Thursday, May 20, 1982

Do your own thing

A depressing day. The dull overcast and humidity reflected my feelings.

I stayed in bed and went to school late. I wore my new tight pinstripe trousers, a green T-shirt and the green and brown checked waistcoat I got from Lee. This caused great interest and even disbelief at school. I had to go into Hirst's class to collect something from Deborah: Hirst was unable to get over my “outfit” and held me up like an exhibit, saying that what I wore reminded her of the late ’sixties vogue for completely tasteless clothing. Lee showed up in bleached and blotched brown trousers with elasticated ankles: he said I looked like an “outcast Pigbagger.”

I didn't stay at school long and when I got home I laid on my bed beset by confused thoughts, disliking the hassle I'd just gone through.

The situation in the South Atlantic is now grave. Diplomatic negotiations have broken down and the last glimmers of hope seem to have gone. It's now a war situation. After dark, I got embroiled in the usual post-News At Ten argument with Dad. There's a complete and total opposition between us in terms of our thinking. My voice rises querulously and monotonously, and his face assumes that typical and so familiar “upset hang-dog” look, exasperated and frustrated at his inability to express himself. He's so right-wing and really has become worse in the last year or two.

Mum sits to one side knitting, her face lined, her mouth sagging in despair. “It’s so boring . . . every night . . . ” etc. She gives Dad an occasional long and fathoming look, as if she’s mindful of all the things she told me yesterday (almost in tears, confessing her fears for the future, her fears that Dad will become more extreme and cantankerous as he ages).

I suddenly had a vision of them in years to come, Mum with the same resigned look, Dad with the same fanatical monologues, sighs, and polemics about “sickness in society,” homosexuals, “do your own thing” and on and on. . . . Mum will be the one to sit and suffer in martyr-silence while he rages on, yet her world will be so bound up with his that there'll be no other way, no possibility but to endure.

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