I wake all night from dreams, delighted by these reprieves against the terrible morning. The waking must be to remind me: Don’t forget the children or you shall go mad. Children simply wander through the ordinary dreams. Sam then stirs, says nonsense and I argue back with him for fun. “That’s nonsense, Sam,” I tell him firmly. It isn’t Samuel but Sami Hassan. I’ve married him because he is Indian and quite wretched, a good boy, whereas I am rotten; though, of course, it isn’t true, none of that, I’m simply arch enough to snap, which is the reason for the dreams and they do their job, apparently, for if I’m not mad now, when should I be?
It’s black as night when I draw the thin curtain and so cold I want to die at once. Sometimes I’ve squeezed so tight to keep my warmth in at night that I wake aching in my joints. Twenty-three years old! Next, I must see Sam out of bed or he might stay in all morning and miss work. He promises every day I don’t need to see him put his feet on the floor but if I take him at his word he doesn’t get up till noon and we simply can’t afford for him to lose another job or we never shall leave this disgusting city. I set a cup of coffee on the night table and beg up right now.”