I went back to a small box of memories from 1986, a cassette I bought and the Sony Walkman I played it on wearing a second-hand coat and buying my first pack of cigarettes, walking the hillsides and small neighborhoods in my home town, getting caught in the rain, having my heart broken for the first time but feeling empowered by that, feeling a new space open up inside of me. I dreamt I was hearing a song from that cassette in a jacuzzi, somewhere in the mountains of Europe in the winter, with snow falling, the girl beside me. It was less a sexual fantasy and more a dream of companionship. And I carried on brooding, finding poetry through the endless depths of introspection, spending more and more time alone, with music.
It was Christmas morning and I lay in bed with Dawn beside me, the dog nearby stirring, the sound of the cat’s collar like a tambourine as she jumped on the bed and crept closer, circling between my ankles. then settling down. There was no time we had to get up really. I listened for the chime of the clock and counted seven, and for a time I could have been anywhere, but was right where I needed to be.