Sunday, August 14, 1983

A fly buzzed

It’s approaching one a.m. and I’m sweating to death, with only the whine of the flies to keep me company. It’s too warm to sleep.

Today we had blazing cloudless weather for the second day running. Mum and Dad spent part of it watching cricket in Moxthorpe; they stayed out until eight thirty, enjoying what Mum described as a “perfect golden evening.” She says she’s worried that I don’t get enough fresh air. “You’ve hardly stirred since we came back from Calverdale,” she chides anxiously and she still thinks I could be unwell.

Not unwell, just a dullness and weariness brought about by day-after-day of unremitting—and quite self-inflicted—mental tedium. Trial by boredom. I “hardly stirred” from morning until night, watching the final day of the World Championships from Helsinki, between times pacing the house restlessly. Lethargy weighs me down as surely as if I was prisoner here. The one thing plays on the other; it’s a vicious circle and the more bored I become, the harder it is to muster motivation to escape.

I can count my friends here on one hand

Jeremy called in last night and stayed until well gone midnight. We were almost like two orphans, and spent a long and not particularly thrilling evening having a strange, ill-at-ease sort of conversation that touched on deeply paranoid subjects.

When I think of all the work I have to do my reaction is ‘What is the point?’ The academic drudge doesn’t ‘do’ anything for me and I doubt if all the effort in the world would really alter the feeling that all I’m doing is ploughing on and on through book after book, with nothing truly relevant to me as a person or the way I live my life. I wish I had the guts and assurance to just say “Fuck it” and jack it all in, strike out on some new path. But knowing me (as I do so horribly well) I’d end up vegetating on the dole, without even the cover of a degree course to give my existence some point.

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