Saturday, 7 January 2012
Day 7 – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Messages
By 1980 I had my own music centre. My dad had moved along with the ever advancing progress of technology and splashed out on a brand new music machine.
I inherited his old one but I had to share it with my two sisters. This was bad news.
The good news was that being the eldest child and almost 18 years old, I was allowed to keep it in my bedroom. Sadly, this meant that most of time when I returned home after school or hanging around with friends, I found one or both of my sisters camped out in my bedroom listening to their dreadful nonsense.
Thankfully I was able to take advantage of the times when they weren’t in and hide in my room with the volume turned up loudly playing great songs like Messages, which sounded magnificent.
Also, at around this time, I managed to acquire my first serious girlfriend.
I’m not sure how, to be honest – this is the story of my life really.
I’m one of those people who simply cannot understand women and cannot spot when a woman actually fancies me or really likes me. When I have tried to get a girlfriend in the past, I have poured my heart out them, declared my undying love for them, only to be shot down in flames.
My friend S was a girl magnet. He was my best friend and he always seemed to have a girlfriend. I never understood why. Perhaps it was because he was cool and trendy, had a car and was (so I’m told) very good looking.
I was small, scruffy and looked like a warthog wearing a wig. My hair was long – very long – and also very bushy.
I was a lot more intelligent than S – he left school at sixteen and got a job with his dad who was a builder. He had money and a clapped out old Ford Capri while I was at school with nothing but my books.
I envied him. I wanted to be him.
I also used to chat up women for him. I had no fear as long as I wasn’t doing it for myself. Why did I do it? Because S was very shy and I wasn’t as long as I was doing it for him.
Once, on one of the rare times he was between girlfriends, we were driving along and he spotted a girl who lived at the top of my road, somebody he had fancied for a while. She was divinely gorgeous. He was too scared to stop his car and talk to her. So I wound down the window and shouted,
I had nothing to lose.
Two days after that I passed her in the street, without S, and she recognised the baboon who had screamed out of the car. I knew S was besotted with her so I said to her, “Would you fancy going out on a date with my mate? “
“Do you mean you or your mate?” she asked.
“My mate,” I confirmed. I wonder what would have happened had I said “ME!!!”
I reckon she would have said “NOOO!!!” and run off screaming.
Instead she said “Yes,” when she knew I was talking about S.
She’d only seen him a couple of times. I arranged a time and a place for them and, of course, S swept her off her feet.
There were times when I hated him.
I was still working in the newsagents at this time because I needed cash, but I had graduated to helping out in the shop, stock-taking etc..
One girl, who also worked there, a sixteen year old who I shall call C, took a real shine to me and hung around with me all the time. I treated her as a mate and had no idea that she was utterly infatuated with me.
Everybody else saw it apart from me.
And then one day, we were sitting down in the back of the shop when something inside her must have snapped. We were talking and she said
“Just shut up!”
I was astounded and said “Why, what have I …”
She grabbed me and gave me a massive kiss.
She later told me that she had been dying to do so from the moment she met me. See what I mean? I was blind to the obvious and I have not learned to read female body language at all since – as you will no doubt discover further in the next few instalments of this blogathon.
Messages brings back vivid memories of that time, reminding me of my first real relationship – although it’s a bit weird referring to it as a “relationship” really when both us were just kids.
Still, it lasted a year before we eventually parted. And when it did, my mum was utterly devastated. I don’t know what she thought might happen but she really liked C, so much so that she actually told me off.
Can you believe that?
My mum still lives in Walsall and has actually seen C a few times in recent years. I haven’t seen her since 1981 – but apparently she still asks about me.
Which is nice.