My No.1: ‘Angel’ by Garden of Eden
We had, of course, arranged to get together, and so we did.
Tonight, I arrived at her huge house on North Brink, feeling so much fear, trepidation, worry… A rather high anxiety. I entered the garden, resplendent in its purple, flowering glory, and rang the bell at the front door.
She opened it.
There she stood.
Those pretty but morose eyes, and that beautiful face which belied, as it turned out, all the heartache and pain she had recently suffered. Her hair, now black and wiry, was tied back with a purple ribbon. And I really noticed her hands this time: lengthy nails, triangular, ebon, sharp.
There she stood.
In a black, silky shirt and a full-length purple skirt, from under which peeped her gorgeous little feet.
The atmosphere was charged with an electricity that was barely able to disguise itself beneath the façade of comfortable pleasantry; a kind of pleasantry that suggested neither of us was totally sure that we really had anything to say that might warm things up or set balls rolling before we literally just jumped into the stuff we wanted to get off our chests.
Through the huge hallway she took me, floating up the staircase to the landing above and then, for the first time in long years, letting me cross the threshold of her bedroom. Through the door. Me. Her. I, once her beloved and she mine. I had arrived. And having I arrived, I don’t think anything will ever be the same again, here in this Thursday of a false reality…
‘This One’ – Paul McCartney
I was a galaxy, a whole galaxy of discomfort as I took in her room: huge, yellow, haphazard. It was cluttered with records, stereo equipment, books, clothes, a kettle, tea-bags, mirrors, dolls, photographs of Mark Dalton, boxes full of nostalgia, Habitat wardrobes, plants, wine bottles, magazines, and several other oddities. At the centre of it all – totally un-co-ordinated with the rest of the room – was a big red bed. The sight of it – that there should even be a bed in there – came as a big surprise in all honesty. I mean, there was no ignoring it.
But being there felt good. I felt privileged, privileged enough to be there in the room of Beatrice Miranda Wasp. And pleasure couldn’t help but thrill its way through me.
I rummaged through her library – fiction by LAWRENCE, WHEATLEY, STOKER, MILNE, BLYTON, FLEMING, TOLKIEN and ADAMS, plus ‘non-fiction’ volumes on Witchcraft, Satanism, and Medicine – after which, I popped the question…
‘Shall I tell you my story first, or do you want to tell me yours?’
We told them together.
And the trial began…
Hmm. The ‘trial’ wasn’t the hellish kind. It was just so… unusual. So strange.
‘Chung Kuo’ – Vangelis
Sitting upon her yellow-cushioned windowsill, we both crossed our legs and spoke at length of our lives apart since the end of September last year. As we did, I drank four cans of Foster’s lager and she drank a bottle of white wine…
When we parted in September, she was angry with me. Eventually, though, she met up with this guy and they got going together. This is the bloke she eventually left for Legs, and in and out of all that hassle she finally got so fed up with her mother that she left home. She knew a guy who had a house and lived there (no strings, though). When she eventually broke up with Legs, she met a guy called Robbie, before returning home and repairing all the bits of her life that had been going wrong, but then she and Robbie came to blows and she packed college in to go to France with some kind of Green organisation who were part of a conference and she caused some havoc there. Mark returned from Portsmouth at Easter, so they decided to live together, but this was a stressful sort of domesticity and only a few days ago (about the 14th July or so), she finished with him and came back to her parents’ place.
We chatted very comfortably for hours, listening to Bill Nelson, Nephilim, Propaganda, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, The Art Of Noise, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Sisters Of Mercy, Vangelis, Pink Floyd, and Kate Bush.
She showed me her diaries from 1985 and letters she and Phoebe wrote but never sent (to me and Cheggers).
‘Do you want a cup of tea?’
‘Would you like a cup of tea?’
‘Why, are you having one?’
‘Well, do you – ‘
‘Yeah. Yes, go on then if you’re going to make one.’
‘Okay. Is it appropriate that we drink tea now, then?’
‘I don’t know. I just felt that it was time to drink tea.’
Is 11.30pm the time to drink tea? I don’t know. But her room is huge enough to have its own small ‘kitchen’ bit; her own kettle, a little fridge, tea caddy…
As it was, we drank a gorgeous cup of Rosehip tea, and found ourselves discussing The Lord of the Rings in great detail and for quite some time. I seem to remember covering: The Red Book of West March, Sam Gamgee as the main character (as opposed to Frodo), Galadriel’s ‘terrible’ side, our mutual dislike of Boromir, Denethor and Faramir (for reasons we couldn’t quite pinpoint), the splendour of the chapter ‘A Knife In The Dark’, our love of the Shire scenes, our fascination with Smeagol (Gollum), our boredom at over-descriptive battle scenes, our disappointment that the Mt Doom scene was too short, but our sheer pleasure that the story continues beyond the ‘conclusion’ with the return to the Shire and the brilliant appendices. That said, neither of us has read The Silmarillion, and probably couldn’t get too engrossed because Middle Earth history is so dense. It was a great and enthusiastic discussion, though. The fact that she’s read it twice and knows exactly what I’m going on about and understands exactly why I found it so enjoyable was thrilling. It was really nice and we were very drunkenly happy in each other’s company.
Then, she opened the red wine…
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Next time: ‘The night, together…’