Saturday, April 30, 1983

Marks on a page

After Susie and Lindsey left last night, Stu woke up from his evening long slumber at about ten (he’s totally out of sync), and he, Gareth and Graeme went to see three horror films at the Phoenix.

I was bored and so Pete easily persuaded me to take my acid. This we did and retired to the kitchen to cook food in increasingly good-natured anticipation, listening to a Beatles/Small Faces/early Pink Floyd tape that Pete blared out from a massive cassette player. As we laughed and talked and cooked we worked ourselves into quite a high-spirited frame of mind.

Finally we decided to go out to Westway Loop Bar where we felt hysterical and ridiculous, crumpling with laughter as we were submerged beneath a sea of identical science students, all dressed in trainers, ill-fitting trousers and sporty T-shirts. I’m sure people must’ve wondered what was wrong with us and I felt increasingly awkward and uncomfortable.

There were no other dramatic effects—no insect metamorphoses or hands blossoming from peoples’ faces etc. . . . Maybe LSD’s mystical and glamorous hype is unfounded or perhaps we expected too much, or perhaps we’d been sold crap acid, because all I felt was growing paranoia and intense awkwardness.

We left the bar and went to a disco in Taylor Hall, a terrible time that made us both sweat like dogs while I reclined in contrived nonchalance against a pool table. Lindsey and Susie showed up and we talked occasionally while Pete bopped to Joy Division and crowds seethed around us. I felt so paranoid and self-conscious that I had to leave a couple of times—I felt too tall, too conspicuous, too awkward in conversation.

The third time I left I sat in the toilet thinking, staring steadfastly at the finely patterned formica walls and door of the cubicle, waiting to see if there really was any LSD effect. I could see the walls moving, and I jumped up in a heat of excited amazement to find Pete, but he was talking to someone I didn’t know. On the way in I ran into Susie and Mike and his girlfriend—I awkwardly pulled a face and, according to Susie later, looked as if “something awful” had happened: I fumbled a comment and promptly turned tail and fled, bumping people out of the way, pursued by laughter.

I just couldn’t face that again, so I walked swiftly back to Wollstonecraft Hall and hung about outside until I saw Pete running back across the grass from the disco. I called out to him and told him what I thought I’d seen and we went back to the toilets to look but couldn’t see anything. Was it a trick of the eye? A trick of the mind?

We went back to Pete’s room: Mo was in bed. No embarrassment this time. We stared at the posters and the walls, at anything to see if we could notice any effects at all, trying to justify the effects we thought we’d felt, one moment dismissing them saying that if it really was acid there’d be no room for doubt, then the next agreeing that actually, yes, we did feel ‘different,’ that the whole evening had been strange. Mo was amused in her gentle, sweet, stuttering way. We sat out in the silent empty corridor amid flickering white walls and distant sounds.

We ran upstairs to collect a bottle of wine we’d been promised by Fabian, who was pissed off because the girl he’d been chatting up in W. Loop has just got back together again with her boyfriend. He went to the toilet and we heard him kicking the litter bin in frustration. Amusing conversations. I still felt out of things a little there, and we left after we’d consumed the home-made wine, finding ourselves in the common room, only Marco there playing pinball by himself.

Marco now smokes dope and hangs around with a group of people from Rousseua. He’s split with girlfriend and has been kicked out of home because he’s refused to go in the Army. He’s still got his irritating ways and delivers the same lines of conversation with bulging eyes and his slow and somehow insidiously good natured tones.

Then Gareth, Stu and Graeme returned. I didn’t get to bed until 7 a.m., Gareth and Stu engaged in a typically pedantic argument when I left.

The rest of today has been a blank. I got up at four and read for a while, had a bath and sat in my room where I write this. My descriptions fail and, quite honestly, no words can sufficiently capture my exact mood right now. It’s all too second-hand—marks on a page.

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