H and Beloved had had a bad falling out over the Palestine/Israel situation. It threatened to ruin their friendship of 30 years. They forgave each other. He came to consolidate the friendship.
And yet, H was different. There was an edge to him. We had interesting chats all together; but it became clear that he was needling me whenever he could. He’d never done this before; little acidic asides. I decided to be quiet and get away as quickly as possible. This was not the H I knew and liked. He was cynical, acerbic, contemptuous.
We got onto the subject of marriage. I spoke in favour and he said, ‘Glad to see your Conservatism is alive and well.’ ‘I’m not Conservative or Labour. I’m apolitical. Just me. I don’t need labels.’ ‘ I meant your social conservatism.’ He sneered. How could I believe in marriage when everyone was getting divorced and fewer people were marrying than having babies out of wedlock? It meant nothing. ‘I’m not socially conservative. I’m just me. And if I am, then you’re socially irresponsible!’ I didn't mention H’s son from a casual fling. He has never taken any responsibility for him. The boy is pretty messed up.