for being found out appeared as Diana, walking and watching, obsessed with suffering. That moment when you found out they hated you and you did not know why—any deprivation was better than that.
“It was an accident, on his bike. I don't know much about it; he was badly hurt and he died this morning in hospital. Helen asked me to come and tell you.”
Absent-mindedly Diana pulled open the drawer of the bedside table, got out a hairbrush and began to brush her hair.
Shock. People do very funny things when they're shocked. But the feeling that was coming over Diana did not seem like shock. It was profound; she was thinking hard and breathing deeply. She dropped the hairbrush and steadied herself with one hand on the pillow.
This must be what they called being in travail. It was a private process; Isobel should go away and let her get on with it, but she did not know how to do that.
The feeling was appearing now: relief. Isobel was the prison governor who had brought her news of her reprieve. She said, “Can I get you something? Make you a cup of tea?'
What falsehood. I am thinking of what she ought to
Diana too thought Isobel had made a social error. “No, thank you. I'm quite all right.” She looked with surprise at the hairbrush and put it back in the drawer.
All right is no word for it. She's glad he's dead. She feels the way I felt when my mother died. He wasn't a human being to her, he was a thorn in her side, a stone in her shoe.