Saturday, June 5, 1982

This hideous replica

Mum and Dad came home about one. They are both as brown as berries. Rob & Carol showed up unexpectedly at two as well, fresh from their week in the Lake District, and the house was filled with talk. Robert is crippled by blisters, his arms red raw. Entertaining tales of respective holidays continued all afternoon and everyone was in a good mood. I really wish I could have gone to Calverdale with Mum and Dad. I remember its ancient, almost medieval atmosphere as timeless and uncommercial.

Lee rang mid-afternoon, his voice full of accusation: “They’re saying you broke into Laxton’s parents drinks cabinet and drank half a bottle of QC and a bottle of Scotch. Is it true?” I hedged and fumbled, half-denying, but sinking already into inner recriminations: “It’s exaggerated” was all I could lamely manage in reply. Why do I always make the same stupid hypocritical mistakes? I don’t know what to say. Should I be ashamed?

When Peter and Tim called round in the evening it was even worse: “You were too pissed to remember anything. There's half a bottle of gin missing,” and so on. Why?

Lee rang again in the evening, sounding despairing, depressed and utterly sick. His Mum is constantly on his back over his lack of work and he tried to persuade me to flunk the ‘A’ levels with him. He wanted to go away (“like your hero”) and muttered something about Norfolk and looking round churchyards. “You’re just going to get paper grades and get institutionalised at Uni.” He's right but I can’t: I have too much at stake. I’ve gone too far to fuck it up now!

We arranged to meet in Moxthorpe and sat in a bus shelter and talked as lightning flickered and flashed across the moors. He seems so lonely and says he has no-one to turn to, can't talk with his Ma, his step-sisters too remote and unknown. His ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude was so unlike his normal self and he went on mysteriously about not knowing where he was and feeling like he's going insane when he's at Tesco. My advice about “sticking it out ‘till September” sounded contrived and corny. He looked very alone as he wandered slowly back through dark Moxthorpe streets.

I feel so angry with myself, as if somehow I'm to blame for what's happened. I am filled with a despairing rage at everyone. Sometimes everything is too much.

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