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WALLPAPER 3/9

We have been here two weeks. I am sitting by the window now, up in this atrocious nursery, and there is nothing to stop me from doing whatever I please. Charlotte still works and is away all day, and even some nights when her cases are serious. But I have nothing to do. Lots of free time but nothing to do.

I still feel a bit depressed, though Charlotte says it will pass.

Charlotte does not understand that I really hurt when I am depressed. She feels there is no reason to be depressed, and that satisfies her. She thinks I should just stop moping around. I wanted to be helpful around the house, hammering and sawing like other men do, yet here I am, a comparative burden. I suppose Charlotte never was nervous in her life. She laughs at my complaints about the wallpaper.

At first she did intend to have the room repapered, but afterwards she said that I was letting it get the better of me, and that it was bad to reinforce my negative fantasy. She said that after the wallpaper was changed it would be the heavy bed frame, and then the barred windows, and then that gate at the head of the stairs.

“You know the place is doing you good,” she said, “and really, honey, I don’t think we should renovate a house just for a three month’s rental.”

“Then I want to move downstairs,” I said, “there are better rooms downstairs.”

Then she took me in her arms and said I was being silly, and that she would have the room looked at by someone from town if it really bothered me.



She is right enough about the beds and windows and things. I don’t like any of it.

It is an airy and bright room, I should get used to it. It isn’t so bad, really. Only the wallpaper.

Out of one window I can see the yard, those mysterious deep shaded arbors, the flowers, and bushes and gnarly trees.

Out of another I get a calming view of the bay and a little private pier that belongs to the estate. There is a beautiful shaded lane that runs from the house. I always imagine I see people walking in these numerous paths and arbors, but Charlotte has cautioned me not to give way to my imagination. She says that with my imaginative power and habit of story-making, a nervous weakness like mine is sure to lead to all kinds of complications, and that I ought to use my will and good sense to focus on real things. So I try.

I think sometimes that if I were only well enough to work a little it would relieve the pressure of abundant ideas and rest me. But I find I get pretty tired when I try. The drugs make it hard. It is so discouraging not to have any companionship. When I get really well, Charlotte says we will ask my cousin and his wife down for a visit; but she says she would as soon put fireworks in my pillowcase as to let those energetic people around now.

I wish I could get well faster.


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