OK. This is a limited edition type of thing for my friend Noll, who is the most lovely, fab and marv person alive and who waited for an hour for me in Charing Cross.
Best lounge singer voices on everybody
'Noll, this ones for you'How we lived then
It really weird the way people remember things. Lots of things fade even though they seemed important at the time. And some things you remember years afterwards even though at the time you were just doing what you did. I don't think I'm making very sense, but this is one of those memories that I don't remember remembering.
I can feel the sun hot on my face. I squint and look across and my friend. She's lying down, eyes closed, lips moving silently to whatever music is pumping through her earphones. I watch her lips for a few seconds, trying to decipher words in the movement. Paradise City, I thought, she was nodding in the right time too.
I remember exactly what we looked like that summer. Kind of dark punk. You know. Lots of eyeliner, and jeans that were basically falling apart and would have been rejected by Oxfam, let alone your average teenager.
So I'm staring at Linnet and thinking how maybe she should get her done permanent that red shade and thinking maybe I should get mine done permanent the black it was when she opens one eye and tells me the staring is making her dream about stalkers.
I grin. We grinned a lot in those days.
Adeline waved at me from the grass. God, she was sweet. She must have been nearly four because that was the summer we learnt to drive. Which is why we were in the park leaning on the black Harley that was my pride and joy, affectionately named Gary because it was supposedly my boyfriend substitute. My friends had some very odd issues with psychoanalysis.
I beckoned her over from where she had been playing. She toddled over adorably. There were quite a lot of years between the sisters, and we had watched her grow up, spoiling her like maiden aunts, then sending her back to Nettie who had to cope with her general hyperness. But I guess that's me all over. My own aunt doesn't trust me with her kids. I let him steer Gary ONE TIME and its been held against me forever.
Besides, like I told my aunt, he can steer a bicycle and not fall over, he can steer a Harley. I was on it too. He was ten for Christsakes! He's not stupid.
So I'm sitting there, back against the highly polished bike, Addy in my lap, eating chips and watching Nettie. She fallen asleep now and every time she breathed her hair fluttered around her face. It was very entertaining for Addy who was practically sick with laughing.
'Hey, kid' I said 'You wanna do our thing?'
She grinned at me. That child has some very promising evil qualities.
We leant Gary on his side, and Addy lay down next to it.
'Like this' She asked
I ran over to Nettie.
'Oh Christ, Nett wake up! Get up! Look!'
'What' She said drowsily 'Oh My God'
She had caught sight of Addy.
She sprinted over, face white, and knelt by the small form. I've got to hand it to her; Addy has some excellent instinctive timing for a four year old. She waited 'till Nettie was leaning right over her face then opened her eyes wide and yelled
Let me tell you we got some odd looks. Especially Nettie chasing me, carrying Addy and both of us screaming, 'take my life but spare the honour of my Harley'.
But she wasn't really mad. You have no idea how many times she has done that to me.
After that the whole memory becomes hazy, but this little fragment of our lives when they met and followed the same course for a few hours is frozen in my mind.
Maybe because we were happy, maybe because we young, maybe because we were free.
It doesn't really matter.
Whatever it was, it felt good.