Saturday, May 1, 1982

The imperfections of non-conformity

More fighting today in the Falklands: bombing raids on Port Stanley airstrip, British ships attacked, and a Mirage and Canberra shot down.

I caught the bus to Nunstead and met Lee at Tesco, where he works Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. I found him just as he was disposing of cardboard from the shelves, and he took me up to the canteen where we met Stephen Brown who we both knew at Lodgehill Middle. He’s a Trainee Manager but rushes around creating havoc, slitting bottles of washing up liquid and crashing the fork-lift truck. He hasn’t changed a bit. I'm going to apply for a part-time job there over the hols.

We stopped at an army surplus place, where Lee & I each bought a pair of Protective Crash Fire Fighter Mark 3A trousers for £4 and dropped in on Jeremy before we caught a bus into Farnshaw where I searched in vain for new trousers, cursing the time.

I met Lee again in Easterby at eight, and within minutes, Grant had arrived, looking “tasteless” (Lee) in army shirt and large gleaming white pumps. With his black suede pointed shoes, electric blue socks, firefighter trousers fastened at the ankle, and long grey overcoat, Lee looked like a real poser.

Off we set, three in search of a night of fun and music. The centre of town was alive (styles aplenty but similarity guaranteed) and we started with a drink at the Limelight where Lee got threatened by a fashionable young macho “If-you’re-looking-at-me-I’ll-knock-your-block-off” type. We then moved on to the Metro and Baron’s Wine Bar before deciding to amble along to Uptown, our main objective. It wasn’t open yet so we hung about in a dark alley until they let us in.

It took a while to fill up but when it did it was incredibly crowded with all the usual fashionable young things, beclad in baggy black outfits and pointed black shoes. Some of the lads seemed sexless; a vague campness clung to their gyrating ascetic figures. Lee fitted in perfectly and despite initial horror on seeing himself in the mirror (“I look like such a poser!”) he seemed to quite enjoy flinging himself about to Pigbag, Mouth, 23 Skidoo etc., Grant, with his out of time arm flapping was being laughed at discreetly by a few, but I admire him because he really couldn’t give a shit and probably knows more about music than all the done-up types put together (although he's modest: “I really wouldn’t like to say”). He stood out like a beacon among the Perfect Beings on the dance floor. I stayed put.

There’s always a certain self-defeating pointlessness about the whole thing. It's predictable really. My enjoyment is always on a precarious, short-term level and I end up basically feeling pissed off. The imperfections of non-conformity.

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