Friday, June 24, 1983

Never far away

I had vivid dreams and superb sensations in my body overnight and when I woke up I felt really odd. Stu still sat in paralyzed silence in Gareth’s room, a bemused grin on his face, occasionally smiling self-consciously, and there he remained all day.

Shelley’s parents were around and they spent the morning and early afternoon helping Shelley and Penny ferry their stuff across to their new flat at 6, Jubilee Street, before they all went into Watermouth. I felt weird and miserable, an end of term mood clinging to everyone and everything.

I desperately tried to sort out my stuff but my room degenerated into a heap of boxes, rubbish and clothes, with books everywhere. It took me hours, and I felt ready to crumple and give up, but gradually managed to sort my stuff out into relevant heaps.

At seven I went up to the Town and Gown with Lindsey, Susie, Barry, Gareth, Mike and Shelley, but the blight of stilted awkwardness settled itself upon me and I could only manage dry and uninspired conversations. We ended up at the Cellar, Shelley carefree and laughy and looking forward I think to her summer in Watermouth. I had a few limp words with people, but the darkness and gloom was never far away.

Shelley began to talk to some flash blond bloke with ‘Phil’ sewn into the top pocket of his shirt and she was all smiles and breathless wide-eyed attention. I felt black and walked back to Wollstonecraft in a dark mood . . . Barry stumbled into my room pissed and collapsed onto the floor groaning, slurring that “Shelley has copped off with some bloke and disappeared,” but about ten minutes later she returned.

She was in a good humour. “You all expected me to spend the night in Rousseau Hall—I don’t know him well enough—his name’s Phil; he’s alright,” she told us,  before she vanished into her room with Lindsey and Susie.

I followed. They were eating chicken Shelley’s Mum had brought. I apologised and felt better. After all, what has it got to do with me?

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