1

Mr Harold Shrink, the husband of the boarding house proprietress, told me that there was something to be said for walking on crutches since it meant I would never marry.

We were standing in the kitchen of his wife’s establishment in Imperial Street, Brunswick, and Mr Shrink had proffered the observation after reflecting for a moment on a remark made by his wife as she left the room:

‘You can’t afford to waste time talking,’ she said sharply.

It was a remark the implications of which extended far beyond the little world embraced by Mr Shrink’s talkativeness. It evoked a sharp awareness of his lack of money, the difficulties of getting boarders and a consideration of the landlord’s claim for higher rent. It also demanded, for the preservation of Mr Shrink’s confidence in himself, a quick removal of guilt and responsibility from his ineffectual shoulders to those of his wife.

The remark on marriage that Mr Shrink imagined explained his failures, depressed me since, at that moment, I was awaiting the arrival of a young man, a friend of mine, in whose company I intended visiting a café for the purpose of pirating girls.

Mr Shrink’s lack of faith in my future as a married man suggested such expeditions were futile and I found my enthusiasm departing before misgivings.

I sometimes had doubts about the conclusions I had drawn from my experiences but they were always transitory, since such doubts never rose from a development of my reasoning but were introduced like an irritant into my confidence by people with views similar to Mr Shrink’s. They were the

-1-

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In Mine Own Heart
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • 1 1
  • 2 17
  • 3 26
  • 4 35
  • 5 43
  • 6 51
  • 7 65
  • 8 71
  • 9 79
  • 10 91
  • 11 98
  • 12 106
  • 13 118
  • 14 128
  • 15 138
  • 16 150
  • 17 158
  • 18 162
  • 19 171
  • 20 178
  • 21 186
  • 22 202
  • 23 216
  • 24 230
  • 25 241
  • 26 250
  • 27 255
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