25 September, 2000.
was like an old weekend, this one. Say from nineteen-ninety four,
maybe? Earlier, even. Ninety-one. Vintage. This is yer typical,
classique weekend, modom. Friday, a club. Saturday, a party. Sunday,
'cultural' activities. We find this is very popular with all types
of people, modom, both young and old, yer ABC1s and yer Mondeo
Mans. Versatile, see? Flexible. Highly recommended.
there were the girls. Every weekend's got to have girls. These
girls were quality. First to arrive, nine pee emm Friday night,
was Miss Sheila from Scotland, personal trainer turned literature
student turned policeman. That's
policeman, thank you. Not WPC. Not policewoman. Not an aberration,
ok? And why do we have to have different hats to the men, anyway?
This was the first time I'd seen her in two years. We hugged,
awkward. Me half-madeup and leaving powder smudges on her pink
top; she, giantess-like in her heels, thrusting flowers at me,
so they got crushed between us.
biceps were the same. These were - are - film star arms. This
is arm as erogenous zone. This is arm as work of art - attenuated,
narrow of wrist, long of bone, slender but substantial; pregnant
with untensed muscles. All through college I'd beg her to
'pop a bicep', then sit gasping as the thing - the size of
my fist - would swell in her arm.
more to Sheila than arms, of course, but....
up, Sophie. Ahhh, Sophie. She stomped through the door in
a dress made of pockets, wearing ragga girl tights, knee boots
and a necklace made of feathers. Sized Sheila up immediately
and within seconds they were arm-wrestling. A cactus waiting
on either side for the loser. The clasped hands turned white,
veins stood out, but the forearms stayed vertical: a moment's
tension, then Sheila let her wrist crash down, laughing.
were boys there too, of course, but....
to the club Sophie wondered aloud why the hell we weren't
drinking as we enjoyed the fifteen-minute hike to the Hackney
Road. Neither Sheila or I could come up with a convincing
explanation. We said bye to the boys and ran back home for
down the dark, rainy Bethnal Green Road with two drunken, swigging,
swaggering Amazons is something that everyone should attempt at
least once. Men proffered chips; a gang of lads catcalled. Sophie
strode up to them, jutting her chin out at them and throwing fake,
slowmotion punches that stopped inches from their heads. I put
my hand in one of the pockets of her dress and begged her to leave
the boys alone.
crossed to the cash machine. A stone sailed across the road
and thunked down by our feet, and Sophie and Sheila wheeled
they throwing stones at us? Right, that's IT.'
'Yeah, I'm a policeman, I'm going to arrest them. I'm going
to beat them up. I'm stronger than them, than all of them....'
They were like dogs frothing, all growls and teeth, at the
end of a leash. I strode off with the wine; they glanced at
the boys, at the wine, at the boys. They wanted the wine more.
magnet. Never before has the phrase seemed anything more than
lazy slang; but that night it seemed like a scientific fact. Sophie
is a boy magnet. Official. Here's the certificate; the chemical
analysis, the warning label. Maybe it was the bare, brown shoulder,
poking from her jacket. Or the dress hiked up around her narrow
hips, or the zip at the front of the dress which never quite seemed
to do all the way up. Or maybe the way that, instead of scurrying
away from the catcalling men, she turned to them, ate their chips,
bit their kebabs, insulted them, tussled with them, confronted
them. Her eccentricities were all over her surface: she bristled
with wild-girl wierdness; all I could do was try to smooth it
down long enough to get to safety. Point out that fifteen boys
could do three girls some trouble, should they so choose.
didn't though, did they?' she said. And Sheila just laughed.
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