Tuesday, February 15, 1983

No logo

Lee came down to Watermouth very late yesterday evening. He was here to see the Art College. When he arrived I was in a drunken state, having been up to Biko’s and cashed a cheque for a fiver which I then spent on whisky and cider. I'd followed Rowan over to Taylor Hall where she was going to buy dope and ended up asleep under the stairs, finally crashing out in our corridor, full-length on the floor.

When Lee arrived I'd been carried insensible to my bed and lay there snoring loudly. Although I was drunk I heard Lee's voice through the blur and was startled to discover him standing there. But I went back to sleep almost immediately.

We were up by eleven and set off into Watermouth and the Art College on Maynard Gardens. We wandered about town for a while, stopping at the hologram shop and then headed to the sea front, which impressed Lee. We stood for a while on a concrete breakwater, the sun intense in a pale sky turning the sea into a brilliant translucent green, hypnotic as it pulsed gently against the beach, raking the pebbles with the backwash and causing them to crackle and roar as they were dragged against one another. By the time we got back to the promenade we both had headaches from squinting into the sun.

We bought some food and fruit and I bought a 1918 edition of Rupert Brooke’s poems for Dad. The Art College was full of people in outrageous clothing and trendy hairstyles and we hung about vacantly for a while, Lee making half hearted attempts to seek out Wendy Kelly, a student from Easterby Art College. We got permission to wander around the studios which made me think: Art College offers so many more opportunities to actually spend time creatively and there’s an element of excitement. You are there on the cutting edge, so to speak, whereas with Literature it feels like a case of merely writing about things that have been explored much more thoroughly and by more knowledgeable people. It lacks the spontaneity of art. Right there and then I felt like dropping out and taking an art course. I do so little!

Lee seemed almost bored by everything, and on the way back to the University we nicked a mirror from the carriage of the train, a long one with the BR logo in the middle. We were in a panic unscrewing it as we were pulling into the station and I hid it inside my coat. It’s now screwed into my notice-board.

Back in Wollstonecraft we lounged about, Lee expressing his doubts about this existence: “Is this all you do with your time? How do you fill your days?” We went out for a disinterested drink at the Town & Gown and got back about 8.30. Lee went to sleep because he had to be up early next day to hitch all the way back, but I went out again to see Mean Streets in Hobbes Hall. I’m looking forward so much to seeing those paper-strewn, dustbinful fire hydrant streets of N.Y.!

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