The Girl From Floor 15

The Girl From Floor 15


I stood beside her in the lift
Each moment there a treasured gift
In truth, I did not know her name
But still I loved her all the same
Her tangled hair, the scent of mint
That overlaid the subtle hint
Of fag smoke, and her yellow teeth
Her tired skirt, those legs beneath
That in my slightly fevered mind
Rose seamlessly to pert behind.

A shudder, and the doors were closed
Another shudder, up we rose
What joy inside, what secret bliss!
The working day was made for this !
Imagination running riot
In this metal box of quiet
Would that I could find the words
To make my secret feelings heard
But lips as dry as Desert Storm
Could never utter thoughts so warm.

And so in silence we ascended
Me and her, my sweet intended
Her a vision fit for Vogue
Me in slightly sweaty brogues
My smell, her scent, my age, her youth
Together, rising to the roof
But then! A shudder, number three
A sudden lurch, then her and me
Inside a lift now broken, stuck
A chance! A chance to try my luck!

I turned to her and raised a brow
The words were there! Oh holy cow!
“Oh dear,” I said with gentle smile
“We may be here for quite a while!”
She looked at me and said, quite calm
“Just press that button by your arm
And Bob will come, and set us free –
I hope he’s quick, I need a wee.”

Her voice! Her voice! Such sweet dictation
Though she spoke of urination
In my heart she’d just proposed
And I, her knight, her one true rose
Could act, with sweet alacrity
To save my love, then she’d save me
We’d leave this lift and head for bed
And in a fortnight, we’d be wed.

But lo, behold, my dreams were crushed
In seconds (Robert must’ve rushed)
The lift was fixed, we rose ten floors
And through the newly opened doors
Away she strode, my heart’s last rolo
Leaving me still flying solo
Yet my heart was light as cloud –
I’d heard her voice! She spoke aloud!

Tomorrow, nods of recognition
Maybe then a certain frisson
Flirty eyes, a waft of mint
A mirrored bedroom, zebra print
Oh ecstasy! A life adrift
Now tethered by a broken lift
Tomorrow! Love! Our souls laid bare!
I hope she doesn’t take the stairs.

Advertisements

Reading Festival

I’m old now. I wasn’t always. I went to my first Reading Festival when I was 17 (RHCP, Senser, Radiohead, Therapy?, Wildhearts, Terrorvision. Gutted that Soundgarden didn’t show up) and ended up going for 10 years in a row. I did my time in the mud and the dirt. I saw bands I loved, bands I hated and bands I’d never heard of. I drank the beer and ate the sausages. I went to Feet First on the Thursday nights and stumbled back over pitch black guy-ropes. I saw explosions and heard fireworks and laughed when people fell into the hidden brook. I stayed up too late around campfires, then fell asleep to the dulcet tones of a thousand campers shouting “Bollocks”. I woke up freezing at the crack of dawn.  I saw a riot that started from a single, well aimed egg and ended up with mounted police and plastic bottles full of wee. I dallied with girls that I shouldn’t have, failed to dally with girls that I should have and all in all had a stupidly good time.

But I’m old now. Those wild indulgences of my youth are nothing but fond memories, happy thoughts to pass the time as I make another cup of tea. And the strange thing is that I don’t mind. Not a bit. I’ve moved on and grown up. I remember being worried, back in the day, that the world would end when I was too old to be young. How would I cope with the boredom? The endless nights at home? Well here’s a message for my younger self: Stop worrying, fuckwit, and go enjoy yourself. I’m fine. You will be fine. Don’t sweat it.

It’s Festival time this week, of course. That’s what’s brought all this to mind. My walk home from work takes me along the IDR and towards the Festival site, so I’m knee deep in campers for most of it. Today was quite tame, compared to previous years ( the queuing cars were actually moving this year, albeit very slowly) but it was still rammed. This year’s bunch of pedestrian campers looked pretty much like any other year’s bunch of pedestrian campers, but I found myself surprised by the luggage. Mainly because it was exactly that: luggage. Actual suitcases, on wheels, with no sign of mud anywhere. Absolutely spotless. With name tags. If you’d taken a nice neat labelled suitcase in my day you’d have been burnt at the stake, but I guess times change.

Anyway. I’m waffling. I wrote a poem as I walked through the crowds, and I’ve pasted it below. I’m too lazy to come up with a proper title, so in the immortal words of Eddie Hitler, “I think I’ll just put bollocks”.

Bollocks!

Backed up along the IDR
The camper-vans and hatchback cars
Their parcel-shelves stacked up with gear
(Tents and bags and crates of beer)
Just sitting in the crawling queue
Their speed, perhaps, an inch or two
Per hour, whilst past on either side
Totemic teenage tramping tides
Fill every foot of pavement space
Identical in form and face

(The nonchalant, well practiced miens
That mask the minds still in their teens)

A route march down to Campsite G
An army, this, it’s plain to see
Whilst I, demobbed and pensioned too
Just cross the road to join the few
Who spurn the turn-off to the site
Then take a resident’s delight
In sudden calm beyond the throng
My ears immune to siren song
And I, demobbed and healthy yet,
(A battle hardened Festy Vet)
Walk home, to all I need in life
Adoring children, loving wife
And I, demobbed, a wiser beast,
Sit down. Inside. A man at peace.

You can still drink spilt milk

(just suck it up with a straw)

This is a poem I wrote about being middle aged, and not letting it worry you.

Perhaps

I could have been James Bond, you know –
Martinis, girls and guns,
I could have been Paul Hollywood
A lifetime kneading buns,
I could have been Roald Dahl, they say
The king of childhood rhyme,
Or even Albert Einstein
With his mastery of time,
Linford Christie, Ranulph Fiennes
The list goes ever on
But now I’m nearly 40
And it seems my chance has gone –
I’m stuck with being me, it seems
And maybe that’s all right
Perhaps it’s good to be anon
Perhaps success is shite,
And who’s to say those other folk
With names that strike a chord
Are happy with their lot in life –
Perhaps they’re really bored?
Perhaps old Albert Einstein
Grew quite sick of bending time,
Perhaps Roald Dahl got rather down
With endless days of rhyme,
Perhaps James Bond, when lying
With a bullet in his knee,
Regrets his life of danger
And just wishes he were me…