Wednesday, 21 September 2016
For audio click here
It's funny how songs take you back; some take you back to a general time, some to a specific place. The song on the radio took me back a specific place; a rainy Wednesday morning January 1983. A wet break, we should have been in the classroom, but a group of us were huddled under the shelter at the top of the playground. We knew we’d be in trouble if old O’Leary the headteacher caught us, but we didn’t care. Water leaked through the creaking roof of the ramshackle structure and the wind whipped rain in in bursts. We’d have been better off inside, but you weren’t allowed to play music inside. Walrus had smuggled his tape player into school and was playing the songs that he’d taped off the charts on Sunday. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard The Cutter, but it was the first time that I recognised it. Echo and the Bunnymen, such a silly name, but the song was fab with its exotic intro and moody lyrics. I still love that song, but it was just the soundtrack to this particular memory. Walrus was being his usual self, loud and confident, seemingly so much older than the rest of us eleven-year-olds. We idolized him and him and feared him in equal measure.
“Hey Cariad look at this,” he said to Cariad Jenkins, pointing at the growth in his tracksuit bottoms. “Wanna touch it!”
Cariad blushed and turned away, I remember part of me thinking that she would quite like to touch it, but this was neither the time or the place.
Then it happened, out of the blue. Louise Evans, who I’d not even noticed had been standing next to me, slipped her hand into mine, her cold,wet fingers gently interlocking with mine. I could smell the mixture of fabric softener and rain from her jumper, but I didn’t look around. We just stood there holding hands watching Walrus pretend his penis was a baseball bat. Two days before I’d have had a right fit; a girl touching me, uuuuuuuuuur, disgusting with a capital GUST. But somehow today, today it felt just right.