Saturday, December 4, 1982
When I got up last night I had vaguely planned on doing more work, but Barry’s friend Phil was around so inevitably I ended up doing nothing. Phil had some speed which we all chipped in to buy. We snorted it through a rolled up £10 note. I got a painful sensation in my nose at first, but then as it gradually seeped down through my nasal passages and into the throat I tasted a strong tang of lemon. Slowly I noticed the effects: a speeding up of the heart, a tingling in my arms and legs as though an electric current was passing through me, and an incredible intensification of awareness. I felt pretty good.
We all piled out to a disco in Taylor Hall. I sat at one side feeling alive, healthy and so good, glowing with confidence, as everyone else (especially Downstairs Ian) leaped frenetically about. Then back to Barry’s room for more. . . . As drugs go, at least this stuff seems to add something to awareness rather than making me feel drowsy and inactive as does smoking. But it’s addictive and apparently makes your teeth fall out.
Thus the night passed. Barry and an acquaintance who's a Christian got involved in a long discussion while we listened, keen yet quiet, and as the night wore on, so did the conversations: Phil and Barry had an incredible four or five hour dialogue on Marxism and the dialectic. I like Phil; he seems a really decent sort of person. Dawn broke, and Downstairs Ian, Pete and Gareth and I were embroiled in family heart-to-hearts in my room and across the way we could still hear Phil’s voice. We had fun measuring our pulses; mine reached 110, and I felt very aware of the strange, light, fluttering sensation of my beating heart. I dyed my pumps purple.
Gareth and I to abruptly decided to go to London with Penny. She was meeting her Mum and didn’t fancy going up there on her own, so at six we bade everyone else goodbye, and set off for the station. I felt quiet and weary and it was hard to stay awake on the train. We reached Waterloo at about noon.
London was packed. We ate at a café near the station before battling our way across the city to Oxford Circus and Carnaby Street, where we’d half-intended buying clothes; I saw some pretty good shirts and trousers, especially a vivid purple and blue two-tone shirt, but we really hated Carnaby St. which overflowed with people. Lots of mods around in their green parkas, identical short hair, Paul Weller two-tone shoes, etc., and occasional groups of skinheads too, who moved in packs through the crowds. It felt traumatic and really quite put us off the whole idea of buying clothes. I was reduced to frustrated dark, angry comments.
So we gave up clothes shopping as a bad job and went with Penny to meet her Mum at Fenwick's, a huge glittery store near Oxford and Bond Streets The crowds were incredible, a veritable sea of people choking the wide streets in an unthinking, numberless stream. Penny's Mum is an older version of Penny herself, and after drinking coffee we took a deep breath and launched ourselves back out into the mass, ending up at Covent Garden where I bought a coat and a couple of books to add to the four records I’d bought in Oxford Street. I spent over £30. It was an expensive trip.
We stopped at a nearby pub. The bald-headed, polo-necked ex-commando bouncer more or less threatened Gareth as we tried to get in and we felt conspicuous and out-of-place in this orange lit, plush, and wood-paneled bar full of well-mannered people. So we left to look at more books and headed back for a drunken sleep on the train.
It was nearly midnight when we reached Watermouth. I felt near to collapse and almost fell asleep in Barry’s room, in the kitchen, in Alex’s room, in the corridor. . . .