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  • This is how I used to write. Verbatim from January 1, 1979. I was 21 at the time. Wouldn't have thought of it all at were it not for Sol's latest "Beginner's Luke"

    “Fool's gold fooled me too...” Snow on the ground, tension in the air, a smell of drying shampoo and rising perspiration. The sun shines brightly over the whitewashed hills. Trees glisten in the yellow light. Green and precise. Time passes slowly and a feeling in the pit of my stomach grows. I need a shot of something. Perhaps a slice of energy? Or even a cool drink? Tomorrow I return to the same old situation with the same old feelings.

    It's a little sickening like a whiff of some decaying turn crushed under foot. Only a little. The hair dries in piece. Or was that peace? Electronic hubble-bubble wanes back and forth through distorted speakers loose and languid propping up the room in waves. I feel the walls shake. It's hard to think clearly enough to write so I stop thinking about time and space and try to concentrate my thoughts on keys, grey keys. They stand before me a pattern of symbols unmoving save for a sudden impulse. I see my nails on strings pulling and plucking bitten and careworn. My fingers on frets squeezing and vibrating hard pressed on steel strings indentations forming in the soft washed skin.

    Table yellow orange waving scratched untidy worn and aging. Black cord twisted into spiral, you pull and stretch it returns to shape, shapes of corkscrews but unpointed and harmless. Paper cast carelessly aside rests over and under wire twisted into contours by the constraints of a heavy steel plug joining wire at origin.

    Two hollow circles one facing one turned away enclosing radial plastic struts hovering over still black paper not vibrating now but it will in the future as electric currents alternate through copper coils giving magnetic impulses to iron components. I think of primary secondary tertiary and quaternary structures. Peptide bonds condensation between or amino and carboxyl groups turning into streetwalkers small girl in pub black hair long with bells glasses square and large pretty and kissing small hand delicate and soft flowing silken skirt with black jacket arm outstretched between two turning startled figures shocked surprised complacency disturbed shouldn't happen in pubs. Turning later to girl seated on table talking eyeing making choices a swift word of farewell she rises reaches out kisses on lips happy and joyful leave well satisfied with startled friend not knowing how or why. Walk slip way towards inn sit and drop snow on washed floor sip foul beer friend meets friend exchange greetings times for future engagements talk animatedly amongst throng of chatting laughing people harassed barman turns pulls lifts glasses bottles takes cash flowing out of pockets into ringing cash till. Move onward past Roman fancy dress embarrassed people standing in old curtains daubed with grease paint. Onwards to closed bar in emptying town patrol's by cold policemen tramping through snow white and brown grit tossed by lorries cars slip own sloping streets slow cautious. Back to pub same girl entwined with long haired boy in corner loving oblivious. Sit at table not known but maybe from past talk smile move opposite two girls exchange looks glances smiles friend stands away unsure embarrassed finish pint onward leave regretfully not two willing girls but lady in corner entangled.

    Stones rolling melee tangle of guitars and drums singer standing tall arrogant sneering frowning convinced of power impotent in face of did violence black dying stabbed by angel of hell drunk and drugged death comes goodbye summer of love flashback to pub hangover from 1968 in 1978 anachronism look around laugh but sigh regretfully secretly such a waste ex-school friend with hippy girl she pale and ill he fat scruffy drinking into despair says brief word to friend but unintelligible.

    Learn to forget. Bass thudding rumbling organ harmonizing drums rolling singer pouting preaching. “It's 1969 O.K all across the U.S.A. Another year for me and you, another year with nothing to do.” Look at them all with their Judas Priest denim jackets holding onto some forgotten dream. Bob Dylan in the background not too loud a whiff of dope in the air and the dazed stare through dilated pupils. Squatting free love hey man just dig it. All the women with the same pale wasted look wearing silken skirts and beads. All the men with mid back length hair unwashed and stringy. All trying to have a good time in the land that time forgot. Come on you rock and rollers or was it look out. Things have kinda gone wrong and the malaise is too deep for most people to notice. Which is a shame or is it just me? The general aegis of despair which percolates through today's youth seems to be all pervading spreading its tentacles deep into a young person's brain. I just have to look around and see. But it's probably always been that way, at least that's what I hope. But this century has thrown up an awful lot that hasn't been a round before and I feel that it's taking its toll. Youth behaviour so seems desperate nowadays any sense of fun seems to be evaporating. Drink drugs sex try to plug the gaps but it doesn't seem to work that well. Society is crumbling torn apart by a technology that is moving too fast and that has already provided mankind with a neat and effective manner of swift self-extinction. Not that he isn't doing it well enough slowly by polluting his environment beyond repair. Learn to forget, it's the best way. No drugs just forget. Accept it all and let it crash all around you. After all what can you do? Acceptance comes hardest. If we could accept their would be no fuss no hassle. No life either perhaps. I call today's society the lifeless society. Death stalks us all it's too near too real to ignore. No one could look forward and see a land of milk and honey. A land of concrete and ash perhaps. Plastic life learn to forget.

    I'm happier these days.
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