Sunday, June 20, 1982

Fantastic life

Dad gave me a lift on to Grant’s late morning. The weather was foul, rainy and grey. I ate with Grant's family, listening to the conversations as Charlie Parker bebopped away in the background. He got quite a good reception.

Grant and I left soon after to go up to the Print Biennale, but we didn’t stay long, just a cursory walk round and a coffee downstairs in the dingy cramped café where we met Lee. We felt bored.

We walked on Musgrove Road towards town, passing derelict and weed-strewn houses, and turned off on Pine Lane. The rain had stopped and it was quite warm now. We saw hordes of scruffy children, streets filled with rubble, slummy decaying fabric of new prison tower blocks, paint-peeling gutted shells of houses with gaping black windows and gardens full of old mattresses, newspapers, weeds, and bricks, a dirty jumble of grey factory walls, dull glitter of glass, skylights hazy, all negative and depressing . . . I was suddenly filled with a sense of the reality of everything.

What a lie that humans masquerade as the pinnacle of Earthly evolution. We're the only creatures in the world to create such awfulness and to take so much from everywhere and never put anything back, to build suffocating mile-after-mile of congested decay and black sterilised ruination. We don't live ‘in harmony’ with anything, not even ourselves. The whole lot's an enormous, choked up, dislocated mess. Humans are shooting and bombing one another one minute, performing surgery-heroics the next. It's such a waste of talent and time.

The new houses they build are row after row of rabbit hutches, boxes. . . . Rioters are condemned in sanctimonious tones yet if those same patronisers actually tried to live this ghetto-slum existence they might know what to expect. There's no knowledge of the truth. We live in a ‘democracy’ but so many millions live grinding foul lives and are ignored. . . .  But now I sound contrived, such a teenage-youth-revolution-idealist. . . .

Grant, Lee and I cut back down Sunderland Street and stopped to look round an ex-cinema that's now a Pakistani bargain clothing warehouse. We saw so many possibilities in the ridiculous battered distorted dummies without heads. Went back through Woodhead Park, sat by the lake and indulged in crude murder fantasy stories etc., etc., which had Grant laughing hysterically.

Lee said goodbye and Grant and I got back to No. 44 for more music and food. I felt vague optimism about the next three months.

All this crap! What does it mean? Do I really believe in it all?

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