12 June

12 June 1920

2 Portland Villas, Hampstead - London

I suppose doctor, my patients are fond of saying, for patients flatter their doctors you know, just as much as doctors flatter their patients - the reason why you always look so very stern in your car & never glance to the right or left is that you know so many people. I mean if once you began to recognise anybody it would be - a - a kind of royal procession from door to door. Too dreadfully boring!
I more than smile - I fling back my head, wrinkle my eyes & give my famous silent little laugh. Then I spring to my feet lightly, almost youthfully, incline towards the patient, take that confiding little hand in mine & say as I press it reassuringly "But it needs the most dreadful discipline you know -sometimes - goodbye!" And I am gone before the patient has done thinking "Then he did see me that day - after all that, I was right."
But the patient is wrong, of course. Not that it is a matter of any importance. But what really happens is - I emerge from the hotel, chateau, villa - whatever it is. The grey car is drawn up to the pavement edge & the figure of Giovanni leaps to attention on the instant. I cross rapidly, pause one moment, my foot on the step, & not looking at Giovanni but looking over his shoulder, give him the next address, & then leap in, light an Egyptian cigarette, thrust my hands into my pockets so as to be ready, at the very first movement, at the very first gliding motion of the car, to relax, to lean back, to give myself up, to let myself be carried, without a thought or a feeling or an emotion ...
But that star - that green star that shines so brightly! [KM Notebooks, undated]