Saturday, July 05, 2008

In My Mind

Sometimes when I lay in bed at night my mind flickers back to old memories and I replay them like worn out over-edited home movies. In my brain I think there is a big Rolodex that I click through and occasionally stop and stare at an image, depending on my mood, I may look further, or just click on.

Last night my memory home movie of choice was Ashley as a baby. I could see her wee chubby fists trying hard to pull herself up onto a chair in the bar. She could barely get her legs up; I ran over and lifted her up quickly before she fell over. My cousin Sammy was looking after her at the time “Janey, leave her she needs to learn to climb up things” I knew he had a close eye on her but I recall that deep tugging feeling in my soul each time she looked dangerously close to falling. I had to run to catch her.

Then my brain switched images and I saw Old George my barman carrying cases up from the cellar. He was a retired bar manager, but came out of his retirement to work for us. I giggled as every time George came up from the door trap as he always managed to scrape his baldy head on the underside of the cellar ceiling. He had a permanent red angry mark on his head for years.

In my minds eye view-finder I looked around and could see all my regular customers, I can hear the noise of glasses clinking, the jukebox banging out U2, the cigarette smoke is making wispy garish shapes against the day light that flooded through the big front bar window. People laughing, talking, singing…the constant background noise of my life for many years, whispered threats, dirty sex talk, angry words about the government, religious quotes, drunken slurred slander and some old woman singing sad country and western songs to crumpled photo she kept pulling out of her purse. I can still see the sad fat tears dripping down her heavy mascara-ed eyes. I often wondered who she was crying over but never bothered to ask.

My brain flickers over earlier memories, husband and I trying to heat up mince and peas out of can and onto a cracked plate in the big smelly microwave oven that sat behind the bar. I had never seen a microwave oven before and was fascinated by the sputtering and crackling of the fat in the food in the strange space-age machine. I recall the over processed taste of the rubbery food and husband and tried to force it down our hungry throats.
We gave up; I walked through the driving horizontal slashing rain and got some greasy fish and chips for the Italian chippy near the Bingo at Bridgeton Cross. We ate it in companionable silence. Licking fingers and gulping on hot fleshy fish, savouring every mouthful whilst keeping a sharp eye on the drunken old man who wobbles scarily near the juke box.

Hall and Oates constantly being threatened of having a deep scratch on it’s black vinyl, then finally acquiring a strange hicky stutter like all the other records that garnered speech impediments due to the clattering drunks in our bar. Why did the pissed old men always fall on the juke box and never the pool table?

So many memories, all on a loop, playing constantly in my head, some great and some sad, yet all tucked safely away in my head for future showing.

I wonder what I will watch tonight.

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