Monday, December 13, 1982

Embrace the base

I went into school in the afternoon: it was really depressing. Sean Laxton and Gary Abbott were in the common room, the former irritating with his cynical brand of humour and his dry, low key condemnation, which wasn't aimed at me directly but still made me feel hemmed in all the same. Peter was there too, surrounded by a clique of crappy chums, coming out with the same old foul obscenities, bad jokes, and racist comments: “What’s the quim like down south?” etc. I can’t stand it. I made a comment about Harvey's being the “pit of the earth,” and Laxton, cuttingly, said the parties at Uni. must be better, as though to say “Huh, too good for us now,” which wasn’t what I meant at all. I just can’t stand them; in fact the whole school scene felt narrow and foul.

I retreated feeling humiliated and stupid. I walked home with Steve Bates, who’s just back from Debdenshaw U. himself. The day was brilliant, clean, cold and sunny. I’ve never really got on well with most of the people here and now, I find I just don’t fit in.

Dad’s “long, long thoughts” now stretch to 1230-plus pages, which isn’t bad going in just over a month. I worked out he’s written nearly a quarter of a million words, and between us we've written perhaps half-a-million.

I rang Barry and then Grant at six, the former to plan a visit to Debdenshaw on Monday dinnertime, the latter to go out for a drink (or two!) tomorrow night. I felt better after this. Grant sounded really pleased to hear from me; he’s been down to stay with Nik who’s at Art college in Camberwell and living in a haunted house.

Looking back on this term I see that socially and culturally I’ve made great strides. I’ve experimented and found that speed is the most creative drug I’ve yet experienced; that night we took it stands out like a beacon of contentment for me. Coming back to Easterby makes me realise how much I miss it all and how my place here isn’t a very good or happy one. I’m looking forward even more to my visit to Debdenshaw.

Thirty thousand women surrounded Greenham Common yesterday. Imagine that place now! Police dragged them away as they laid in front of buses carrying workers into the base.

I tried to read Ulysses before sleeping.

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