A Memory bit. You may know these people; you may be them. It doesn't matter, they're my friends. I mean Michael's.
ISLE OF WIGHT
don’t know who took the picture. No-one who was there remembers; it wasn’t
Rivers, he’s in the background and Primer, Sun and Siri don’t recall
standing at the end of the drive as I hurtled towards them on an old boneshaker
with a huge grin on my face.
Summer, and we were on the Isle of Wight for the weekend, staying at Rivers’ gran’s house while she was away in France. (“What’s her name ?” I asked. “Gran”, he told me. Stupid question).
Gran had rules, clearly laid out on a storm of notes all over the house; Defrost the fridge before you leave, Open this valve before lighting the boiler, Nothing should go down this loo unless it has come out of you, that sort of thing. “Look in the cupboard,” Rivers shouted from upstairs. A card, neatly cut into a circle, sat snugly in the bottom of a pan which was Only to be used for milk.
With string and a bag of chicken bones from the butcher we went fishing for crabs. Primer scored first, his hand-sized catch seeming unconcerned at being gently lifted from the water. “There it is,” he announced as his crab rotated slowly. “There’s a note on it. Please put this crab back.”
Gran’s garage was full of old bikes; rod brakes, Woods valves and rust. We pulled out the five most likely looking and set about fixing tubes, tightening brakes and bolting cranks on. I was designated test pilot; another photo shows me wearing just a pair of baggy shorts, flip-flops (should’ve worn Chuck Yeager All-Stars) and a black motorbike helmet with fun-fur ears stuck to the sides. I look like a right dick.
That first picture, though; look at that grin. I’m not smiling for the camera. I’m going to the beach with my friends, all on cranky old bikes. We’re going to swim and talk and laugh and lie in the sun and eat ice cream and that’s all there is. No wonder I’m so fucking happy.