Monday, September 12, 1983


I’ve done nothing again today; I got up at eleven after planning to go have my hair cut first thing in the morning. I’m so lazy. Dad went out in the morning and again mid-afternoon leaving me half-heartedly flicking through books, still obsessed with what to do when I go back to Watermouth.

I alternate between periods of decision and good spirits, and uncertainty and gloom, often all within the space of a day. But I keep all of the latter feelings bottled up inside and don’t make any show of them to anyone else. I keep my own counsel and trundle on through my life scarcely revealing the inner traumas I go through every day. That’s why people are surprised to discover I’m not as calm and cheerful as I seem.

Tonight the Middle East is in the grip of crisis, with Syrian-backed Druze militiamen threatening to overrun the Lebanese army and sweep on to Beirut. All that stands between the rebel forces and Beirut are a few hundred UN troops and the possibility of massive American military involvement grows nearer. Off the coast, two thousand US Marines await the order to go ashore, and if they do, the Russians won’t be pleased, although Dad says they’ll not do anything.

Mum said grimly that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the world will end following an escalating crisis in the Middle East. And to all this add the already bad East-West relations because of the Korean Airliner massacre  (it was announced today that the Russians expelled a US diplomat from Moscow for spying), and things look bleak. Mum is worried. She sat through the news looking very tense.

Against this darkening backdrop, and just for an instant, all my wrangling over my course and life look insignificant. But tomorrow, as always, the global perspectives will recede with the daylight and mundane bustle of another fatuous day.

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