Wednesday, February 23, 1983

Half-live at the witch trials

Lethargy yesterday, despite my 8.30 a.m. start. In the evening I watched a programme about William Burroughs, who's now 70, thin, corpse-faced, with an odd slit mouth that twitches at the corners. He read extracts from his novels and I saw previously unseen (by me) photos of Kerouac and Burroughs clowning about in the latter’s apartment.

His friends said he’d be the perfect prisoner for solitary confinement because of his self-sufficient ability to live on his own. Emily Dickinson totally isolated herself from the world in the family mansion in Amherst. Thoreau cut himself off in his shack at Walden Pond. Sometimes I wish I had the courage and character to cut myself off and live a self-contained life, but I’m too gregarious. No matter how much I try and kid myself, I need people too much.

Today Pete, Shelley and Penny and I went into Watermouth, intending to give blood. It was a fine spring-like day and there were lots of holidaymakers and kids on their half-term hols about. Although I was quite apprehensive as we approached the Watermouth Centre, fortunately for me Penny had made a mistake and no-one at the Centre knew anything about giving blood, so we went and had something to eat at McDonald’s instead.

Then Shelley and Penny went off on their own. I bought Live At The Witch Trials by The Fall and also a grey-green great coat for a fiver.

Everyone on campus is seemingly preoccupied with the occupation of the Humanities and Social Science buildings, which is part of a national 24-hour action by we students in opposition to the cuts. Quite a lot of Wollstonecraft people went down there but, for me, the whole issue would have been hypocritical. I never go to the Union General Meetings and really, in my soul, I cannot muster up any interest in the thing whatsoever. A selfish stance no doubt. . . . I went out for a drink instead.

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