So after the bus arrived at Silly O’Clock in the morning to the bus rank, I walked through the dimly lit streets, the snow still falling like little suicidal ice shavings, creating patches of black ice for me to slip and crack my skull, Humpty Dumpty style.
I say this because I’ve just slipped, done a triple somersault and landed on my head.
Everything goes dark.
When I open my eyes, it’s all brightly lit. Tall stone walls are covered by bougainvilleas and honey suckles. The thundering sound of kids playing makes me realise I’m a kid myself.
Oh, another flashback to my childhood. This is an often abused trope, but, eff it, it’s my concussion-fueled hallucination.
Conveniently, I have a Walkman, a blue-coloured tape and it’s recess, so I sit behind a peppercorn tree, away from the popular kids and bring out a sketchbook.
Ok, it’s my math notebook, but it’s not like I’m using it all. I bring out some crayons and start doodling.
Sounds come to my head. They swell until they reverberate and wobble, warbling their way through from the crayon to the surface of the paper. It’s a drawing that takes little time and it’s mostly blue and purple. I shall name it ‘One Kiss’. Next one! I’ll make one called ‘Invisible Friend’. Not about some freaky, scary abomination, but a happy-go-lucky chum, one that can play the maracas while you play the guitar (or the tambourine while you doodle on the piano.)
I think I’m liking this. It’s mostly shades of blue and purple, but so far, so good. My next drawing is sparse in detail, but I put the crayon sideways to re-recreate a spacey heaven on an ‘Empty Beach’, so I end up with a big landscape that might look melancholic, but it’s also quite nostalgic. What do I follow an empty beach with? Well, some sort of gloomy place, a ‘Negative Space’ of sorts where although nothing bad is happening, the essence of nostalgia clearly permeates the walls. It’s not an abandoned building, but more like an abstract memory long forgotten that suddenly surfaces.
I know this sound too heavy for a kid drawing on his maths notebook with a box of Crayolas with tooth markings, but it’s MY hallucination. Go slip on some ice and have yours!
Let’s draw something different. People dancing happily in a dance hall in a ‘New City’. Like those dances from the early ’60s that my mother used to go and she keeps telling me all about when she complains about the “noise of my generation of Ritalin and Trapper Keepers“. For a few moments, I wish I could be there, hitting a tambourine while a female vocalists melts peoples’ hearts and a trumpet does that Motown thing.
My drawing marathon stops as I see three of my friends ‘Break In’ a room the Nuns use to hide all the stuff they’ve taken from us. They look like they will get out scot-free, but the groundskeeper sees them and comically chases them with a rusty metal rake. I doodle this and even include a funky ‘Polar Bear’, wearing some Wayfarer glasses, sippin’ Pepsi and watching the whole chase. ‘Polar bear’, the epitome of cool!
I wake up in this cold patch of black ice, the snow is falling again and I blow away some flakes with a fierce exhalation. Should I stand up or go back to my weird dream? I hear a voice. Her voice. ‘Are you kissing anyone’ was the question that came wrapped with her voice. I can even hear some chimes in the distance and decide to close my eyes. I’ll take another anything but her memory.
I knew a kid named ‘Johnny’, he was cool and was in our classroom for a long time (or what seemed like a long time, I dunno, a year?) One day, he didn’t come to school and we’ve never seen him ever since. A friend of mine, who is quite adept at guitar, plays a track to his health, and if I could make it better, I would wish for someone playing a mournful fiddle to accentuate the emotions. Maybe a piano and tambourine? That’s a good musical libation.
Back to my drawings. I wish I had a face for ‘Sunglasses’, but my face is weird. Mind you, if I could wear, I’d totally walk by the school hall like Joe Cool, with a band walking behind me playing peppy music and just having a “good time / good time“.
I’m now running out of crayons, so my last drawing has to be a masterpiece. I don’t like to brag, but I think I made a rather cool alien invasion drawing. I shall call it ‘Space Children’ and their weapons will be laser trumpets. Their majestic ships, shiny and with lots of tiny lights, zoom through the sky and their last transmission before departing Earth will be resonating creepily into our subconscious until only silence remains.
I flip to the back of the notebook. I need to title this. I know! I’ll call it One Kiss Ends It All and I’ll draw a happy, smiling band. Let’s call them Saturday Looks Good To Me. Funny, that name rings a bell…
I wake up from my dream/concussion/Life on Mars tribute and my mp3 player is embedded in a patch of snow. I take it out and see the name of the band playing. Gosh darn it, this is freaky…
Words: Sam J. Valdés López