Friday, April 22, 1983
As soon as I got back from the library last night I met Lindsey and she asked me if I wanted to go to the fair. I couldn’t have refused if I’d wanted to, so, along with Mike and Graeme, we piled into Mike’s car and were soon on the sea front.
It was a superb evening. The sky was huge and clear, filled with stars and the moon and numerous beacons flashed on the coast and out to sea. We were supposed to meet Barry and Debdenshaw friend Doug in a pub on the sea front (82p for a pint!) so we sat out in front at a table to wait. They arrived soon enough, Russ showing up too and, later, Pete, Mo and her friend Lydia.
We’d seen the fair earlier, a conglomeration of spinning lights down on the sea front, so we set out, but no sooner had we got to where we should have been able to see it we found to our amazement that the lights were gone. There was just a blank promenade where they’d been. For a moment we were confused, idled and at a loss, until someone made a move for a pub.
While everyone settled themselves in The Shakespeare I rang Lee up from a call box. I left my decision vague about the Beuys lecture tomorrow. I got back to the pub and sat with Pete and entourage, Lindsey across the way sitting with Mike and Barry. She gave me a little smile. . . . Last orders . . . we all flooded out, split up, five of us going back in the car, the others getting the train.
The usual awful depressing arguments about Marxism ensued. Pete and I were trapped and speechless and got thoroughly destroyed by Barry and Doug. I tried to argue but found out I couldn’t: fatuous floundering. I don’t have any ‘philosophy’ or ‘scheme’ of my own with which to strangle the world and from which to argue. Pete was reduced to sullenly muttering inanities about “killing everyone.” Stu sat quietly mulling it over in his mind.
Barry and Doug retired to Barry’s room and Pete and I to mine, but we felt defeated and depressed. We had a game of table football downstairs before I hit the sack at two.
Why can Barry and his “socialist” friends so easily drop me dead in mid-thought? I complain that they are arrogant, but Doug says it's self-confidence, not arrogance: “We know we’re right and you’re wrong.” If what they are saying is true, then I feel almost frightened that it might be so simple and that I'm so wrong. Perhaps all this is simply the guilty outpourings of a bourgeois mind, and one day these pages will be held up as evidence of my misguided and petty aspirations.
I’m sick of doubting and of not knowing and of all these endless questions. I expect I’ll quietly forget about this problem because it’s one I can’t face. No doubt my whole life will be spent avoiding the uncomfortable uncertainty of this question instead of facing up to it.
At one point Alex stumbled in to the kitchen with a doped-up grin across his face, and I couldn’t help a sneaking regard for his seemingly carefree day-to-day existence, filled with escapism admittedly, but . . . he is and does, apparently without all this constant groping about in the dark, all this self-assessment.
What’s needed is a ‘revolution of the spirit’ (Blake’s “seeing of visions”?). There's something more which can’t be reduced to the dictates of Marxist economic and social theory: something more which is an inescapable part of being human and of being alive on earth.
I’ve spent all of today marooned in my room, trying not to wade in too deeply but feeling ‘Isolation’ creeping up on me. Barry and Doug have gone to Biko’s and I promised I’d join em 1½ hours ago. I haven’t done much work. Stu, Shawn and Gareth are having a jam in Stu’s room and Shelley, Rowan and Penny smoke dope in Shelley’s. I think Lindsey has gone down to the Cellar for the disco.
I might go out still, I don’t know. I can’t really say I’ve a great affinity with anyone here at the moment.