[One summer’s afternoon in the late 1970s, myself and Paul _?_ took his mother’s dinghy out onto the bay. They lived in a small first floor flat just behind the harbour. The boat, a fibreglass tortoise shell shaped thing with a 50cc prop engine that could be clamped onto the stern, was kept in the garage beneath their home. We weren’t supposed to take it.]
Paul _?_, Jess C and I are out in Lyme Bay in his mother’s tortoise-shell shaped dinghy. The water is as clear, clearer, than it was in 197_. We are zig-zagging the millpond, just beyond the breakers and the holidaymakers. Jess C and I are laying in the bow, chins to the fibreglass, while Paul _?_ works the prop. I know that this is about the moment when, in 197_, the engine somehow became dislodged and fell off the stern and sank some twenty feet to the sandy bottom. I know, but I can’t stop it from happening. Except it doesn’t happen. A gigantic grey submarine suddenly rises up out of the water before us instead, blocking out the view of the beachfront. The size of the thing fills my belly with butterflies.
Late at night Cath S and I climb the gates at Purley station and sit on a dark train that waits at the platform. No trains are running. We decide it is better to sit on the train than in the rain. At some point a ticket inspector inexplicably comes along. He has a torch so that he doesn’t trip up. As he passes us he merely says, “dreadful weather.”
Mick A has come for a haircut. For some reason, possibly as a joke, he crawls around on the floor. It is painful to watch. A woman comes in and waits for a haircut. But he spends so long crawling over the floor that she begins to become annoyed at waiting. She huffs and puffs. I try to tell her that it is a joke of sorts. But, to be honest, I cannot see the funny side of it. Needless to say, neither does she.