We were in the car, all packed and listening to the radio. I was very bored and decided that each record that came on I would give my husband my original memory of how I recall hearing that song in the year it was a hit…like this.
‘Sister Sledge/ He’s the Greatest Dancer’…me in a brown pair of cord dungarees (I was a bit lesbianish in my teenage dress-wear but NOT sexuality) I am wearing brown Kickers (big chunky shoes), my hair is in two side combs and I am very new to pub and disco world as I am only 18 years old. I am told by my mates to put £4 in for the kitty, I didn’t think you could buy a cat in a pub, turns out that’s the ‘cool’ name for clubbing together to buy drinks. I have drunk two vodka’s, my hair is sticking to me and now I don’t want anymore alcohol and ask for a refund on the £4 kitty cash. Turns out I cant get a refund, but I can now drink cola, this annoys me as I now know I am subsidising their alcohol…still I keep my mouth shut as these are Glasgow drunk woman I am dealing with who can fight like fuck.
‘Vogue Madonna’…I am wearing a white fitted shirt tucked into high waisted black pinstripe shorts held up with red braces and a huge thick bejewelled belt! I am wearing a big purple brooch pin at the top button of my shirt, black opaque tights and knee high riding boots (this is actually all back in style!). I am starving as I am living on 330 calories a day, my hair is huge and the lipstick is bright red and sexy. I thought I look fab, I saw pictures of me back then and I look like someone who got has on clothes that must never fall down, what with the belt and braces?
This game went on for ages until I came across a memory of when he was a huge cunt and made me cry, I saw myself holding my knees up to my chin, sitting in the back-shop of the bar we used to run, hearing Annie Lennox in the background, recalling how he had screamed into my face, trying to work out how to leave him and raise my daughter alone. It’s weird when those memories happen, you find them in your head like an odd sock you forgot you ever bought and wonder where the neighbour to it is… they pop up like a scary jack in the boxes, when you are looking for happy things, it explodes into your emotional viscera and throws hot fat on the happy feeling that you have managed to sustain, despite your brain telling you in a sneaky whisper that bad shit did happen.
So on that thought I went tell tale quiet…he knew. He looked at me quickly and his head went straight back to the road and he spoke faintly “Was that a bad thought, was I bad when that song played? Tell me good things please? Tell me how happy I made you when I sat at the wishing well in 1979 and asked you to marry me, tell me that was good please?”
I looked at the short grey hairs that flecked around his ears; I could see his soft brown eyes flicker as he steered safely along the dark rainy road. His knuckles gripped the steering wheel, I could tell you a story for every mark, every scar on those fingers, and how those fingers held my face, held our new born baby, how they grabbed me hard and hurt me, how they rolled heavy barrels, how they punched threatening men, how they once held a diamond for me and how they washed me slowly and gently, rinsing blood and sweat from my torn and used body after childbirth.
We arrived in Sheffield emotionally drained…fuck music does take it out of you eh?
The show went well, I was MC for Funny Women on tour and the gig was just great. The hotel was extremely odd… it was Travelodge, so say no more! The remote control on the TV did not work and when I asked the spotty blonde wearing the “My name is Kat, ask me for help” badge, if they had WI/FI internet connection, she looked at me as if I had spoken Elvish or Hobbiton, so I let it go.
I went to get a shower and was horrified to see that a huge electric fan was stuck on the tiled wall right beside the shower head and it was gaping open exposing naked wires… conveniently near enough to let water splash onto it…why? Here is the picture,