Saturday, January 22, 1983


I felt slightly uneasy last night around Rowan because of what she now knows about my inner torture and weaknesses. A big group of us headed to the train for our pub crawl and we had a long wait in the shelters on the platform at the University station. I was vividly aware of a hint of a look in Rowan’s eyes. . . .

In the first pub I felt very awkward and ill at ease. I’d taken the rest of my speed before setting out and although it was having its usual pounding heart and ‘nervous’ excited stomach effects, I think my tolerance must’ve crept up because my reactions weren't as marked.

Our group filled up the entire length of one wall of the pub. Shawn's face was flushed: he was on a speed binge he'd vowed in black humour after two 5s and a 4 on his exams. Meanwhile, at the other end of the row, Lindsey, Rowan, Penny and I sat in a little stilted semi-circle. Again I was all too painfully conscious of the long gaps in our conversation. I had to escape to the toilet a couple of times. We careened from pub to pub, and we lapsed gradually into drunkenness, the conversations free lowing now as alcohol loosened our tongues. We stayed longest in the last pub and I sat next to Lindsey and found it easy talking to her, even though our conversation was pretty mundane.

The riotous train journey coming back was great fun. Barry staggered up and down the carriage and I detected a wry smile or two from the other passengers at our huge drunken gaggle, arms round one other, shouting and talking. I ended up staying up all night, in the kitchen mainly, or downstairs in the common room playing pool and pinball or sitting in the foyer. For once my concerns were shoved aside.

I slept late. It's been an unremarkable day, reading Conrad’s Heart of Darkness for Monday.

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