PAUL K LYONS
JOURNAL - 1981 - DECEMBER
Wednesday 2 December
To Raoul and Vonny: 'I woke up this morning with a bunch of chrysanthemums in my bed, but they weren't in season and had no colour so I sent them to my friends who were off to Miami with fish pie in their pockets, lucky blossoms.'
In 'The Red Lamp of Incest' Robin Fox looks at the evolution of man focussing on the question of incest. He collates Freud, Levi-Strauss, Max-Engels and Darwin, tracing very carefully the roots of each argument and finds that two diverse opinions are in fact equitable if looked at in context. For example, he marries Freud's view that incest is a result of physical separation during childhood, and Westermarch's view that normal development gives rise to positive aversion between relations etc. He also tries to show how older and higher ranking animals, among our chimp-like ancestors, excluded young males from females and how eventually the young males evolved to revolt against such authority. In one chapter, entitled 'The Monkey Puzzle', he suggests that those animals closest to humans did not make the break from forest to savannah and that, therefore, we must look to other species, more distant from us, in gain some insights. In the chapter entitled 'Sex in the Head', Fox suggests the mind evolved because of a system of equilibration and development of the causal memory over the phyletic memory. The latter, he says, is the store of species' memories, essential responses that are deep in the species' survival repertoire: sex, flight, fear etc. The causal memory, on the other hand, is the memory of contemporary and recent events that affect a creature's survival. Both types of memory touch base in the hippocampus; and, by the intervention of the amygdala, the newer memories control the older. Why am I so fascinated by all this?
Sunday 6 December
COINCIDENCE NO. 341339
At John Dowie's video session in the studio at Production Village I met up with Lisette an Australian friend of Jane's. Nigel was there too. They came for a nightcap and we talked about children. Lisette explained that she lived with a man called Iver who had six children, five in Australia and one in Cornwall. The following evening I dined with Raoul, Vonny and Rachel. Again we talked about children and I happened to mention Lisette and . . . and before I could finish Rachel had named Iver. Apparently, he is Richard's financial director's henchman. Richard has been having quite serious problems with the financial director, and Iver has been sent to do the man's dirty work against Richard. So that was a pretty weird connection.
COINCIDENCE NO. 341340
I hitched a lift back from Salisbury today with a man named Richard Chalice, a computer engineer and physiologist. I found out that he used to date Lynette Hamblin who, as it happens, I must speak with tomorrow. She is works in public relations at BP Chemicals.
Softly I crept into the gentle and ever-embracing arms of Salisbury. Almost immediately, she treats me as a lover even though we haven't seen each other for six months. She talks of coming to live in London next summer. How sweet we are together. She burdens me with complete trust and a powerful love. Would a weaker man yield to it? Would a stronger man see through it? I do fantasise about living with her, but I know it wouldn't work - I see too many parallels with my parents - maybe later. She says, if she became pregnant she would not have an abortion, nor would she tell me. She caught me grinding my teeth five times in bed last night.
Friday 11 December
This frozen weather has brought on extremes in my personality. Last night I was manic riding through the white treacherous night without care or trouble. I drink endless chunks of coffee and run madly to the end of the street to get a paper. Although I lie down, my heart pumps heavily as though I were walking up Helvellyn. The prospect of being alone at Christmas frightens me, the prospect of being alone this weekend frightens me. I'm a fucking jelly. The flat is a pigtip. The early snow, ice, frozen fog have caused havoc throughout the kingdom, as LBC insists on calling it. Roads are jammed in chaos, trains run infrequently and airports are closed. And it just keeps on snowing, white crystals on everything - a pleasure to see but murder to get around.
Sunday 13 December
So where am I this morning? Ensconced in the study with a paraffin heater thrusting out heat in a vain attempt to keep it warm. Most of the flat is a tip these days. I do not want to go to the kitchen area, it's such a mess. But what can I do? I can't shout and scream, and when I ask nicely nothing is done. In a way, though, I am pleased to see Peter happy and alive as a result of Linda's companionship. Funny, but I can't imagine either Peter or Gail being pleased at any happiness I might have, most probably because they wouldn't notice it.
Yes, Gail, now there's a story. We went partying last night, and met up with Pip, one of his girlfriends. I must confess I was immediately attracted to her - slim, dark appearance, and dressed in red and black, like a flag. We talked and talked for hours. When I asked Gail if he would drive me to another party, at the home of a colleague from my work, he said no; but Pip offered to take me. Gail was completely confused, but, in the end, decided to come too. I went in Pip's car, and we were definitely a little high on each other, if only because we'd both lived in NZ. Before arriving at Lynn's party I asked Pip and Gail to act mysterious. Pip did, and I'll not hear the last of it. Only Steve, Julia and Mike from work were there. We didn't stay long, but I was glad I went. Then I rode back with Pip, but Gail stayed with her, and I walked from Maida Vale. So now, this morning, I am interested in my behaviour, for surely I should have stayed with Pip. I didn't because Gail was behaving like I do when things don't go my way. I must have fuelled his criticism of me, that I always flirt with his girlfriends - Diane, Celi, Pip etc. Had I seduced Pip - or rather she me - it might have damaged my relationship with Gail irreparably.
Marielle rang - to Vienna I go
Maja wrote - to Yugo I might
Trouble in Poland. Martial law has been imposed. The military has taken over and all communications have been cut. News readers in uniform on television are telling the Poles that everything is under control and that they should go back to work. More than 1,500 Solidarity members are said to have been jailed. The organisation claimed it could call a general strike but it this was not effective. The West has warned Russia to keep out and vice versa, but the Poles themselves are calling for help from the West. And today shooting has been reported.
Last night ECN went for its Christmas dinner at some Italian restaurant near Parsons Green. It's not as if we haven't been out enough together, or that we don't see enough of each other. But this is the way of offices. The food was forgettable and conversation peaked when Tony described Glasgow as a town where an atomic bomb could be dropped - damage estimated at 3s 4d.
Bel left about 1:00 this afternoon. I fell asleep in front of the fire till 6:00, and now it is 9:00. I feel pretty sad now, lonely, yes lonely. Damn it, what do I want from life? I've just spent a weekend being loved by one woman. I wonder, perhaps she'll have my child one day. I should have a child.
Raoul and Vonny have returned from Miami. Last night, Vonny was busy decorating a Christmas tree, and Raoul was reading 'The Lancet'. I hear that Niema has been freed from her Oslo prison, much to the relief of all. It seems she had quite a bad time in solitary. Ann rang. I told her I was fucking furious and put the phone down. I rang Gail to get Pip's number but it took some getting. Rosina leaves tomorrow for Spain, perhaps not to come back. I could have gone to her house tonight for a final dinner, but chose solitude instead.
Barbara and Stewart married on Friday, and on Saturday they had a white blessing, with blessingmaids. Bel and I arrived late, but in time for the end of the service. Most of MORI was there, and many others I didn't recognise. Then to the Pinewood Studios for the reception. This was some fantasy of Stewart's I believe. It really was the full deal - champagne, supper buffet, disco, a video recording of the entire proceedings on show, spotlights on the wedding cake, and a host of guests taking photographs.
Last night, I went to a benefit party for the magazine 'Performance'. The entertainment was poor and bitty, despite pretensions, and the atmosphere was somewhat crude - but then it always is at the Musician's Collective. Stage heckling in the first half countered Neil Hornick's rather wordy monologue on the role of Performance. Unfortunately, this led to some unstaged heckling in the second half. Rob, in his DJ's white jacket, made a fool of himself by trying to shut the heckler up - and almost caused a fight.
Sunday 27 December
What do I dare tell myself this morning? The flat is silent, save for the rushing noise of the gas fire. Elizabeth, friend of Jan and Janice, arrived last night to stay, and has gone out walking to discover the city. I wonder what, if anything, will happen today. My body feels good, my mind is reasonably light. Sometimes I say to myself that what I'm doing in a moment is but practice for later on in life when everything will be sorted out - huh!
Sooz's friend and working partner, Clare, came to my Boxing Day super unspecial tea party, and stayed right through to late with her friend Diane. I saw something special in Clare, and imagined she could be a long-term friend. But it's probably just my fantasy. Sooz was much the same as always - I had to squeeze smiles out of her. Gail neither cooked nor cleaned, and none of his six friends brought anything, but ate and drank a lot. I did enjoy cooking though. I must have drunk a lot because I don't remember much of the day. Harvey was here too with Ahmel.
31 December 1981
It's a time of summing up, as if there is anything to add to the tale of woe already spun through these pages. Will I wear a bow-tie tonight? Will I get to Brighton? Good smells from Harvey's kitchen where Ahmel cooks with the skill of an artist. Red cabbage and orange pie.
Paul K Lyons
Copyright © PiKLe PuBLiSHiNG