The buyer. He came.
Straight from 1992. Not a lapse in time.
He stepped from the Orbit nightclub straight into my hall way. Jittery, excited, one foot tapping. He couldn’t possibly be on one could he? Whatever it was, he had it in his veins. An excitement, a pure, honest thrill. The music wasn’t lost. It was still there, in him, in my hallway. Like he’d heard Kraftwerk or Voodoo Ray for the very first time. Like I had even. What he came with lit memory, re-ignited a thump, thump, thumping in my soles…
Do you remember him, do you remember that, do remember her…. He was falling over his words. And that tune, that tune – it blew my head away.
A tall bloke. A leather jacket. A broad Yorkshire accent.
The energy of a zigzagging rocket.
It’s all there? What you listed? Can I use your loo?
He handed me the cash, the pink notes. I counted each and every one.
It felt like I’d sold my soul. But my space is no longer my own. The records which once filled every nook of my life have been replaced by board games and puzzles and pipe cleaners, paint and glue. And dolls and felt tips and a dressing up box, and farmyard sets and sequins and buttons and green, blue and pink elastic bands the diameter of a toddler’s thumb.
Music was my life once.
It still is if you count the rhythm of words.
The novel I write is a love letter to a very colourful past. It’s closure on the unfulfilled.
Sad but necessary. It must be written.
We talked about the clubs and Eastern Bloc records – once the hallowed, weekly pilgrimage over the Pennines where cash wasn’t cash and blown like eating tubes of smarties. It was the records that were made of gold.
He told me something so sad. That the owner, JB, had suffered severe tinnitus, was proper poorly, had had to close Eastern Bloc records down. It was re-opened as a smaller shop with a cafe a few streets away from the original shop. Apparently JB works downstairs making the teas and serving pecan pie. Poor JB: he was so good to me. Discounts and free records, white labels and promos. I was always on top of my game. An absolute hero, JB. Still is.
I helped him carry the boxes to his car. Can’t believe we know the same people. I’ll have to tell them. Can’t wait to get this lot home. He was still racing.
I said a silent goodbye to the rarities and artists I’ve loved and adored. Once I would have protected that vinyl with fire and sword, now I felt grown apart and detached. Anyways, I’ve kept the absolute favourites, the one’s that make me recollect and my heart sing. Over 3,000 records reduced to 300. The decks will never go.
He left, back up north. I went to pick up my daughter from school.