A crushing sadness
‘A bit. But it’s for the pictures really. There are always two or three English-speaking pictures.’
‘Andy won’t go except to the foreign-language ones. He got me to go a couple of times at the beginning – said it was a good way to pick up the language. He’s right, I suppose, but I couldn’t make anything of them. I got so bored I went to sleep.’
There had been a time, after the return to England and before he went away to an English school, when he had gone to the cinema three or four afternoons a week. There was a crushing sadness in thinking of going into that darkness, out of the sunshine; in the memory of plush seats, orange-skirted girls with torches directing him down the shadowy aisle, the electric organ playing selections from Astaire-Rogers musicals, the smell of twopenny bars of chocolate … With the prospect always of the return in the evening to the quiet rented house and the silent meal, his father speaking only to complain of the price of wine in England.