Thursday, December 24, 1981

A row of laughing faces . . .

Dad and Andrew dropped me off at the dentist’s on their way to pick Robert & Carol up and the foul drilling and scraping didn’t take long. I was home by ten.

Uncle Kenneth, Janet and her 6 month-old baby Michael came round for half-an-hour at eleven or so. Mum really goo-ed over the baby and it was a side to her I’ve never seen before: she seemed much younger all of a sudden. Janet gave him to me to hold I quickly passed him on, terrified of dropping him. At about half-one, Robert, Carol, Andrew, and Dad arrived with cats in tow and we spent the rest of the day in typical pre-Christmas joviality. During the afternoon, Dad, Andrew and Robert went out to Nunstead and bought about sixty pints of beer plus numerous bottles of spirits, etc.

When the phone rang at seven I was sat resignedly reading Harlan Ellison. I got ready feverishly and was at the bus stop in minutes, but half an hour later the bastard bus had still not turned up so in a fury I tore back up home and whined and cajoled a lift from Dad. I met Paul and John at the latter’s house and we got a lift into town.

Our first stop was at a fairly busy, sit-down pub-type place. I had a cider and wondered just what I thought I was doing there; it wasn't my scene at all. Next place was incredibly crowded and noisy and we barely had an inch to move so we didn’t stay long. Then on again to the next stop, Sir Busby’s, which was also incredibly crowded. We fought our way to the relative freedom and cooler air of a stairwell. Out on the streets crowds of laughing, shouting people wandered about; we hit the road again, the different venues blurring into an alcoholic kaleidoscope of screams, flashing lights, laughter, thudding rhythms. I think we went to six or seven places in all.

By this point I was enjoying myself and pretty well-drunk and I loudly greeted everyone as we passed them on the street. We went to a couple more places before we staggered our loud, hazy way on toward home. It was about eleven and most places were closing. Paul said that there were two discos in Farnshaw which stayed open ‘til two so off we went, walking up to Lockley where we caught a taxi. All I had left from a fiver was 90p.

The first place was in Farnshaw centre, but "no collar, no chance," and I felt myself getting angry and even argued noisily with the doorman. I thought we weren’t going to get in anywhere but the bouncers at Harvey's either missed me or didn't care and I was really glad we were actually in: only midnight, two more hours!! Crowds and tables, arms and bodies tangled in the darkness. I'm trying to remember here exactly how it went, but it’s all so confusing. I remember kissing two girls who were sitting on the steps near the DJ. It was like something out of a film. I even got a kiss off Liz Buckle. . . . Unbelievable!

By now I was hot, drunk, and drowsy so I staggered home by myself and crashed out downstairs, remembered scraps of the night's incidents spinning through my head–being told to “piss off” at the Cove, pissing in a sink, a row of laughing faces. . . .

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