(Chapter One of an 80s-era young adult novel.)
Issue no. 459 of Rolling Stone sits on the neatly-made bed — Steven Spielberg’s soft-lit face on its cover.
‘The most powerful man in Hollywood’ the byline shouts.
Not a fan of the big-screen genius? There’s plenty more entertainment to be had inside.
‘The Amazing Love Life of Eurythmics’, ‘Stevie Wonder’ and ‘Billy Crystal’ call out to the reader.
It’s October 30th, 1985, little less than a week since this copy was picked up from the local newsagent.
The walls surrounding the neatly-made bed are an amateur gallery of the day’s pop culture pin-ups.
A Bryan Adams Reckless album poster, a montage of images from Back to the Future, a Talking Heads Little Creatures advertisement, a creased glossy spread of Madonna in a red bathing suit, an Arnold Schwarzenegger Commando movie slick, and a Pat Benatar studio shot torn from a girl’s magazine.
Tacked proudly alongside are a series of original pencil sketches of Marilyn Monroe, posh Dynasty stunner, Catherine Oxenberg, and Moonlighting leading lady, Cybill Shepherd.
The black-coloured-carpet floor is a frenzy of the day’s fashions. Drawers spill the latest in pastel tees, stone-washed Lee jeans, skinny ties and wide-shouldered rayon shirts. L.A. Gear and Converse sneakers have been kicked carelessly about.
A single piece of note paper, featuring Snoopy as Joe Cool, is covered in red felt pen writing.
“MiXedUp” is doodled near the top — all lovey-dovey like.
Underneath is a scribbled listing of 12 songs.
Sting Fortress Around Your Heart
Phil Collins One More Night
Simple Minds Don’t You (Forget About Me)
Bruce Springsteen I’m On Fire
Pet Shop Boys West End Girls
Don Henley The Boys of Summer
U2 The Unforgettable Fire
Go West Call Me
Bryan Adams Heaven
Tears for Fears Head Over Heels
a-ha Hunting High and Low
The piece of Peanuts-themed note paper and its scrawled contents is inches from the open hand of a teenage boy blissfully outstretched on his back.
He’s wearing a Sony Walkman.
The final track can be heard through the Walkman’s iconic orange-felt headphones –“tssst tsst tsst… I’m hunting high and low and now she’s telling me she’s got to go away…”
The boy’s eyes are wide open — unblinking.
He’s been dead no more than five minutes.