Wednesday, June 2, 1982

Plain truth

The telephone call from Lee came later this morning, and he showed up at half-eight. We didn’t do as much work as yesterday and lapsed more often into doodling and reading the Plain Truth mag’ Lee had brought. After another fish and chip dinner we did hardly anything except lounge around and mess about with the tortoise.

I was nervous. Set off for Tesco mid afternoon in dry searing furnace-heat; it was an uncomfortable journey but I got there early and hung about. Then a nice, young, suntanned woman showed me and another first-timer round the canteen, cloakrooms, prep rooms and warehouse before I was handed off to tall black Mr. Thomas who told me, “You work hard and we can see about being friends.” I heard Stephen Brown’s crazed jeer of anticipation from the dark recesses of the warehouse.

Nigel Muff showed me the ropes, teaching me how to pick stock and how to figure out how many boxes of, say, sweets were needed out on the floor, before taking me up to the flimsy steel-girder gantry floor in the warehouse where the sweets were kept. He also showed me how to “cardboard” on the shop-floor itself and how to operate palette trolleys. . . .

After 3½ hours we were told we could go home. Nigel gave me a lift back through wet twilight scenes of Farnshaw urban sprawl. I felt suddenly weary when I got home and fell asleep, only to be woken up at nine by Lee who’d come round to go to Sean Laxton’s party.

We bought some cider in Moxthorpe and were soon being ushered by Gary Abbott into the music babble and glass chink of the party. All the expected crapsters were there, and I stayed in the kitchen while the jeans and T-shirt brigade hung around laughing and joking. On the stairs, Carol Lancaster, Tina Margerison, Elaine B. and Karen were already woozy and semi-drunk. Lee sat glumly apart, apparently unimpressed by the ‘fun’ and loud laughter.

Spencer Haynes bared his arse and pubes to all and sundry and attempted to molest a reluctant Angela Watkinson. Over in the corner Abbott and Tracey were all over one another and someone joked about her having no knickers and she said, “I had them on when I got here!” Upstairs in the bedroom I blundered in on Lynn Norden and friend, her on top of him, hazy alcohol blur of bare flesh. . . . Darren Busfield kissed Tina and Elaine, who kissed Tim in turn and Sean L. snogged Karen. I rifled gin and QC from Sean's parents' cabinet.

Carol was celebrating her birthday outside, spattering vomit down the wall of the house by the kitchen door, surrounded by a comforting crowd of males. Then there was more midnight lunacy in the street and garden. Youknowwho staggered and stumbled around, making oafish comments. Why do I always fall into the same boring rut of stale repetition, the same frantic rounds of cider, lager, whatever's available? Why don't I have the willpower to just leave?

Pretty drunk as I swayed home.

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