Diary Entries Collected from Miss A. Farrow, written while she was admitted. Original filed with patient notes.
Photocopy forwarded to DR G. Herne at his request.
The day we met it rained. It came down in sad, gushing torrents.
The slippery grass crushed under my foot. I could smell leaf mould, the spirit of the earth. I felt droplets of rain trickle down my chin and between my breasts like tears.
I saw him then.
My waist length flame hair served as a sodden cloak around my otherwise naked body.
He was caught in the half light like a startled animal. His skin was shock pale. His eyes were as green as an under-ripe plum.
From then on, I could not get him out of my head.
I awoke to a mushroom dampness. How could of I fallen asleep on the grass lawn in the heady purple drizzle?
The late spring warmth had ensnared its talons around my ankles like weeds pulling me to the ground.
They had given me the sleeping pill.
They had found me soon after the man had walked passed and I had fallen to the ground.
I knew it was the wrong thing to do even while I was doing it, but I needed to escape, to feel the fresh air, to look at the pale, honest face of the moon. To smile under the stars, to feel the rough of tree bark.
My room is dim, stuffy. Paint peels off the walls. It smells faintly of other bodies. It is sparse and bare and the whole prison-plainness of it made me want to scream.
I am not mad.
All it had to take was me walking in on father and our neighbour, the one that grew prize roses and whose face was as red as one. When I told my mother, I was professed as mad and now I’m here.
I remembered my father’s eyes, like two black bullets, staring, unfeeling as they took me away. I remember my mother’s pain-tightened lips, so tightened not one utter of protest could ever escape from her mouth.
I felt like a knife was turning in my heart with each breath.
I kept thinking about the man I saw. Suddenly I can’t stop, like a feverish obsession. He hadn’t uttered a word but I could conjure up his voice, as hauntingly heady as that evening.
I knew he was probably a visitor, and I longed to see him again.
I begin to wonder about his life.
I even wondered why he was so pale.
Soon, I wasn’t sure what was real and what I had created in my mind.
My head had no boundaries
I dreamt of my father. He was stood his back to me in a stiff grey suit. A third eye was growing out if his neck, and it was staring at me unblinkingly. I wanted to scream, but I had a big fat pill caught in my throat and was choking. I saw mother then, floating like an apparition in the garden. She was picking roses, the thorns tearing at her fingertips causing ruby-red globules of hot blood to poor from her. I wanted to scream at her to stop before she bled to death, but she dropped to the floor senseless, and the third eye seemed to smile.
Suddenly all I could see now was red roses, bugs crawling through the rotting petals, the thorns soaked in a dripping red blood that I seemed to be drowning in…
I felt as if I was in a cave of goblins, dark and putrid with strange ghosts haunting the corridors in ragged nighties chattering away to themselves.
I was not one of them, and every second I spent here, my blood became hot with anger, my bones aching with desire to be outside, to be with the man I saw…
Pills, questions, ceiling.
That’s how my life went for the next week.
I imagined what everyone else was doing in the world.
Marilyn Monroe is in her coffin. Father would be would be reading, out of the sun, with a gin and tonic. Mother would be silently pruning the garden.
Damian would be obsessing over Warhol’s latest creation. I remember the last time I saw him three weeks ago.
It had rained then too; the air smelt of damp woods, mud was splattered up my bare legs. I had been banned there and then from seeing him again, father called him a faggot.
The pop art scene had just exploded, and Damian and I had been doing our own, prints of flowers and coke bottles. Father had found them and claimed it to be ‘crass’ and ‘queer’ and the same night he’d burnt them.
He said Damian was a bad influence, turning me sinful, and ‘the son of a bitch can keep his grubby homo hands of my daughter.’
Today a woman had hanged herself.
I had seen her about before; she had dark ringlets and drooping, sage green eyes. Her skin had been the same colour as the walls, as if this place had gotten inside her the way maggots get in an apple.
I felt uneasy that death was creeping so close to me. I used to have an Aunt called Mavis and four years ago she went mad and died in the cowshed. I was twelve then and it was the first time I ever experienced death.
Mother started talking endlessly about heaven and sermons and baby Jesus. Father grumbled about the world being gripped by sin.
I came to my own conclusion and decided that God and heaven did not exi