Sunday, 14 February 2016

The King of Vienna (Live Version)

This is a new version of an old story. See the original here. The video doesn't correspond exactly to words but it is me practising my story telling skills at an open mic night at Dempsey's in Cardiff. Click here for the original.

 I called her Vienna, because I pretended she meant nothing to me, but that hadn’t stopped me from writing a song about her and warbling it at the top of my voice in strangled, desperate tones anytime I could get a way with it. Okay, so I hadn’t written a song about her and I had never thought of calling her Vienna until now, but I had pretended she meant nothing to me, when really I was gaga about her. We were eighteen, I was the best looking boy in my year, captain of the school rugby team, dreaming of university and dreaming of Vienna.  I’d loved everything about her, the way she seemed to waltz when she walked, the way she made heads turn when she walked in the room, the way she made people laugh while keeping a straight face and the twinkle that had set up home in her eye.
I’d had to pretend she meant nothing to me because she was, in the words of another song, my best friend’s girlfriend. Only unlike that song I didn’t even have the consolation that she used to be mine and I knew she would never be.
Well not strictly true, she’d been mine in my imagination but even there it was a tempestuous love/ hate relationship. I suppose I’d been protecting myself from heartbreak even in my make believe world.
My best friend, Neville,  one of those annoying boys in school, not as clever as me, not as good at rugby, not as good looking as me but somehow he was the king of Vienna.
I’d had to watch as Neville kissed those tender lips and ran his fingers through her golden hair. I suffered as saw those eyes light up when he walked into the room. I began to hate him as much as I adored her. I was regularly daydreaming that he was run over by a bus and I would be the one to mop up Vienna’s tears. Come on, don’t look at me like that, we’ve all done it, haven’t we? I suppose I was just a jealous guy.
Anyway, one day on platform 7 while waiting for the Barry train, Neville and I were larking about just play fighting like teenagers do. The air was full of the smell of hops from the brewery opposite and two seagulls were fighting over an empty Wimpy carton. The Penarth train was just coming in when oh god, Neville slipped and fell. The train wasn’t going very fast but it wasn’t a fair contest. His head made a hell of a noise as it smashed against the train.
I was mortified, more heartbroken than Vienna. It was her that was mopping my tears not the other way around. She’d lost a teenage love affair that deep down she knew wouldn’t last through university.  I’d lost my lifelong best friend.
The next few days passed in a sea of sympathy. I was beginning to think that maybe, just maybe Vienna and I might get together after all this was over. But then came the funeral. What a nightmare! Poor Neville’s mother was wailing in the aisles. There was the sickening, heart breaking reality when the coffin slid away. And then when it was all over the police turned up, handcuffed me and took me away too.
“I haven’t done anything,” I protested, but it was no use.
To be fair they had me banged to rights.
Damn you CCTV! They showed me the video. What I thought had been a subtle little push, appeared on the grainy screen as an aggressive, malicious shove, proving that the death of the king of Vienna had been no accident.

1 comment: