Monday, 22 May 2017

There is a house

There is a house. It’s a terraced house. In a Victorian Street.

You can walk from it to a medium-to-small city. It takes about twelve minutes, depending whereabouts you want to go.

There are loads of venues in the city. You can walk around and hear music pretty much everywhere.

And we did. Sometimes we made the music happen.

Sometimes we made the booze happen.

Sometimes we even provided strawberry and champagne pie.

That was fun, and funny.

Our friends often played, or arranged, or promoted, or did sound, or lights, or radio.

Wherever we went, there would be someone we knew. I moved away, but I know this is still the case for my friends who stayed. They’re embedded there. It’s beautiful, really.

And lots, and lots, and lots, of fun.


Hundreds of nights. Too many to count. Round the house.

You could always go around there if you were bored. I’d spend more time there than at my own gaff, usually.

There’s an offy about four minutes’ walk. They sell eight cans for a fiver, which isn’t even that good of a deal really is it.

Still, we drank it. Sometimes we’d even afford whisky.

Sometimes we – that is to say, the gang, or crew, or melee of moiderers - ran out of booze entirely.

Sometimes we’d ring up the 24-hour booze delivery number.

It was written on a cricket bat.

By the time the booze arrived, of course, we’d all be asleep. It took fucking ages for those fuckers to get the van full enough to justify their antics. After you’ve been asleep for two hours and it’s 3am and a man comes knocking at the door with a crate of warm Heineken that cost you 30 quid it doesn’t seem like that great an idea. But you needed to pay them.

They weren’t quite the kind of people you’d not want to pay.

Other times we’d manage to stay awake. Then we’d wander around Toxteth at 6am fairly aimlessly, which is good for stories but not too wise really.

But we were brothers, of course, so we were invincible.

Blood brothers.

Some of the gang heated up forks on the stove and branded each other. Some of the brands were less corporeal entirely. I swerved the fork incident somehow. I kinda wish I hadn’t sometimes.

But who the fuck wants a fork brand on their arm at age 80?

By then I spose it doesn’t matter either though does it.


There were lots, and lots, and lots of silly things we did.

Then and now.

And maybe tomorrow too.

I’m going to the house. Maybe this week. I’m not sure when.

I’ll walk up there from the trains, more than likely. As I remember it’s about a 28-minute walk, depending which station I get off from.

I’ll walk down the path and go into the house, passing what used to be our office.

I’ll sit on the sofa, drink a cup of tea, water boiled in the same kettle as always.

I’ll look at the music books.

I’ll look at all the albums and hard drives full of music.

Maybe I’ll see that the washing-up needs doing, or that there’s a dirty pair of trousers on the floor.

Or that there’s half a loaf of bread.

Or a posh bottle of hot sauce in the cupboard, unopened yet.

I don't know for certain.

What I do know is this:

I’ll sit in the house, the Victorian terraced house, in the not-so-big city where I used to live and play and love and mess and work.

I will be surrounded by all the trinkets and possessions and magazines and books and music and cooking implements and clothes and shoes and tables and chairs and the big casserole pan used so many times for so many happy people.

It will all be the same; all his stuff.

You accumulate this shit over the years don’t you. It kind of comes to define your space. Maybe define you, too.

I dunno.

Maybe I’ll sit by the table where we all played poker, and drank until we didn't really care that Rob always won.

Maybe in the chair next to where me and my friend hammered everyone at Pictionary.

Or on the sofa where I’ve slept countless times.

(Sometimes on purpose.)

Everything will be the same; the house holds memories in its bricks.

But it will not be the same,
because my friend will not be there.

Of course, there are no answers to be had.

Many questions, of course. Too many, and too painful too.

But answers are a trickier proposition.

The Victorian street will not say anything, because it has seen everything there is to see a thousand thousand times before, and it knows not to pry.

It knows there’s nothing that can be done.

Nothing that can be really, truly said.

And that both of those things are OK.

It knows that time won’t heal, but that time will soften and fade the sharper barbs, that scar tissue may turn into a personal reminder of better times past.

That smiles will return.

They might be wonky; there might be extra lines on the faces.

But the smiles will return.

And the sun will still come up the next day.

And the local urchins will still hurl bottles at students’ heads before running away.

And the offy will still sell shitty lager to skint idiots.

And the world will turn again.

And again.

And again.

Sometimes all you can hope for is not to fall off isn’t it.

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