The Diary of E.B Lawrence, 1922-1923 (1/2)

December 12th, 1922

Father has returned earlier from the East again and I have no idea where he is staying. As usual, he didn’t bother to tell me about his arrival. I had to find out from another Professor for the sixth or seventh time now. I am starting to lose my mind over this. What is he hiding?

I’ve done everything possible down here. The society is starting to choke me with their bureaucracy and due process. No matter how hard I work, how much I study, it’s never enough. There is always someone who knows something about my father but they just can’t or won’t tell me. What makes it worse is that the public, although completely mislead, know more about my father than me.

I should be meeting him for lunch at our London house. I haven’t been there in years. The Blackadders practically live there by themselves now. I wonder if the old man is still there?

December 16th, 1922

He didn’t show. The great T. E. Lawrence; diplomat, adventurer, military man and scholar but a father, no. They say he was posted out there to provide aid on behalf of the King and support Arabia against Ottoman rule. Father was many things but he was no diplomat. oN the other hand, he was a great storyteller. Up to the point where he would get wrapped up in his own fiction to the point where he believed it with such conviction, it was the truth to him and anyone he spoke to. Sometimes even me and mother were written out of his fiction just to ‘help’ the situation. He wasn’t over there to fix anything.

How the hell do you blame a broken family on a long dead civilisation? Father was and still is, an obsessive man as well. I always took his neglect as a result of his passions of studies and foreign lands but I know better now. It was this place, the society. How many of those trinkets he brought home were actually his? Where did he get them from? No doubt somewhere in Arabia but where exactly and why? If he had been a milder man, more like myself, we might have had a good family. He wouldn’t have gone to Oxford, joined the society, carried out their orders and neglected his wife and son.

Of course, this is just folly. I know better than to try to change my father. He might as well have had a long dead Arabic woman as his mistress. I have enough trinkets and relics from there that it might as well be a home away from home for her.

I must stop getting so frustrated and I need to stop blaming the society and this place. Separate the fiction and research from the man. Let him take the blame as a father, not as a scholar or adventurer.