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THE SOUTHAMPTON HUNDREDS

9

Phil S. and some other friends from school come down for my birthday too. There is a photo of everyone in the student bar looking quite jolly together, but there is a tension in everyone’s eyes because there’s no kilter. My new friends are perfectly friendly, but my old friends feel, rightly or wrongly, that they are there on sufferance, and act accordingly. One new acquaintance, pale, bland, with an ethereal afro, provokes an old friend almost to violence just by existing, and though I understand, objectively, (he is annoying) I am embarrassed, and relieved when they have gone home.