Saturday, July 16, 1983

Pink and white

Robert drove over in the morning and then, while he, Andrew and Dad walked to Moxthorpe to watch a cricket match, I went into Easterby.

I didn’t have any enthusiasm for going into town, but I thought I’d hate myself even more if I didn’t make the effort, so at four I finally got up off my backside and got the bus. I went to a second-hand bookshop, took my trousers to a dry cleaners to be altered, and bought 2 books, a William Blake anthology and a critical book on the 'Romantic Imagination.'

Jeremy rang not long after I got back and asked if I wanted to go out for a drink. I met him and Lee at twenty to nine, forty minutes late (quite good for me), and we went straight to the Four Pigeons, mainly because we’d never been there before.

It stands painfully alone, surrounded by grey '60s concrete and glass. We sat out on the grass but retired inside when it got chilly. Lee was his usual distant self, maybe a bit more noticeably uneasy, but we talked and laughed until Jeremy told me that last year Lee read my diary and knows about my infatuation with Claire.

I shrank blushing—embarrassing! “I know, I’m a cunt,” said Lee, laughing cheerfully. They continued to tease me with booze-ridden affability (“she was yours to have” etc, - oh God, don’t say things like that!), but I was to have my revenge.

Because we'd had quite a bit to drink, things deteriorated accordingly. Jeremy threw my jacket onto the roof of a shop on the corner of Queensgate where it hung above our heads while we blundered hysterically around for twenty minutes, Jeremy swaying astride my shoulders before he fell face-down onto the pavement as Lee tried to climb up on top of him.

I eventually retrieved my jacket with a long stick we found on a nearby building site. For want of somewhere better to go, we descended on Jasper’s and sat downstairs in the “wine lounge,” the name they’ve given to what is nothing more than a huge meat-market. White and pink are evidently this year’s colours, and the now familiar legions of girls in said outfits sat in silence with crossed legs, waiting. . . .

Lee and Jeremy squeezed in alongside one such girl in white skirt, white jacket, with blonde blowsy hair, and while Lee struck up a conversation with her, Jeremy and I drifted around, to the bog, or back and forth to the bar. Before we knew it, Lee and the girl were snogging, burying themselves in the soft upholstery of their seat! With a disbelieving laugh Jeremy and I left him to it, marveling at the ease with which Nature has her way with even the most wayward of her sons, who was all scorn and condemnation one minute, all entwined arms the next.

We went and climbed up onto the roof of the row of shops on William Street opposite Jasper’s and cased them up then headed back to the club and interrupted Lee to tell him our taxi was due. He and the girl in white parted without a word.

We teased him mercilessly on the ride back and he took it all in stride, with eyes closed, a mischievous smile across his face. We got to Jeremy’s as it was approaching three.

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