The Scent of Formaldehyde

Monday, 11 October

Alex and I are arguing again. It is entirely my fault, I admit it. I just can't focus on our relationship at the moment. I am distracted by a number of things; the start of my postgraduate course, my work with Leonard, my physical and emotional attachments to Luke and the fact that I am finding myself increasingly disgusted by Alex. I find everything about him disgusting; the way he eats, the way he breathes, the way he laughs, absolutely everything. But if truth be told it's not just Alex, I feel disgusted by most people that I encounter now. They are slovenly, stupid and greedy and I honestly don’t know whether I will be able to tolerate their company for much longer. I could quite happily lock myself away and never speak to another living soul again.  All that I care about are my visits to Leonard, Luke's emails and the brief exchanges that Luke and I share together.

I had anticipated that Leonard would insist on taking a break when I started my postgraduate course, but instead he has suggested that I bring my research materials to our sessions so that I can continue to study while at the house. Combining the two activities will no doubt prove difficult, particularly since I am hiding the subject matter of my research from him, but I will try my hardest to make it work. Luke is being extremely protective of me and he asks how I am feeling every second of the day. He even walked me to my bus stop on Thursday afternoon! I must confess that I am enjoying being the focal point of his attention and the poem that he sent this morning is particularly affectionate too…

In Adamantine Chains

There was a battle and our sweet love was lost
To the sickening decay, the cold and the frost
Of a cruel lover’s heart and with fates above
We died with the dawn in the tomb of our love.

My soul was then tossed between heaven and hell,
I saw you on earth and to reach you I fell.
You cried to the heavens and swore to be free
‘No man shall have me, no man but he’.

There will never be church bells for you or I
For now you have torn out my heart and my eye.
Physicians tend to me, yet I pass them by,
I’d bleed for you gladly
And suffer
And die.

The poem is accompanied by a single photograph: The Red Portrait. I do not recognise anything of myself in this picture and it upsets me greatly to look at it, so I have asked Luke to stop sending copies of Leonard’s photographs to me.