(I’m moving house, so we’re trying to reduce, recycle and throw away as much as we can, and the pile of disks (as in floppy disks, kids, ask your grandparents), that housed my teenaged writings have been unearthed and thanks to a lend of a disk drive, I have been able to judge them readable or throw-away-able. Anyhoo, please find below one of my pieces (most of them have not made the grade, the best that most of them could hope for was to be saved and stripped and re-used like a terrible Frankenstein’s Monster of pubescent scribblings), from about twenty years ago. Please excuse the sixth form intent and undoubtedly dreadful English; this was two decades ago and having just re-read it, it shows. Please be compassionate, it obviously meant something to a much younger me. Love, Stevo)
In this town, the jury is always rigged, but the people know.
The bottle held nothing for him. It had red packaging, punctuated by white bubble outlines. It promised much at the fraction of a the price, but tasted as it costs, cheap. It wasn’t C**a C**a, or P****i, but it was Coke, and it would do.
Too bored to sleep, too broke to go out, too far away from his friends for comfort. He sat alone, bored. He looked outside, and saw the matt sky, once pink, but now grey, the drab streets, once full of poetic lower classness, but in the end, it was still the doldrums. He had come to feel the warmth of a town under pressure to give in to wrong, but what he found was a thousand hundred people shutting themselves off to cope alone. He looked around his poor flat. He saw posters covering up the rot, and wanted to rip them off the walls of the building, but didn’t really see the point.
you hear a council estate singing it’s heart out
Above him, a life ended as someone stopped wearing against the trudge, and the enemy took his oxygen as the gas in his oven filled his lungs and slowly took him away from the grey. At least he was free. He didn’t have to fight any more. But nobody fights any more. All thet do is keep their heads down, try not to do anything to big, to noticeable, they just shamble on. no-one even sings anymore.
burnt out guitar, dirty pubs and cracked up pavements.
The night Shone less dully than the day, but only just. The clouds covered up the moon, just as the covered up the stars, and any light in the sky. You need light to see by. So man had put in 20 foot tall points of light , so that you can see the rubbish on the floor, the cracks in the pavement, and more 20 foot tall points of council made liught. What you couldn’t see, was the sky, or anything above 20 feet. Council regulations prevented anyone living above 20 feet, you can’t see up there, you don’t need to, you have your rubbish, and your cracks, and your 20 foot tall points of council light. What more d’you need, nothing up there for you, young man.
The people in the town slept, not knowing, but being happier off, not knowing. They still had their dreams – most of them. Half a Mars Bar grew mouldy on the table, it festered, and at no point would it fulfill it’s destiny to be eaten, and give joy through the experience. It would hit the bin, and be placed on a large pile of rubbish somewhere. Some-one somewhere is hungry.
The night lost a no score draw with day, and slipped off to lengthen some elses shadows. The sun looked at the shadows, who let enough light in to remind people to return to the rot, but no more. just enough.
Then on the radio, a sound. Not a voice, but a sound. A sound of the screams of a thousand hundred people’s heart’s needing to get away. The noise of a backlash, a hope, against the rot, the lit end of your ciggerette, the smokey end of your joint, the slot in the juke box, the crakyl of vinyl, the breathless shouts in the swings, the toe-poke into the goal, for a consolation in a 7-1 drubbing.
The words were there, but the sound had a voice, a brighter day voice, a moss sandwhich scream, a sundae rant, a clearly defined message. He didn’t hear it, but the others did. the council houses turning amplifier for the sound the people, and again they sung. The people’s voices were unified and an entire race threw back a giant FUCK OFF to all the rot, Life is here, and worth fighting for. No more gas mark 7 for your head, for in your head is your only mouth, without the use of it then, you’ve lost. The entire grimy, sweaty, dirty, knackered, fighting, poor classes swaggered, the noise amplified through them, and told them to carry on, the nova, the boiled egg, the star, the sun and the ice-cream, weren’t specific, or general, the were you and your soul. Wherever you are, whatever you do, keep on fighting, give them hell, listen to the right ones, pay atention to whoever gets you through the day, and through the night. Who knows where the world is tilting to, who can stop it and who cares. The melting pot just keeps on melting, but only you and I can make a difference.
Our difference. the only difference. Our Champagne Supernova, Our Strawberry Fields. We can’t look back, it’s past, and it’s not their fault, not really, their souls aren’t wide enough to catch the whole noise. Ours is.
I can see the stars again.
Steven Lomas. Summer, 1997
Cheers PW, in the summer of ’95