Monday, July 23, 2007


Not everything lost is gone forever. A few years ago, someone stole all my LPs. I went away travelling and left them with someone, but forgot whom. When I returned, no one would admit to having them. It may be that I left them in someone's attic, and they genuinely forgot.

So in time I have bought many of the albums on CD. Luckily, I liked music back then much more than I like music now (I don't mean I like music any less, but that there's less new that I like now). That's not because I have lost my enthusiasm for new music, but because, I think, the indie scene has died, and "indie" music is now whatever Sony says it is.

Among the records I lost were what was then Lowlife's whole recorded output. There's no reason for you to know Lowlife, unless you a/ were a goth of some sort or b/ are a fan of the Cocteau Twins (their first bassist joined Lowlife on leaving them). I thought I would never hear any of it again, because it had never been released on CD.

But now it has, and I am the proverbial pig in shit. I will eternally be a sucker for deep, mournful voices, and if they are wrapped round a decent tune, all the better.

Of course, even if the CDs had not come out, I would have memories. Some never fade, and I find songs stay fresh for me if I have listened to them often enough. Along with Lowlife's CDs, I bought Play Dead's second CD. Looking at the song titles, I can hear the songs in my head, as though I had a nostalgipod in my brain. And actually listening to the songs is like coming home on a wet, cold day and putting your icy feet into warm slippers.

Yeah right. Don't panic: I'm getting old but I don't actually have slippers. (I do have a pipe but that's another story.)

I have on the whole a poor memory. I remember a lot of stuff without remembering how I know it, which confuses people. I'll say something about something and they'll say "how do you know that?" and I have no idea. I do not remember what I did with people, or what things were like. I have little postcards from my past: vignettes, faces, actions, small times.

I do not remember kissing E but I remember her trainers as she lay next to me in bed. I do not remember what S's mum looked like, although I spent some time at her house, but I remember the corset she wore when I fucked her in the woods -- which woods also I don't recall. I remember she had buck teeth and I remember the timbre of her voice. I remember her uncle had a natural leer. He is a TV writer well enough known that you might recognise his name, but I do not remember one word of the conversation I had with him.

I do not remember what A looked like, but I remember a single drop of moisture coming from her pussy on a hillside near Newent. I remember how pink her labia were.

Of course I remember how much I loved her too.

I remember Er's sister, what she looked like, but I cannot remember Er, except that he had shorter hair that grew longer, and he was my friend when it was short, but more distant when it was long.

I do not remember what you said to me last week or what I said. Some people find it frustrating because they think I must have an excellent memory and must be lying about what I do and don't recall. But I forget much more often than I lie.

I remember feelings though. I do not remember why you are my friend, but I remember that you are. I do not become confused, and I do not allow the singular incident to wipe out the bigger feeling. I am upset when people do, but maybe they work the other way round.

Because I know that I do not remember, or think about, things I do not care about, I surmise that I care more about feelings, impressions than I do about actions or events. I don't know why that would be but, of course, I think I have it right and others are wrong. They destroy big good things for small reasons, the small bad things that have ticked them off. I let them pass, don't hold grudges and remember that I love you even if you pissed me off last time we talked.


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