Post a song that was in some way important in your life.
Tell us why. No cryptic hints, give us the dish. The more detailed the better.
The Pogues, The Sickbed of Cuchulainn
This is the song that was playing at the exact moment that I first fell in love.
I was 19, she was 17. Let’s call her L.
We’d met a few weeks earlier, introduced by a mutual friend at a dodgy goth/industrial club in Kings Cross (Sydney’s red-light district). We hit it off immediately; she thought I was funny, I thought she was beautiful, smart and kind. However, she was spoken for at the time.
Her boy was a six foot tall alcoholic methhead who we’ll call T. Physically speaking, he was a Peter Murphy clone with a Robert Smith hairdo. Personality-wise, he was a bit of yob, but a nice enough bloke in general. She thought he was 16; we discovered later that he was actually 14. He’s a successful session guitarist and graphic designer these days.
The three of us ended up crashing at my house after a night out in the clubs. At the time, I was living in a crumbling slum, sharing it with an assortment of teenage heroin addicts.
It was a grand old terrace house, that would have been nice if it wasn’t for the dodgy neighbourhood, inoperative plumbing and rotten-through floorboards. I had the largest of the bedrooms, upstairs with the balcony (which was a deathtrap; rotted wood, rusted railing).
When I moved into the place, my first task was to clean out the room; the previous occupant had made a habit of throwing his old syringes into the wardrobe and his old condoms onto the balcony. That guy eventually fled the state in a stolen car with the police in hot pursuit, but at least he had the good taste to leave a Jane’s Addiction album (Nothings’s Shocking) in the wardrobe for me to salvage.
At the time, the only furniture I owned was a shelving unit. For a bed, I had a piece of foam that I’d found on the side of the road. Apart from that, there was the aforementioned syringe-filled built-in wardrobe, plus a mirror bolted to the back of the door. The mirror had been partially smashed sometime in the distant past, leaving a sharp edge of broken glass along the side of it.
Anyway, we made it back to my room after clubbing, at around sunrise. T immediately passed out in the corner, but me and L were still fairly thoroughly wired from our dancing chemistry of the previous evening. So I fired up the stereo, and put on the Pogues’ Rum, Sodomy and the Lash.
We started dancing to the music, but after a short time I collapsed upon the bed. L kept dancing, in something approximating an Irish reel. She was spinning around, arms spread wide, with a grin on her face as wide as it could go. But at some point during this, her hand caught the edge of the mirror, slicing a finger wide open.
She didn’t notice. She just kept spinning, arms out, smile unchanged, while a stream of blood droplets spread in a perfect arc from her hand across the walls of the room.
And that’s when I fell in love. That freeze-frame image of L spinning and smiling with the blood streaming from her hand will stay with me forever.
Anyone else? Big drama, small drama, no drama at all. It’s all good so long as it’s true,