• I Wanna Be Adored - Chapter 11 - 1991 - Lazy Sunday Afternoon

    “Lazy Sunday afternoon.
    I've got no mind to worry.
    Close my eyes and drift away.”

    The sun is proudly sitting in a clear blue spring sky. All the clouds are burnt away and nothing is getting in the way of the warmth bringing joy to the world. My weekend has been a good one. Yesterday mum and I went into town and she bought be a Rolling Stones songbook, a punk songbook and one that contained a load of 80’s indie songs. This contained Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, The Teardrop Explodes, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Aztec Camera etc. I don’t know all the songs but mum and I both think that dad has some of them in his vinyl collection so I should be able to find them.

    We went for a hot chocolate too and I asked mum to tell me what parties were like when she was my age. I think she was a bit shocked. It has been so long since I went to one. I am sure they are much different now. She told me that her and dad had met at a part in Hollingdean. She had gone with Auntie Caroline. Her parents wouldn’t let her go to parties so she had told them she was going to stay at Auntie Caroline’s house for the night. I can’t imagine mum doing naughty things and lying. She always told the truth. It was 1972, the sixties were over but the kids were trying to keep them going. Mum had arranged to meet a boy at the party, but it wasn’t dad. She said that her and Aunty Caroline spent hours getting ready and drinking little bottles of babycham they had stolen from Caroline’s parents. They had bought psychedelic minidresses that neither of their parents would have approved of. They put jeans over the skirt part of the dress and took a bag to stash them in. As I listened to mum I was trying to filter out the irrelevant information so I would have something to work with. I knew that it would be rude to ask her to skip bits. It is important to let people share when they are telling you something.

    So off mum and Aunty Caroline went. She said they were a little drunk and giggled all the way there. I asked her what the actual part was like. She told me that they had tried their best to make the house look psychedelic but a few rugs, throws and neck scarfs thrown about the palace couldn’t really disguise the fact that this was a suburban semi in one of Brighton’s new estates. Mum said that they didn’t care. This was a happening to them and nothing was going to stop them having a good time. People were drinking and dancing. Some people were also smoking marijuana. Neither her nor Caroline ever did, or so she says. Later in the night, some gatecrashers turned up on motorbikes and a fight broke out.

    Dad was apparently a friend of the boy she had arranged to meet. She said she ended up talking to dad much much more than the other guy. Something clicked she told me with a forced smile as I saw tears well up in her eyes. “Your dad had a way of making you feel like you were the only person in the world when he talked to you.” Eventually, the other guy left them to it. He realised that things were a no go with mum.

    When I got home I was still trying to work out which parts of this information were going to be useful. I flicked open my new songbooks and my books of lyrics and fiddled about on my guitar. I spent hours that afternoon playing my guitar, scribbling lyrics and chords, playing records, crossing our lyrics, singing and doing anything to avoid thinking about the situation occurring in a few weeks time. All I needed to do right now was to learn to write songs.

    **************************


    “Manny is out in the back garden love” Mrs Baker was always so kind to me, She always looked pleased to see me. Some people get really nervous when they are around me. I’ve never really worked out if they are just feeding off my nerves from being around people or if they are feeding it back to me. Maybe they are worried about me kicking off or melting down. It is often what I am worried about so this might be the case.

    In the garden, Manny is sitting in the sun wearing light blue baggy jeans and an oversized blue three buttoned t-shirt which I later notice hangs lower at the back with “The Charlatans” printed in clear yellow letters on the lower bit. On his feet are some blue Adidas Gazelles. I don’t really know much about fashion but I can see he is looking really cool. Especially with his bright red bass sitting on his knee. He is listening to Some friendly by the Charlatans and playing along to “then’.

    “Play the A open” I suggest, trying my best to smile.

    “Alien” he jumps up full of enthusiasm. “I’ve been worried about you man. I wasn’t sure you…. Well, it’s good to see you. How is it going?”

    “I’ve had a go at White Shirt” I smile as I sit down and take out my acoustic guitar. I think it’s mainly C and G. Just kind of groove the bass along with it”

    “Yeah, cool man” Manny sits down looking a bit uncomfortable. Like people do. I think about what I did but still don’t know why. He picks up his bass and we start to play our White Shirt groove together. We sing the first chorus together. Manny misses some words and some bits are off-key but we hit a good groove and it feels good.

    I call out “DCB” as we get to the chorus “then D, C, and E minor” as we finish the chorus Manny grabs a pen and I wonder why he can’t remember a few chords.

    As we sit and play through a few songs I feel more relaxed about the upcoming end of term. I wonder if I should talk to Manny about it and see if he can fill in some gaps about what might happen. Maybe if he knows he can help me through it if need be. Like dad would have.

    “.... I have written a song!” is what comes out of my mouth. “It’s called Murmuration.”

    Manny looks at me smiling, he leans forward and starts to jump a little in his seat.
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