Sunday, January 9, 1983

Ball of confusion

Rowan, out of the picture to date, reasserted her presence in our thoughts again last night. From her room came the sounds of heavy objects being flung against the wall, of glass smashing and, above that and David Bowie, the shrill screams of female voices. Shelley contrived an excuse to get Rowan to come out, which she did, saying (oddly), “we’re having a ‘Lord of the Flies,’” a term she repeated, embellishing it with fluttering upraised arm movements. Then she crunched back through broken green glass into her den.

Later we got more glimpses of the weird goings on; Rowan was really going to town, along with a girl from downstairs and her blond friend Katie. Rowan's door opened for second giving us a glimpse of Katie's leaping figure: “Its great” she screamed, “we’re going mad, just letting everything go! When Barry mentioned a presence in this room I thought he was joking. I’m not so sure now. . . .” The screams and wails continued into the early hours before the three of them disappeared downstairs.

I was up all night in Stu’s room with he and Pete, thinking up names for a hypothetical band. Quite fun: The Delinquent Roundheads?—hysterics—but we finally settled on Trotsky’s Head Wound. I didn’t go to bed until seven this morning.

Now it's almost five p.m. and I feel angry in a way I haven’t for a long time. This stems directly from an argument I dropped in on in Yvonne’s room between Yvonne, Pete and Patrick (a friend of Barry’s who's been here since Barry got back on Wednesday with Carl). Patrick's about twenty, triangular-faced when smiling and, with his long greatcoat and blond hair, has a sort of Rupert Brooke innocence to him.

But I'm infuriated by the self-assured Marxist crap he was coming out with and the arrogant way he expressed it; the debate got heated and he got personal and offensive. I hated him for it. He subjected me to caustic, cynical, and arrogant insults about jazz (“it’s just a pose . . . I don’t even think you like it”), a more intense and cutting taste of what I’ve had from him all week. I seemed incapable of speaking up for myself: I was silent and dumb, as though numb-headed and impotent in the face of this self-proclaimed “intellectual superiority.”

Why can’t I express my beliefs? I've arrived at no clear cut conclusions about anything, only a vision of a “world on fire,” a confusion of ideas and beliefs about what is best, but no concrete vision of what 'best' means or how it might be achieved. While Patrick, Carl, and Barry surround themselves with RCP and IRA pamphlets legitimising violence, I wander aimlessly from idea to idea, “lost in a mist.” Carl's been plugging an upcoming RCP demo’ in Whincliffe to commemorate the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, but I can’t in all honesty say I want to go. But Lindsey is going, which almost persuades me.

I wonder if I'll be plagued by these doubts and insecurities all my life? Most of the time I ram them into the background but they’re always there, popping up mercilessly and nagging me to death. The political question bothers me a lot. I have a lot of little opinions on most subjects but I don’t have any all-encompassing philosophy to tie them all together. What’s my position? Anarchism? Buddhism? Nihilism? A bit of each maybe. . . .

I’m such a lazy slob! Carl says he reads a bit of Marx everyday. Should I be doing something similar? What do I believe in?

Ulysses to read for tomorrow (!).

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