An Excerpt from “Join Hands”

Join Hands” was written for a cancelled anthology about queer punks. It’s set in London and features cameos by Siouxsie Sioux and Sid Vicious.

By Craig Laurance Gidney


Mum’s voice echoed through my head as I walked down Oxford Street. “You look like a bloody idiot.” She was in full hag mode then, with badly dyed blonde hair in an archaic bouffant, the caked make-up of a 1920 silent film star, a burning fag dangling from her cherry-red lips. You look like Kabuki, I’d said back to her, in my mind. But I’d been much less witty, more petulant, when I said, “I don’t care!” But going taking the Tube from Battersea and enduring the stares of business men, career girls and other assorted normal looking people, her voice followed me. Maybe I did look like a bloody idiot. My mouse-brown hair had been inexpertly dyed lollipop red and spiked. The spikes, however, drooped like dull fork tines. My plaid bondage pants were a bit too new to be cool. I was quite proud of the t-shirt that showed Stalin’s face, and the blue blazer I’d messed up with duct tape, rips and patches that showed the anarchy and chaos symbols. But the mutterings of a blue-haired dame (“It’s a shame,” she’d tutted before going back to her tabloid) and being called “nancy boy” in the transfer station really got to me, even though it shouldn’t have. After all, I was a good student, excellent at maths, and rhetoric. Unassuming. In short, not at all the hooligan type. But the new youth movement stirred things in me I hadn’t know existed. The rough youths in leather, pale skin blistered with homemade tattoos, the hairstyles that looked like lizards and exotic birds. I’d spend nights masturbating to these tough and tumble types, with Cockney accents. They would step on me with their oily boots, dribbling spunk on my scrawny body, which I would receive as if it were manna from heaven.

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