Francis Bacon

April 1 1927.

April fools day! Dinky and his friend Francis came over for a visit which ended up lasting all night. Francis is a wild young lad indeed. His name is Francis Bacon! I christened him Piggy. He comes from some rich Sheffield steel family. His father was a captain in the Boer War. A right old grizzly bear it seems. We traded ‘horrid father’ stori es. I think Francis might have won with the story of how his father had him horse whipped by one of the servants because he found him dressing up in his mothers smalls!

He brought around two bottles of whisky that he had shoplifted. I’ve never been so drunk in all my life. I felt as if I could do anything.

Francis is a devote of Frederich Nietzche and had a crumpled copy of “Thus Spake Zarathustra” in his pocket.

At midnight we crept out and stole another poster from outside the cinema and shouted “God is Dead” as we ran back to my room giggling like naughty school boys and hoping Mrs Pankhurst wouldn’t come down and spank us.

Francis tried on some of my clothes and pranced about singing “If You Knew Suzie”. So I put on his shirt and trousers and sang “The Girl I left Behind”. Dinky was having a marvellous time because he loves Francis, but he was much more subdued than usual. I don’t know if it was because he likes to let Francis steal the show, or because he was jealous of Francis and me or because Francis is going to go to Berlin with some old friend of his father’s.

We talked and argued all night, keeping our voices down as well as we could so as not to wake Mrs Spankhurts.

Eventually Francis passed out dead drunk and I threw a blanket over him. Dinky kissed us both and went home. When I lay down I tried to read Nietzsche. He writes like a pompous naughty boy trying to rewrite the Bible. Well why not, I thought. The original isn’t very helpful.

I decided I should memorise a part of it so I could sound clever. I chose the lines “Many die too late, and some die too early. Die at the right time.” That sounds like good advice.

In the morning I was too sick to go to work. Francis and I went out for tea and crumpet and walked around Regents Park. We both do things with men for money so it was nice to have someone to share stories with. We had lunch with Dinky at The Heals Brothers store and both Dinks and I tried to dissuade Francis from leaving and going to Berlin. I’ll miss him. He’s awfully clever and wild. Just like me.


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