Wednesday, June 23, 1982


More of the same. I ran across Junky, which I thought I’d lost months ago; there is nothing ‘romantic’ or attractive about the things in there. . . .

I left my overall for Tesco at Lee's so I stopped by his house to get it. He was in his bedroom filling in his diary and Jonasz Wiechec was there: when he saw me he rolled around on Lee's bed, pointing and cackling, his laughter mocking and puerile.

Lee and I visited our old middle school at Lodgehill which I hadn't seen since May 1978. It was a strange, sad and depressing experience. Nothing had changed at all, and the sights and smells sparked memory-recognition that drew me back across the years. Only the kids—and us—were different.

We visited Mr. Oldham, our old Art teacher. His hair and sideburns are white now. “Who’s this?’ he said on seeing me, obviously not remembering, then amazed at my height and changed-ness. I saw that our ten-minute ink sketches, the brass rubbings we did on a school trip to Felbrigg in Norfolk, and a planet-fall painting of mine were all still up on the walls, as if we’d just left them. He offered Lee £20 to paint him a picture, “with detail in it.” The current class, mainly Pakistani girls in sari bottoms, grey skirts and blue school jerseys, stared at us. “Yours was the best year . . . a lovely lot. . . .”

We cut through the cloakrooms, passing the tiny sinks, and I remembered that feeling of self-conscious anxiety standing in the dinner queue on the stairs. The main hall was so small, and in one of the classrooms around the perimeter we met 'young' Mr. Foyle, now bearded, who seemed awkward like he didn't know what to say. “Yes, nothing ever changes here.” It was like a time capsule with that familiar chemical smell and the rows of long brown desk tops probably still ploughed deep with our old graffiti. A toyland science room.

The dinner-ladies recognized us, saying “There’s them lads that used to come here” before we were finally moved off by a female games teacher because we were interfering with her lessons.

Our last stop was Mrs. Ryan down in the ‘terrapin’ in the yard, scene of Japs and Commandos battlegrounds and WWII Nazi massacres. . . . I was hot and blushing as I talked with her in front of the class about my American Studies course at Watermouth and her visit to Virginia two years ago.

On the way back I bought two Stan Kenton 78s at a Lodgehill Rd. antiques shop and caught the bus home. “Eager Beaver” has a loud crackle and hiss but it's good!

Tesco was boring and Jeremy rang late on.

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