It was 1986. There I was, trying to run an independent
record store - open seven days a week, what’s more
- and only just paying the rent... So, no help - even
part time - and, on top of that, I had glandular fever,
which made me feel like shit...
And, then...she walked in. The lady had grace - and, unassumed
grace, what’s more - she walked like she knew herself,
but wasn’t going to be in the vulgar business of
advertising it. She browsed - at length - and, then...came
up to the counter w/a Hasil Adkins record.
Well, I was in love. For those of you who don’t
know the man, he’s a complete whacko...who (also)
happens to be 1950’s rock’n’roll’s
greatest one-man-band. Out of tune - and definitely out
of time - he’s a complete one-off...and, an acid
test for all pseuds, beyond compare... I’d had the
record in stock for well over a year - having nary a sniff
of interest - and then this goddess walks in &
wants to buy the thing...
Of course I was in love...
Problem is, by this stage, I myself was running off the
rails. We were together about two months - according to
my admittedly fractured memory...as my financial woes
piled up, and a con-man moved in w/promises of a partnership
& fresh funding. I signed the contract - he changed
the locks - and I fell apart/was beaten up...and ended
up in psychiatric care.
And I don’t even remember her name...
Of course, she’s undoubtedly happily married by
now...but - as one of the great loves of my life - I just
wish that I had more of her to remember... Because, memory
in extremis plays bizarre games with you. But, I (do)
remember her...the way she walked, the way she talked,
the way she was so - amazingly - comfortable w/herself...
And, I remember that she’d lived in King’s
Cross - for several years - and, that she’d trained
as a ballet dancer...but had dipped-out due to height...and
that she never seemed to hold stupid ideas about anything.
But, I still don’t remember her name.
Or the specifics of anything she said. My time with her
is like a frustrating dream to me...as soon as I attempt
to recall details, they dissolve into generalities...
And, her name is just one symbol of this...
What those who’ve yet to experience a genuine psychiatric
disorder least fail to grasp are the deepest ways in which
it impoverishes you... I, myself, am mostly prone to depression
- but...this was one of my only two-ever episodes of mania.
In both cases, I look back, and all I can recover are
fragments - and generalities...
There is, simply, no continuity there. Try as I may, they
stubbornly remain isolate/abstract....and I just - can’t
- put my life back together properly.
It’s very difficult to explain to anyone that hasn’t
experienced such a disconnect... I’m not talking
about our usual blank spots...those failures of memory
that we’re all comfortable with. This is a failure
- and fragmentation - of self, a wound that refuses to
heal, and one that radically undermines whatever self
we have in its aftermath...
The lady was lovely...and deeply loveable, and I’m
still saddened that I lost her to to the vagaries of time
and chance. Because...we would’ve made a great team
- and I would have loved her as she so richly deserved
to be loved...
But I’m alone...and I (still) can’t remember