So during that dreadful and life-changing year of 2012, Bink turned to cannabis to enable her to stay off prescribed medication.
I don’t know exactly when, and as (sadly) I haven’t spoken to her for over three weeks I can’t ask her.
So I can only tell you what she has told me before.
That she very, very nearly managed without. Another few months and she would have been all right.
That she only used the tiniest trace: five grams in total. She was extremely susceptible: one or two puffs made her high. She didn’t need more.
That she got it from a friend who did our gardening. (Don’t blame him, she said: someone else would have given it to me. Why would I bother? Pot has wrecked our relationship with him anyway: we looked after him for seven years, from the age of sixteen. He was arrested for driving under the influence and fined several hundred pounds. Which we lent him to keep him out of the courts... and never saw him again.)
That a number of people knew. Including, as I’ve already said, her psychiatrist and her therapist. And Gatsby, who seemed to think it was cool.
And that she is now as consumed by guilt as Grenfell Tower by the flames: utterly convinced it has stolen her life, her mind, her years.
So there is an explanation to what was happening to her personality. Twisting, and turning the knife. Particularly in me. Flashes of cruelty completely unBink, never seen before except when incarcerated in the Unit at sixteen and made to take drugs.
That Michaelmas Term she was indeed in a bad way. Alex knew, when he thought to give up his degree to care for her. Ben had some idea, wanting to call the police when Gatsby wouldn’t tell where she was.
And indeed, who else should be waiting to gather the shards of her shattering sun-catching image... I could have warned him: those who watch glass houses splinter shouldn’t try to catch the glass.
But I haven’t leisure to care too much what happened to him in all this.
Bink has a very dear, very wonderful friend she met at the same time as Gatsby, too modest to appear in this blog. He saved her life that term, she believes. That he gave his health for her.
I was too depressed to reach out of bed for a glass of water, she told me long afterwards. Sometimes for days at a time.
She was kept alive, not just by love of a friend. But by a miracle.
As a child and teenager Bink espoused her Christianity with the energy and passion she did everything. That same fervour and commitment which has now been worn out of her by merciless mental neuralgia.
She has prayed so many fruitless prayers – I would say, let down by God so often but my reader Alison will (rightly!) correct my doctrine – that she has no heart for much of anything any more.
I know better than to ask her about her soul while her mind is still so sick, but a few years ago, she said, You don’t need to worry.
There is something, she said.
That term she had at last given in, did a pact with the devil and agreed to kill herself if he would only end the pain.
She put the pills in her mouth. She was about to swallow. When she heard a voice.
And spat them out.
Some time after she told me this story, I made a reference to the One who said it.
Unbelievably, although she must have recognised the voice, she had failed to recognise His words.