‘Strange Dream’ – Red Lorry Yellow Lorry
My day began at midnight, somewhere in the dark streets of Pontefract, where I was still having my ‘night’ out with Flash, Manda, Eddie and Norman.
When we all found a bench we decided we wanted to sit and chat on, I fell out with Norman because he kept messing me about by sitting where I wanted to sit. He was being ‘playful’, but he was also very intense with it. And I was drunk and all I wanted to do was sit bloody down. I also got the feeling he wanted to ‘get off’ with Manda. Which was even more complicated because…
Well, it seemed to me that Manda was trying to communicate her desire to me. And I’ll be honest, I find her very beautiful and desirable, but you only pull that stunt the once, if you get me? She kept touching my hand, and saying very suggestive things to me. She even tried to kiss me, and told me she wanted to see me. On my own. Okay, so the kiss almost happened. I almost responded, but then pulled away. But she persisted with the suggestions that we should get together alone. In all honesty, I chose not to encourage this and tried to busy myself with Eddie, which seems crazy in a way. I mean, if Flash and Manda weren’t an ‘item’, I certainly wouldn’t be busying myself with bloody Eddie!
‘Shout At The Sky’ – Red Lorry Yellow Lorry
Anyway. I don’t think Flash was clocking any of this stuff from Manda – she was very, very subtle – but somehow, god knows how, he began to get really irritable. I don’t know what sparked it off; it might have been the booze or an unresolved issue between the two of them, but he was really annoyed about something.
As Eddie and Norman (the Two Eddies) started to run around playing silly gays, I was sat on the bench with Flash and Manda. I was on her left and he was on her right. As far as I was aware, Flash and I hadn’t fallen out or said any bad words to each other, but Manda seemed to think we had. Maybe it was because he was ratty at her and I was ratty at Norman; maybe it was simply her sense guilt or nervousness, but she was suddenly saying, ‘Come on, you two. Kiss and make up.’
‘Why?’ asked Flash.
‘Have we fallen out?’ I asked him, confused, but nervous about Manda trying to get me on my own.
‘I know why,’ said Flash. ‘Because she fancies you,’ he mouthed, angrily.
I didn’t quite know what to say.
‘You’re being difficult,’ said Flash to Manda (or something like that). ‘And you know why,’ he provoked, throwing a glance at me.
Somehow, all three of us then stood. Flash looked really depressed, and suddenly we were all locked in a warm embrace: my left arm around Manda, my right arm around Flash; Flash’s right arm around Manda, his left around me; Manda’s right arm around me, her left arm around Flash.
I felt so momentarily defenceless, vulnerable. It was such a tender moment. I felt so weak and yet so strong. Like I had found love. But I did not love Flash and I did not love Manda; not in the ways I had loved them before. It was as if, to me, they were no longer individuals, they were one and the same. They were A SINGLE BEING, and that made the most sense in the world. Like they should always be together. I loved them equally in that moment.
‘Heaven On Earth’ – The Mission
And I felt so accommodated by their love. Like we were all friends together and it was meant to be like this. I felt good and I felt confused. Why confused? Because once I got past the drunkenness, I realised that I was, in fact, experiencing the greatest love I had ever had the power to feel and it was bursting from my soul and into the souls of Flash and Manda who were feeding their love back at me. It was an incredible feeling, golden yellow like the daffodils. I can’t truly express how beautiful my soul felt.
When the moment had gone, Flash and Manda walked towards her house. Bemused, I sat cross-legged on the street, toying with the daffodil Manda had given me and remembering my past with her and my past with Flash. As Flash and Amanda kissed each other goodnight, Eddie sat quietly opposite me, and Norman threw stones at a streetlight. I wasn’t happy about this, because I knew someone was watching from one of the windows in Manda’s house.
The sky was beautiful and the weather was beautifully warm.
When Manda’s father emerged, yelling at Norman for his behaviour and telling Manda to get in, I got very angry. I wasn’t angry with Mr Jones – he was very justified – but I was livid about the general sourness of the situation. It felt bad. Flash was paranoid about me and Norman was creating tension, and I really didn’t want to ruin Manda’s chances of coming to Europe with us in June.
Once Manda had gone in, we set off on the long walk home. Good old Eddie left us near the park (what a great kid he is) after which it became a quiet and tense journey. I was feeling drunkenly detached and anxious that I shouldn’t be too late back to QPD. Flash wasn’t helping though. In a familiar 28th Feb ’87 style he kept saying, ‘Are you quiet cos you feel guilty that you fancy Manda?’ and ‘Did you kiss her?’ This just made me feel paranoid about our friendship falling to bits. Nothing happened with manda, nor would I let it, but I wouldn’t be drawn on the subject because Flash was being so childish about it. A situation had arisen, I’d sidestepped it, and then we’d retrieved the evening by sharing what I had thought to be a very wonderful moment. But, no, Flash was accusing me of getting off with her all the way home, when it was clear to anyone who had been there that there was no time at all for anything like that to have happened. Even the flirting she had managed had only happened in the briefest set of instants.
I understood why he was doing it, though.
Sorry you had to suspect me, Flash.
We separated at The Rock pub or thereabouts.
It was still warm when I got in at 1.30am, when I arrived at QPD.
Thanks for waiting up, Gran.
So I got up late and had dinner with Granddad Winterfood, Grandma Winterfood and Great Grandma Sugden. Following this, I rang Flash.
‘Hand On Heart’ – Red Lorry Yellow Lorry
HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY, CHIP!
‘Heigh ho. So, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the pleasuredRome. Dr. Acula, here. Weel-eh! Ho-Ho-Ho! Arf!’ – Typical 1987 gay!
What have WE been doing? Well it was really good and involved a Q+C bottle, some Cheerfulness Daffodils and a mad German who was, in fact, the REAL Eddie Moses! SHOCK!!!
Now we’re watching Doctor Who: Terror Of The Zygons, which is brilliant.
Amanda Jones writes: My sister is like Aunt Sally, and I love her. Mrs Kirk has got hands like a Zygon’s, and I have got a crusty nostril. I think I caught it off my father.
Today it is Sunday and I am the only person in this room to have on jeans without holes in, but I have some at home. Three pairs, in fact, but I don’t ever wear them.
Yesterday evening was the first time I’d been up town in yonkers, except I only went in two public houses.
Did you know that when I was in Italy in 1980, I ate daffodils in batter.
In a year, I will be Australian. Scheisse!!!
‘Phantom’ – The Sisters Of Mercy
Tea … The Magic Finger … Shazam! Alacazam! … Amanda … Flash … Zygons … diaries … black jeans … holes … Gabriella Cocteau letters … Ashton Street … happy … happy … happy … NICE … guitars, please … tea … tea … Polos … brown eyes … guitars … guitars … guitars … guitars … guitars … guitars … foot-tapping … finger-tapping … The Magic Finger? ‘There are many Capt. Marvel’s’ … happy … scissors … happy … hair … happy … the hairy floor … happy … sideburns…
Flash writes: Ho-ha-ha-ha, this pen is better than the other one, so WARTZ! Ha-ha-ha-ha, up you, bam-bam bugger pooh wee sex drugs cack nobs pooh plop sex.
Hello, how are you? Happy … happy … nice … happy … Polos … happy … Manda… Ritcherd … happy … pens … Draklier … toilets … happy…
A DAFFODIL, GIVEN TO ME BY MANDA
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO CHIP, AGAIN!!!
‘Kooks’ – David Bowie
I was taken to Flash’s by Granddad. When I arrived, Norman was watching Doctor Who videos in Flash’s room. Gerry was out and Flash and Manda were in the lounge. We sat and talked about last night, listened to music, wrote diaries, watched TV and talked about Europe. As the weather was lovely and warm, the three of us decided to go for a pleasant walk. It was no surprise that Norman opted to stay behind. How sad!
We walked ‘round the empty town of Cas, and Flash and I recounted tales of past travel failures (e.g. two Norwich trips, etc). All the same, Manda is still really looking forward to Warope (Europe to you proles!). So am I. All Flash and I need to do now is convince her parents to let her come!
When we returned to Ashton Street, they went in for their tea, whilst I popped in to see my Dad and Annie. It was great to see them. I had a nice time and chatted with them for quite a while before returning to Flash’s for ½ hour to collect my gear and say farewell.
Norman took photos of us. He leaves on Wednesday.
It was hard to say goodbye to Flash. In spite of all the madness, it was as if we had found each other again and the sun was shining from our eyes. Obviously, to me, this was the best weekend of the year, so far. The camaraderie (and even the strained Anglo-German relations) will be missed.
MY DAD’S QUESTION: DOES NORMAN BASH HIS BISHOP?
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Next time: ‘Heaven on earth…’