Monday, April 4, 1983
More than that
Robert, Andrew, Dad and I went to Cardigan Park to see the clash between Athletic and Astlow Town, who are near the bottom. We'd at least expected a victory from Easterby and when we saw the ball glancing off Newlands’s brute head and bulleting into the net after just three minutes, we felt sure we were going to see three or four goals.
But as the game progressed and half-time came and went, Easterby started playing structure-less football and seemed to hang back pathetically, almost as if they were waiting for Astlow to score. And soon enough they did! Someone handled the ball in the area, and the referee threw out an avenging finger toward the spot. Ackroyd dived the right way but the penalty went in. 1-1.
And that was that. No more Athletic attempts to reclaim the lead. A handful of the Astlow fans kept making ape noises and gestures whenever Keith Scarborough touched the ball and I got so angry I felt as if I could’ve killed some of them.
When the whistle went we streamed out in despair. I was sickened. Robert tried to be philosophical about the match but I couldn’t throw off all my feelings just like that. I feel for the team when standing there watching a game; it can be heart-breaking seeing them go down, and sometimes when I hear a bad result it spoils my day. It’s stupid. . . .
Mum had a big dinner waiting for us.
In the afternoon Dad, Carol, Robert and I went to Dengates to get moss for the newts and frogs. It was blowy and bright, everything fresh and damp, but somehow I still felt a bit down—I just couldn’t shake off an air of “heaviness,” a claustrophobic feeling almost that had its roots in my reaction to Athletic’s performance but now was now more that. . . .
Robert said he felt the same and called it “sadness,” but over what I don’t know, and he wandered slowly along, hardly speaking. I do occasionally get these days when I feel leaden, like there’s an unenthusiastic atmosphere hanging around me. The only thing I can liken it to is that mood I used to get in on the Sundays before school at the end of a holiday.
As we walked back on the canal bank Robert told me he tried to tell Andrew about his meditations on death and felt that Andrew thought the whole thing was “a bit corny.” We paused awhile in the sun on the swing-bridge across the canal & Dad tried to catch some fish we could see huddled nervously in a shoal near the bottom. Robert said sometimes he feels as though he just wants to go off and live on his own, away from Carol even.
Robert & Carol left at teatime and shortly after Mum & Dad took Nanna P. back, giving me a lift up to Jeremy’s on the way. We went out for a drink at a couple of pubs in Kerforth, eventually relaxing into laughter and crude conversations.
I left his house at midnight and it took me an hour to walk home through Farnshaw & Moxthorpe. In Moxthorpe I was accosted by an ex-Egley friend of Steve Brown’s – I didn’t remember his name – who was pissed and kept insisting that I sleep at his house as I had such a long way to go home: “Yoew! Yer can kip at ahr ‘ouse”. . .
When I finally got back home everything was dark and quiet.