Suspicious Chicken, Tender minds

‘I’ll be honest with you buddy; your version wasn’t even my favourite.’

Locked down to the half round trim of the dark wood bar.

‘Around 2008 a bunch of us had gone back home for a year after school. I was doing my art foundation and the rest of the boys were just hanging around, working gap year jobs or just waiting for another chance to move.

Half wondering if old barflies end up with flatter elbows by the end of their lives and directing an internal monologue towards a small, gold framed, black and white picture of early era Elvis Presley above the liquor shelves.

So we were caught in a trap. It never was the biggest town, especially back then. There wasn’t all that much to do for the floppy haired or the floppy hearted, we had to make our own fun. Not that we were bored but maybe trying to answer a need for something different? To exert a small stamp, not on the back of the hand from the lizard lounge but on the world as a whole, make our own fun, built from the ground up, built for us and us alone.

Pretentious, sure. Honest, yes.

Dressed like a Libertine, definitely.

‘Sooooo, we got a half order of chicken tenders, buffalo and honey-mustard on the side’

‘Thanks’

Since time before times before this there has always been the automotive symbol of freedom, the teenage car that gives a chance at a life beyond. Self-fulfilment symbols don’t get much freer than a two door Nissan Micra in apple green.

‘Get you another drink?’

‘Sure, same thanks.’

Towns are always looser after dark. More fluid, less people around.

The dark hides a nervous smile, allows for a yes when a maybe would have prevailed in the light.

The dark wasn’t only freeing but also a mild fascination unto itself, an object to be sought out, the darkness. Find the darkest spooky-dooky spots, the places with things hidden past the line of what we could see. Drive fast and see faces in the bushes, turn the lights out and speed up the car, stop and leave on the brow of a hill, peer into the woods.’

‘There you are.’

‘Thanks.’

Jump as your pal grabs your arm.

‘No problem.’

Get back in the car and press play on the tape deck. Tonight it isn’t Ricky H’s mega mix 40th Birthday tape 3 it’s the Fine Young Cannibals greatest hits.

You see pal; that’s my favourite version of the song.

‘Can I close my tab’