Sunday, July 3, 1983

Really here in name only

A thoroughly lazy day. I spent it either listening to records, watching television, or looking at books. McEnroe pasted Lewis 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 in the Wimbledon final and then I saw John Lloyd become the first Brit since 1936 to win a Wimbledon title when he won in the mixed doubles.

Rob played a few of his hundred of records, most of which date from the early- to mid-‘70s, and he waxed nostalgic about the era he was my age (1973). A new brand of cynicism is abroad now and those laid-back easy days seem to have gone forever, but still live on in Rob’s records, on songs that sound woefully out of sync with the mood at large, especially among young people.

Some of his records make me nostalgic, and remind me of his student days at Valley Shore College and my visits there. One image in particular imprints itself on my memory: a figure sitting at a desk in a room that Rob wanted to show me because he said it was haunted; as we opened the door the light streamed in white and dazzling behind the person at the desk. I also remember sitting in the audience at a play or something, and in the seats in front of me was a man with a huge ugly football-like growth on the back of his neck, which showed through the strands of white hair draped over his collar.

In the afternoon Carol, having politely ignored the issue since I arrived, couldn’t help jeering at my accent, which is tinged now with a southern twang. “You sound very middle-class and well-cultured,” she said. Me!? Cultured and middle-class!? That’s horrible!

Just as my northern tones used to reveal themselves on the vowel sound ‘o,’ now these self-same vowel sounds betray a traitorous tongue.

I went to bed early after watching a TV play, Rhino, about a 14 year-old black truant called Angie. The portrayal of the apathy of the school staff and the pointless insistence on doing things which teach fuck-all of practical use in the world at large was all-too accurate and got us fired up and angry. The whole education system is rotten to the core.

Of course it takes a TV programme to spur me into indignation. I wish I could maintain this sense of urgency and anger all the time!

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