Thursday, January 20, 1983

In my area

What I'm about to write isn’t easy to relate: I’ve been putting it off all day. At the moment I'm barricaded in my room, afraid to show my face too readily to the outside world. I’m worried too in case I misrepresent what's happened.

It started as a routine Wednesday. I was still morose and dissatisfied: at teatime I went to collect a huge wad of photocopies I’m supposed to read, which depressed me even more. It seemed to emphasise how fed up I am with my course, and so I stamped back up the stairs in a mood and, at a total loss, went to bed at six.

I was only asleep a couple of hours and went to the coffee shop to meet Pete and new girlfriend Mo. We then went up to the Town & Gown. I sat down in the bar next to the two of them, glass in hand, and I just knew I was on my way again; as conversation raged around me I sat quietly, out of it. . . . Mo is sweet and quiet and very nice. Rowan’s friend Kathryn asked me why I didn’t come out with the usual 'How are you? Want a fag?' talk to which I gave my standard “I prefer to sit back silently” answer. I warmed to my theme with Pete and Mo, but honestly this was all probably just a defence mechanism because I’m no good at those usual things anyway.

I strode back to Wollstonecraft Hall feeling quite drunk, but not as pissed off as later events would suggest.

I can’t really remember what happened next. Somehow I was lying on my bed, Rowan standing over me, and I was sobbing like a fool while she tried to console me. I don’t know why I was in such a state. I told Rowan I needed to confide in someone . . . I don’t know what or why. . . and lay there shielding my face and choking on sobs while someone kept trying the locked door. Then I was out in the corridor and crying again in front of Lindsey, who brought me coffee and even tried (I see now) to jolly me out of it. What was wrong with me?

Today has felt very strange. I laid in bed this morning looking out the window and somehow feeling fragile. I got up at seven. I felt self conscious in the kitchen with everyone and when Shelley asked me why I was so upset last night I couldn’t even explain! A little delusion, I thought, that I played with myself to convince me I was going mad.

At teatime I bought a third of a gramme of speed from Jamie and went to Rowan's room and sat down to talk. I could feel the speed's effects—a quickening of the pulse, a strange almost jittery butterfly feeling in my gut, and I wondered aloud about Lindsey and how maybe she’s the real root of last night’s upset, but also something more, a terrible sense of pointlessness which has overtaken me and numbed me into absolute apathy. There's nothing I can think of that will satisfy or give me peace. Rowan says that the only time I seem to relax is when I’m drunk—shit, I’ve got no enthusiasm for this narrative, as my feelings are so difficult to pinpoint. How much is fact? How much is self indulgence?

It’s not easy to go on as if nothing’s happened after last night.

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