Saturday, November 14, 1981
Andrew woke me up by bringing me some tea. He seems OK, in better spirits than the last time I saw him. He's brought a friend, Steve, who's from London originally and seems quiet but confident.
At eleven the three of us drove into Easterby in the battered old Triumph Herald they’d come up in and while they went off to look round Easterby, I went to the library. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and got out books on contemporary US novelists (Kerouac was completely pissed upon, derided and mocked), on alternative communities in nineteenth-century England, and a book on Vladimir Mayakovsky. I then went over to Praxis and bought Kerouac's Desolation Angels.
I have a distinct memory, for no other reason than this, of standing in Thomas Street car park behind the library, waiting for Andrew and Steve to show up. All around me were half-derelict, litter-strewn buildings and streets and I stood and gazed out across the urban, industrial skyline beyond Debdenshaw Rd., punctuated with clean, lean tower blocks and jumbled grimy-black houses and factories, mixed with clinical new-but-still-seedy concrete plazas. This is where I live I thought, as I regarded the candid, naked city truth all around, and felt then a kind of pride in my upbringing, at where I'm from. I feel at home among all of this.
Steve wanted to go to the Three Kings up Felgate Rd to see the stripper there (he's into things like that apparently), and so they asked if I wanted to come with them. According to Dad, the Three Kings is well-known for its violence and vice but I said OK, regarding it as a new experience I could only benefit from. Inside, the pub' was bigger than I’d expected, a cacophony of flashing, spinning lights and jarring disco noise. An amateurish, Savile-style DJ introduced the records and as the time for the stripper approached, the floor in front of the tiny stage was increasingly clogged with men, all trying their best to look bored and uninterested.
Right on cue, ‘Sally’ emerged from her cubicle dressed as a schoolgirl, complete with mini-skirt. She had fat jelly-like thighs which shivered and wobbled as she flaunted them in front of us. Revolting. Gradually she disrobed, rubbing her school tie between her legs, and Steve sat back clearly enjoying himself and exchanging knowing looks with us. Finally, completely naked, Sally grabbed her clothes and disappeared to a smattering of low-key applause.
We got back at half-one and Andrew and Steve left soon after for a party in Whincliffe. After this, Dad ran me into Farnshaw to see a new book-shop, and that was it for my weekend. I did finally write a letter to the anarchist community centre in Royden and watched the Shuttle landing on TV.