I’ll miss you, I’ll miss our walks, trying to pretend we are in perfect step. Out of step now, sick on the floor, out of the room, fenced in, trapped. I can still hear the schoolchildren play outside at their usual 10:30. It always used to annoy me, as I was trying to sleep, but it doesn’t now. It seems alright. A replacement, a continuation. Their sound jangles around the room, it sounds so different from where I’ve been. A party, alone. Packed in with others, but never feeling so alone. People dance too close.
She was there, I had only gone because I hoped she would be. I had arrived early, as the the streetlights were coming on, so I took a long walk around the block, taking a few extra lefts and rights, past the Chicken Cottage and the Costcutter, then along a crescent that arced me out of my way, past a group of figures huddled under the entrance to the flats, shielding the flicking lighter from the wind.
Look, there’s the hardware store. It has a large cutout of a radiant man and woman in overalls, the woman handing the man a tin of paint, up his ladder, beaming. It has faded in the sun. I bought creosote from there, once.
Fuck me! What a night! Pure fuckin mental! It was messy! It was out of hand! It was out of space! I rapped on that track once, at Bagley’s, remember it?! Skibbadee handed me the mic, I got to shout “I’M GONNA SEND HIM TO OUTER SPACE TO FIIIND ANOTHER RACE!” Fuckin fantastic, those days…
The pills these days are shit, they don’t work. No love. I was chatting to this bloke in the kitchen, and he said something, I can’t remember what, but I had to push him over, crashed his arse on the coffee table, ash tinnies and CDs everywhere! Spilled the lines too, the fat fucker.
I can’t get you out of my head, your loving is all I think about, no I can’t get you out of my head, something something is all I think about. I can’t get this loop out of my head, no I think I’ll have to… I need to sit down. I can’t stop my leg jiggling, it wants to be somewhere else. I need to get out of here. I can hear sirens – can you hear them? Then again, they are always here, the background to day to day life here. When music is playing, and they come, they sometimes sync up. The New Cross Remix, I call it. I used to call it.
This isn’t how it advertised itself. It was fun, it was Technicolour, the music made me feel liquid, I melted into the company and was chief among them. I was in the kitchen, pouring pint after pint of water over myself, insisting to a stranger that “No, no… The drinks are on me!” I can’t remember what happened after that. Except her there. I had managed to talk to her, I was talking about an art gallery, I thought she’d be impressed, but her eyes kept dancing around the space behind me, smiles flickered on her lips as her eyes focussed on scenes I was oblivious to. I heard laughter. It was from my throat, but I didn’t feel it. I was just trying to breathe life into a long-dead persona.