Saturday, December 18, 1982

A kiss in the dreamhouse

Claire rang last night at about seven and came over shortly after. She hasn’t changed one bit, her hair slightly longer, but she’s just the same as ever. All the old uncertainties and doubts rose like a plague within me. . . .

She told me about her student teaching, which sounds pretty awful. “I’d hate to have to be a pupil there” she said. I told her about University, and she asked, “Is the drug scene big?” Me: “Oh yes, literally everyone does them. . . .” Then, when she asked me if I did them too, I fumbled an explanation.

And this led me into thinking about something I’ve mentioned countless times in these pages, namely the fact that Claire and I don’t really have much in common, even though we’re friends. She told me that she and “four or five others” go out frequently to eat, and with an impatient roll of the eyes, she recounted tales of friends who talk constantly of boyfriends, sex, or who get drunk and get off with lads. And then there's Watermouth, with me doing what I do: hardly a lot in common, is it?

I couldn’t help feeling that old old feeling of distance and remoteness and a desperate desire for contact and closeness. Yet I know too well my own impotence in the face of circumstance. Claire and I are physically and socially remote, but I continue to suffer a case of unrequited something when it comes to her; I don’t know what it is. I may just be tangled up in the whole idea of her, but I’ve felt this way for over two years now and nothing has ever come of it. And it never will.

Eventually, at about ten, she put her coat on and pulled a tiny piece of mistletoe from an envelope in her bag. “Here’s something for you, in case I don’t see you before you go back,” she said, and leaned in and gave me a big kiss on the mouth. I almost burst inside!

Later, much tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth, and today I’ve felt a bit down. I'm sure her visit has a lot to do with it.

Rob and Carol came for Atletic's match at eleven thirty, but it was postponed. Robert was depressed as a result. He’s reading Buddhist Mahayana texts at the moment and meditates regularly now; Mum and Dad said he did so by the canal side on their walk this afternoon.
Andrew arrived at about eleven fifteen tonight.

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