Razor-wire Butterflies

Thursday, 1 April

I will meet Luke for the first time this afternoon and my nerves are already beginning to take hold. My impatience has interfered with every simple task that I have attempted this morning and I have lost my temper with Alex, with myself and even with inanimate objects in the kitchen while preparing Alex's lunch for work, which is highly out of character. Leonard has painted such a vivid impression of Luke, in my mind at least, that I am nervous about meeting him for fear that he will fail to live up to my expectations. And I have no doubt that Leonard has raised Luke’s expectations of me in the same way. I have caught glimpses of Luke through Leonard’s work, but when browsing through his sketches I feel like a medical student studying a cadaver; there are rough sketches of his hands, his bare feet, maybe an eye. I can identify Luke’s body from the prominent veins across his left foot but I would fail to recognise him in the street.

Alex has detected that I am nervous and he has enquired several times this morning about the cause of my agitation, but I cannot tell him the truth. He is already uncomfortable with the fact that I am spending a considerable amount of time with another man (even though I have assured him that Leonard is elderly and harmless) and his persistent questioning each time I return from a sitting has passed beyond a genuine interest in my day-to-day activities into potentially controlling behaviour: ‘What time did you leave? What did you talk about? What clothes did he ask you to wear?’. His aggressive hounding is causing arguments, particularly when he mocks my work with Leonard in the presence of our friends and trivialises my excitement about future projects. He even refused to meet Leonard when the invite was recently extended. My friendship with Leonard is an extremely sensitive subject at the moment and the presence of a young man at our sittings would certainly give Alex sufficient reason to bring my visits to Elmfield House to an abrupt end. 

One other thing is bothering me and I’m a little embarrassed to mention it, but here goes nothing. At times I feel like I am being watched. It’s not so noticeable when I am in public because I am surrounded by the curious eyes of strangers as expected, but several times when I have been sitting alone at home I have been seized by the uncomfortable feeling that there are eyes peering down at me like invisible security cameras in the high corners of the room and watching my every move. I realise that this sounds bizarre, but on occasion it has creeped me out to the point that I have turned on the TV or the radio to disguise the unsettling feeling that I am not alone in the room.

I set out for Elmfield House at 12:30….wish me luck!