go back in time to 1959... I did last night
you're lost because, well, it's 1959 and you're stuck in Liverpool where you've never even been in 2004! so what do you do? you head for a bus stop and wait for the bus that goes to a place whose name is all too familiar to you. you get on the bus but you don't have any money (well, not the right money anyway). the bus driver recognises from your accent that you're not from around Liverpool (he'd think I was a southerner, which I suppose I am in a way) so he lets you ride for free. so, you get to Allerton but now what? do you know Paul?s address? you can't just go and knock on his door so you decide to find the bus stop closest to his house. he should be coming home from wherever he's been, with a bit of luck. you find it eventually and wait there for ages and ages. you're now cold and hungry and people are giving you funny looks. at last! a bus. will he get off? it pulls up and the doors open. an old lady, a strange looking man, a little boy and his mother... and then, just as you are giving up hope, a young lad, about your age, wearing a white-ish jersey and tight-ish jeans with a reasonable attempt of a rocker hairstyle, plenty of Vaseline in his dark hair. but now what? he's there, you're there, but he's never seen you before in his life! you cough a bit, you're getting quite cold now, and he looks in your direction. you smile as best you can. you're so nervous and miserable it's a bit of a task, and he comes over to you. your heart leaps!
"hullo, havn't seen you around here before. I?m Paul," the voice that's all too familiar to you. you only just manage to stop yourself saying "I know" and giving him a big hug, and you tell him your name instead.
"hi, pleased to meet you," he says as he puts out his hand, "you're not from 'round here are you?". you step forward and hold out a shaking hand, and notice his watch on his right wrist. "no, er, I?m from new zealand" (well, that's me anyway). he takes your hand, and his shake is firm yet gentle (of course). you notice the tips of his right hand fingers are rough, but only because you were expecting it.
"cor blimey, your hands are so cold! how long have you been standing there?" you love his accent so much it takes you a while to squeeze out
"I?m not sure".
"well come back to my place and I?ll put the kettle on. my dad's not due home for a couple of hours yet," he says as he starts walking. you follow obediently. walking along the streets shivering and silent and in awe of your youthful hero, you notice how drab the city is, and the blank lots between rows of houses remind you just how this place has been affected by war. and you thought 2004 was bad! you finally come to a little two story house with a couple of bay windows, one on top of the other, and a little, carefully painted iron gate set in the low brick wall. there is a scraggly tree in the front garden, for want of a better word. he fishes around in his pocket while you wonder how on earth he gets his hand in there, and pulls out a key which he opens the front door with. you follow him through a passage to the kitchen at the back of the little house.
"you sit yourself down there," and you perch yourself on a chrome-legged chair like the kind lad told you. he fills the kettle (you'd forgotten that you boil a kettle on the stove in those days, so it comes as a bit of a surprise) and after setting it on the heat he sits in the next chair. he's about to say something else when
"hey Paul, did you get any records today?!" comes a voice from upstairs.
"oh, that's just my brother mike, don't worry about him. yeah, I got one but I?ll have to play it later!" he shouts in reply.
there comes a thump followed by some heavy footsteps and a little McGear appears at the door.
"oh, I see," he says in a knowing voice, "dad'll be home early, Paul, you know."
"well, it's not like that so push off, eh?" is Paul?s snappy reply.
"hiya" is mike's first word to you, but you're sure it's just to annoy his older brother. you manage a feeble "hi".
the kettle whistles, mike goes back upstairs, Paul gets out the famous typhoo tea and makes a pot. he hands you a cup, no milk, one sugar (how did he know??). you take a sip, it's not earl grey but anything warm is just as good at the moment. when you've drunk about half the cup, Paul looking at you inquiringly the whole time, you feel a lot better, and you decide to make the most of what could be a wonderful situation.
"you said you got a record. what is it?" you venture to ask.
"it's a chuck berry one," he replies, "do you like rock and roll?"
"of course I do."
"well, lets go and give it a spin. you can bring your tea if you like"
so you pick up your cup and follow him up the stairs. You?re going to Paul McCartney?s bedroom!!!
it's not a big room, but it's got a guitar in the corner. a tatty one, strung upside down. he's got a record player on his desk and he produces a paper bag from the satchel he was carrying. he takes out the 45 and puts it on. it's I got to find my baby, and you know the words from the Live at the BBC cd.
you're in Paul?s room, listening to his records!!!
he sits down on his bed, tapping his foot, and you sit down beside him.
?it?s cool, isn?t it?? he ventures.
?yeah, it?s great!? you reply, and you believe it. Not as great as him, but nothing is. he glances at you and rubs his neck and you suddenly realise you?ve been staring at him.
?sorry,? you?re embarrassed now, ?it?s just that you have such lovely eyes.?
?er, well, yeah,? why did you say something like that?! You?ve been watching too many cheesy movies. But all the same, you really meant it, and by the looks of things he knows you did. You can feel your cheeks going all hot. The record finishes and he gets up to turn it over, breaking the tension. You pull yourself together a bit before he comes and sits beside you again. You?re sure he?s sitting just a little closer than he was before, and you suddenly get all overwhelmed with a combination of nerves, embarrassment and joy, knowing that your life?s dreams are coming true. You feel him looking at you just a little bit longer than what?s normal, and when you glance up and meet his eyes he looks away and gives a little smile.
?what?? you ask him.
?er, well, you know, nothing,? is his dead giveaway reply, ?where are you really from??
oh no, he?s on to you.
?I told you, I?m from New Zealand,? you try and sound relaxed and natural.
?can you get flash watches like that in new zealand?? oh shoot, you?re retro dress sense has let you down. You?re wearing a nice metal watch and most girls here wear leather strapped, old fashioned ones.
?well, um, it cost a lot,? you lie. It was about average for a 2003 watch, ?I saved up for ages.?
?oh, I see,? he doesn?t sound convinced. At least he?s forgotten the eyes thing! ?and is your hairstyle a New Zealand fasion?? he?s noticed that you have short hair (if you don?t, you do now) a bit like astrid?s. you try and save this one,
?yeah, it?s supposed to go like this,? you try and sweep your fringe off to the side like the pictures of the beatles? hamburg friends, ?but mine always just goes back to how it wants.?
?well, I like it,? his comment gives you sudden butterflies in your stomach.
?er, thanks,? you manage.
The conversation goes on, but thankfully he moves on to topics that don?t involve where (or when) you come from. He gets up every now and again to change the record.
At one point, you hear the front door open and close, and he tells you his father?s home. You follow him downstairs and he introduces you to ol? jim mac. You?re as polite and sweet as you can manage, and you get the feeling jim doesn?t really approve of paul bringing girls home like this, but he likes you so he?ll let it slip. When you?re apparently distracted he has sharp whispered words to paul, and you catch a ?it?s not like that, dad!? from the lad. Anyway, after it?s established that you don?t have anywhere to stay, and father mccartney gives in and lets you stay the night (he seems very trusting of paul not to get up to anything) paul tells you he has to cook dinner. You offer to help, but, and you know he?s always been a gentleman, he refuses and suggests you go and sit in the lounge with mr mac. You?re a bit nervous but what else can you do?
You follow james snr into the pokey sitting room and notice the piano dominating one wall. He sees you looking at it and offers to play a tune. You accept the offer. You?ve always wanted to hear paul?s biggest musical influences! He plays a lovely little jazz tune and when he looks over, after having finished playing, and notices your face all lit up and happy, he seems to puff up all proud. I guess his kids have started to take his music for granted, but not you.
?I wish I could play like that!? you say ?but I?m afraid I can?t play at all,? you hastily add before he offers you a place behind the keyboard.
?paul?s pretty good, maybe he?ll teach you,? is jim mac?s reply. You smile and nod politely, but you privately scream inside! Does this mean that paul?s dad likes you and doesn?t mind you sticking around? Great! But you can?t stay forever, can you?
You chat to paul?s dad for a while, he?s not so scary now and you realise he?s a really funny, light hearted guy who goes out of his way to make you feel at ease. Now you know where paul gets it.
There?s a call from the kitchen and ?come on then,? from jim. You follow him into the kitchen where the table is. Mike?s already there setting the table. You sit down where paul?s dad indicates and paul takes your plate. It?s returned with two fried eggs, mashed taters, fried mushrooms and a pile of bacon. Your favourite?except the bacon. You don?t eat meat? and neither does paul, does he? Oh hold on. You remember when you are. Paul does eat meat. Everyone does! But you still can?t.
?you don?t mind if I leave the bacon, do you?? excuse, excuse? you can?t say you?re vegetatrian, it?s not normal! ?er? I?m allergic to meat.? Lame!!! But whjat else could you say?
?that?s funny, I?ve never met anyone allergic to meat before,? paul is puzzled.
?fine by me!? says mike.
?you have it,? you can take a hint.
You eat up everything else, and mike clears the table. The puddin?s in the fridge. One of those old ones (fridges, not puddings) you used to have at the holiday house before you got one that worked. It?s bread and butter pudding. It?s not great, but you eat it because they only have one pudding a week.
After a bit more chat you go back upstairs and ask paul if he?ll play his guitar for you. He?s a bit bashful about it, but he gives in. he plays a lovely little bluesy number that you recognise from anthology. It?s the bit that was mentioned in another thread, that?s on that old tape after one after 909.
?that was great!? he seems to appreciate your compliment because he goes on to play his specialty, you guessed it, twenty flight rock! The tales are true, he plays it perfectly.
?are you in a band?? you ask innocently.
?yeah, we play at a club, but we?re not very good. We don?t even have a permanent drummer.? You already know all this, but you can?t let on or he?ll start asking questions again. ?we?re doing a gig there tomorrow if you want to come and listen.?
?I?d love to!? wow! A chance to see the quarrymen live! Wait till you tell? no, you can?t tell anyone can you? No internet in 1959. you remind yourself that computers fill whole rooms and there are only a couple in the world. Poor people!
He?s put his guitar down now, and he?s looking at you again. You manage to catch his eye for a bit longer this time. It?s getting quite dark outside, and a bit cold inside, and he pulls out a woollen vest from his drawer for you to wear. You can hear his dad listening to the radio. ?he?ll be there a while,? paul explains the evenings in the macca household. This is great news, as you feel you?re finally getting somewhere with the lad.
The next bit goes on for a while, but you certainly do get somewhere! you can use your imaginations (hold it! Not that much!).
?what?s that?? he?s happened to put his hand on your pocket while you are getting somewhere and you keep a little metal card holder in there. Oh dear, you?re going to have to tell him something because ?oh nothing? won?t help at all.
You go for ?you wouldn?t believe me if I told you.?
?well, try me.?
?I can?t, you?d think I was bonkers!?
?I won?t, I promise. No secrets, eh??
you want to tell him you were born in 1986, you really do, and maybe, just maybe, he?ll believe you in the end. But is it worth the risk?
Of course it is, this is paul mccartney we?re talking about!!
?ok, no secrets. But I don?t know how to explain??
?you make it sound really awful, like you just broke out of prison or somat!?
?no! nothing like that. But harder to believe.? You decide the best way to tell him is with your wallet. No! not like that! You won?t need to bribe him, he?s paul! You take the little aluminium thingie, and open the hinged lid. (you know the sort of thing I?m talking about don?t you? You keep credit cards in it and stuff.) the first thing there is your plastic friend. The good old eftpos card (I?m not sure what they?re called outside nz. Like a credit card but without credit. Money comes straight from your account when you pay. We use them a heck of a lot here).
?what on earth is that??? was the reaction you had expected.
?well, it?s a card that you swipe, and pay for things? sort of thing,? you?re starting to wish your id card was on top. ?forget about that one for now.?
Next is your library card. That?s ok, or so you thought.
?does everyone in new zealand have plastic library cards? Mine?s just, you know, paper,? he says. Of course! plastic wasn?t very common in 1959. you pass this one off with a ?yeah, plastic?s good for cards. It?s strong.? You hope he?ll just accept that lame explanation.
Ah, there?s your student id. It has your name, your email address and your computer username? and of course the year. You hand it to him, he takes it and looks at it in silence.
?you?ve written songs, haven?t you?? you ask, to check if he?s still with you. He nods carefully, still staring at the card.
?and one of them is when I?m 64, isn?t it?? this time he looks at you, amazed, and still silent, you know from the look on his face that you?re right. ?have you figured out what year it will be when you?re 64?? more silence and staring, ?it?ll be 2006,? you hope he says something soon, or it?ll be him who?s gone bonkers. At least he believes you. ?two years from when I came from.?
He utters a quiet ?how?? and you want to fall back and let out a scream or a sigh, he?s so lovely.
You settle for self control, he needs you to be sane right now, and you say the only thing you can, ?I don?t know. It just happened. I was there, and then I was in , well, here and now. I got the bus to allerton because I recognised the name.?
He is still silent, frozen, gawping. You sit there for some time in silence, you don?t dare to say anything, but you?d give anything to be able to put your hand on his, which was shaking just a little bit. After what seemed like a millennium, he takes a deep breath, lets it out all at once and manages to say ?but you?what if? you know? how did??
?all I know is that I?m here with you? and that?s ok with me if it?s alright with you?? you never were any good at saying the right thing at the right time, and your best attempt is still pretty pathetic.
You?re surprised when, after another big breath he says ?yeah, ok. Thanks for telling me, but don?t remind me again for quite a while, ok?? does this mean he?s going to accept the fact that he?s spent his afternoon and evening (it was getting quite late now) with a strange girl from the future by just putting it out of his mind? Fine by you. You find yourself yawning and shivering, and he pulls himself together, ?you need somewhere to sleep. You can have my bed, I?ll sleep on the couch downstairs,? paul mccartney, always the gentleman.
You have a great idea, you just hope he sees it the same way, ?but... it?s cold? why don?t you, I mean why don?t we? I mean, nothing like that, just?? you really can?t think of how to put it without him getting the wrong idea. Which is really the right idea, but you know it?s not the right right idea, if you know what I mean. His dad?s in the house after all. And besides, you don?t do that sort of thing, even if it is? him.
?I like that idea, but dad won?t be happy.?
?what can he do? It?s not like it?s a bad idea. It?s freezing tonight!?
?ok, why not. It?s not like? well? I know we? before... but that was just?you know.?
?yeah, innocent.? Well, it?s not like a kiss or two really meant that much, did it? Even one that good? (I told you not to imagine too much!!) anyway, the id card sort of put all that into the background. Sleeping in the same bed could be perfectly innocent, couldn?t it? Of course it could. Anyway, it?s warmer, and you wouldn?t want him to freeze on the couch because that might mean the man never gets to change the world, and you couldn?t live with that.
?you?ll need something to sleep in,? charming and sensible, ?you can borrow some of my pyjamas if you want.? Well, there didn?t seem to be any other option. You couldn?t sleep in jeans, could you? No.
He pulls out a pair from his drawer and hands them to you saying ?I?ll just go out here while you get changed,? and goes out of the room, shutting the door behind him. You put on the fashionable 50s sleepwear and fold your own clothes and put them on the chair.
?ok!? you call softly, and he comes back in.
?they fit you quite well, don?t they,? he?d have a charming comment if you looked like shrek!
?you look that way, and I?ll put mine on,? he says with a lovely paul grin. You avert your eyes while he puts on the bottom half and as he?s taking off his jersey and tight t-shirt you allow yourself a peek. It?s not like you haven?t paused paul?s exciting adventures on the floor about a thousand times, and drooled buckets over those pictures of him in chains. What harm is one real life peek?
?you first, wouldn?t want you to fall out would we?? he insists as you climb in his cold bed. No electric blankets in the 50s, but you?ve got your very own hot water beatle, so you don?t mind too much. He hesitates a bit, and then gets in beside you. You suddenly come to the realisation: you are in paul mccartney?s bed... with paul mccartney!! Not in your wildest dreams.. ok, maybe in most of your dreams.. but you never thought it?d actually happen! You?re hoping sleep is what?s on his mind, but knowing him and almost all 17 year old guys it was probably? guitars and food.. yeah, that?s right? ahem! sleep was, however, the only thing on your mind. Travelling through time to a city you?ve never been to and meeting your life long hero can take a lot out of a girl. You soon drift off with a warm, good looking lad by your side.
You wake up shivering a little bit. You groan, roll over and try and tug the scratchy blanket up over your shoulder. Then you are woken a little bit further by a funny feeling that all is not as it usually is. You don?t usually have a scratchy blanket on your bed. You open your puffy eyes a little bit, and subconsciously register that it?s still quite dark in the room you?re in? the room that isn?t yours. It can?t be, yours has posters of paul mccar? it suddenly hits you why your mouth feels so bad. You haven?t brushed your teeth for at least a day.. because you went back in time to liverpool in 1959, and the scratchy blanket belongs on the bed of none other than paul mccartney. You attempt to open your mouth, check if your hair?s still on and survey what you?re wearing. You become slowly aware of a chair by the bed, and a figure sitting in it, apparently watching you dreamily.
?mrmplablem?? you ask
??mornin?? comes the friendly reply, ?I got up about half an hour ago when my father went to work.? You see he?s dressed warmly.
?wha??? you are almost surprised that it wasn?t all a wonderful but hopeless dream (but what sort of story would that make eh?), and as you come to you senses you almost start to worry that you?ll be stuck in 1959 forever (or at least until the first of January. No year lasts forever after all) which, although it wouldn?t be the worst thing that can happen to a devoted beatles fan, would mean that you never saw your family or friends ever again, and you?d also never be able to talk to the wonderful people on the paul mccartney forum again, which would be awful! All this is soon pushed from your mind when you hear that lovely voice again,
?did you sleep ok??
?mmm,? you reply, ?wossa time??
?about half past seven,? of course, it?s winter so it?s still dark and cold outside? and inside come to think of it. ?I promised to take you to the club where I play with my group, remember??
you hadn?t remembered till now, but he?s just reminded you that you are going to see the quarrymen live!
?yeah!? as soon as you said it you regretted sounding so excited. You don?t want to let on what you know about his future, because that would be like spoiling a good film for someone. You change the subject by flinging back the blankets and asking what he?d done with your clothes.
?here,? he says, handing your little bundle to you, ?but you?re going to need some more if you?re staying. You can?t go round wearing the same gear for weeks, can you? We?ll go into town after the gig and I?ll show you around the shops.? Shopping with macca! This situation keeps getting better and better!
He makes to go out the door again so you can get changed, but you are a modern bird, and you might as well put a stop to any unnecessary politeness right now.
?don?t be silly! There?s no need to run away just because I?m getting changed, I?m wearing underwear after all.?
He blushes just a little bit, and sits back down on the chair, looking a bit awkward. You?ll have to fix that somehow. It?s not like you?re changing the future, you reckon. whatever happens has already happened. In your opinion, there?s no such thing as changing the future. If you ran into paul before you went back to 1959, he would have probably recognised you even though you would have had no idea why.
You pull on your jeans first, because the pyjama top is long enough to save any self consciousness. Then you do that thing where you change tops without spending any time without one on. Where you hold the second top with your arms under the one you?re wearing, and quickly put it on at the same time as you take the other one off. paul seems impressed, girls obviously aren?t as experienced as they will be. Once you?ve got all your gear on, plus paul?s vest that he lent you the night before, you follow him down the stairs.
?oh, I forgot! Do you want a bath?? this sounds to you like a wonderful proposition!
?I?d love one,? you eagerly accept, ?if we have time.?
?sure we do,? how does an English boy learn Americanisms like that in the 50s?! he shows you to the bathroom and turns on the taps. ?I?ll get you a towel, the soap?s over there on the edge.?
You are very grateful to be able to get clean because it feels like ages since you were in a bathroom. You?ll have to buy a toothbrush today, too. You don?t usually have baths at home, but it seems the mccartneys don?t have a shower, and you aren?t in the position to complain about anything.
Paul returns with a nice big towel, and by this stage the bath is full enough to get in. he smiles and leaves the room, closing the door behind him.
?I?ll have breakfast ready when you?re done!? comes the liverpuddlian accent through the door.
You take your clothes off again, and as you dip your big toe in, you remember how hard it is to get into a hot bath after being cold. The water feels burning hot! Slow or sudden? You go for sudden, you don?t have all the time in the world after all. OW OW OW OW OW! Ok ,better now. You get used to the water quite quickly. You hear noises coming from the kitchen as you wonder what?s for breakfast.
As you wash your back, you suddenly remember that program you saw on tv about that 50s school that those modern kids went to (?that?ll teach them?), and that they were only allowed one bath a week. You get the horrible feeling that you have just used quite a large percent of the mccartney family?s water supply, but there?s not much you can do about it now. Paul is such a gentleman, he must have known but he always puts ladies first.
You finish washing and get out into the freezing air. You dry yourself as quick as you can before you turn into a futuristic ice cube to be dug up later by one of your friends, and put you clothes on for the second time today. When you get to the kitchen, you smell frying, and a plate is produced with egg on toast. You?re not used to hot breakfasts but this time you are happy to scoff the lot, you?re so hungry, and the cup of tea was a godsend as it always is. Paul?s breakfast was similar, but he had bacon too. It was weird seeing the world?s most iconic vegetarian eating bits of pig!
After your wholesome breakfast you follow your new lad out the front door, and the cold hits you like a brick wall. The only word to describe the british weather is miserable, but being from new Zealand you?re sort of used to it. You?re just glad paul lent you his lovely woollen vest, or you?d have frozen the minute you stepped out the door. You walk to the bus stop where you were discovered yesterday, paul carrying his guitar in a hard case. You can?t help wanting to whistle a tune, despite the cold, because you feel so great following paul mccartney around Liverpool on the way to an original quarrymen performance. The only problem is, you want to whistle a wings song. That is out of the question, but then you have an idea. You remember having read somewhere that paul said he thought he?d heard the tune of yesterday somewhere before, and he asked all his friends what it was before making the tune his own. Well, maybe he heard it from you! You start off whistling quietly, but as you get further along the street you don?t hold back. You?re just about to reach the chorus when you arrive at the bus stop. You decide to try and make conversation while you wait for the bus
?so? what are the other members of your group like?? is all you can come up with for now. Never mind that you already sort of know the answer.
?well, there?s john, he?s the sort of leader, you know,? that?s paul alright, you think to yourself. You?ve heard that ?you know? so many times it?s become the phrase you play over in your head when you want to hear his voice. ?he?s a bit older than me, and he always gets birds? girls??
?birds is fine, I call them that too,? well, you do don?t you? You picked it up from paul and the rest of the fabs, from watching ahnd so much, but he?s not going to know that.
?really? Some girls don?t like being called birds,? you can relate to that. You got called a chick by a classmate once, and your feminist teacher went nuts! ?anyway, john?s a bit of a boozer, too, sometimes. You have to watch him,? was he getting protective already? ?but he?s a real laff, a great guy. George is younger than me, but he?s a great player. I think you?ll like him, he?s very? deep.? That?s george alright! ?pete, our drummer, well his mother owns the club we play at. Mona. She?s great, for a mother.? So you?d heard. it seems at least some of the hundreds of books you?ve read were right.
The bus to west derby pulls up and you realise you still don?t have any money. Paul?s already twigged to that, and he?s payed for both your fares before you can protest.
?ill pay you back,? you?re not sure how, but you?ll try.
?I wouldn?t think of such a thing!? wasn?t that john?s line?
You find a seat and he offers you the window side.
?it?s quite a long trip, and I?ve seen it all before.?
You already know that the casbah club at pete?s house is quite a way from allerton, but not quite as far as allerton is from the centre of town. You?re going to be spending a lot of the day on busses, another thing you?re not really used to. But you decide it?ll be great to see post war Liverpool from the seat of a warm bus.
You and paul chat almost all the way to hayman?s green and, between that and your gazing out the window, the trip seems to last no time. You get off the bus, and walk to number 8. you hear noise coming from the basement and see a couple of people wandering in or out. As you follow paul through the door, the bouncer makes moves to stop you.
?she?s with me,? seems a sufficient explanation from paul to get you into the club for free.
The room you enter is the most painted basement you?ve ever been in! so what they say about mona best is true: her philosophy is, if it doesn?t move, paint it. There is a sort of makeshift stage at the far end, and a few tables with teenagers chatting. You don?t recognise the band playing, but they?re not that bad. You and paul make your way to a table in the far corner, near the stage, where you spot a guy with sideboards and a curly rocker quiff, smoking a cigarette. Next to him is a younger looking kid, about a year younger than you, with wild hair and a wide smile. He is sharing a joke with john, apparently about on of the members of the group on the stage. As paul approaches the table, john whispers loudly, obviously wanting you to hear him.
?who?s the bird??
?she?s a friend,? is paul?s reply
?oh, yes. Well done mate,? john teased.
?yeah, well?? paul was giving one of those lovely grins, which he hid as you got closer. ?this is john,? he says to you.
?hi,? you try not to sound too nervous.
?paul, you wouldn?t! a southerner?? another loud whisper from john.
?I?m from new Zealand,? that should explain any suspicions he might have had, and besides, you are.
?ooh! A foreign bird. How do you do it, son?? this time paul offers a friendly punch. George still hasn?t said anything, so you decide to make the first move.
?hiya, I?m <insert name here>.?
?it?s not your fault, luv,? john seems to be enjoying this.
?I?m george, pleased to meet you. Shut up john.?
?now now lad,? the famous lennon grin.
Paul pulls out a chair and indicates he wants you to sit in it.
?ta,? you say as you sit down. He sits in the other vacant spot at the table, and he and the others start discussing the set. It seems that one of the other bands has just done one or two of the songs the quarrymen were intending to play.
?why don?t we do one of paul?s?? was george?s contribution. John seemed hesitant, but he eventually agreed.
?but it has to be one we?ve done before.?
?Yeah, fine. How about??
As they were talking, you decided to survey the rest of the club. The band that was playing was finishing and another was preparing to go on. The sets can?t be very long. There were still people coming in the door that you came in, and they seemed to be showing little bits of paper and paying a few coins. You remember that this is a club, and that members are cheaper than visitors. You decide that bands must get in for free, or maybe it?s just because paul is pete?s mate. You survey further into the murky depths of the brick basement, and you spot a couple getting close in one smoky corner. Some things never change. You realise that no one is drinking alcohol, but that was? is the norm for that sort of club. There is a group of rowdy guys at one table, who seem to be giving a small group of girls a hard time. You spot one of the bouncers eying them up with concerned looks. You smile to yourself as you start to pay attention to people coming in again. You see a shy looking guy come in a different door, one that you hadn?t noticed before, and he?s carrying a drum and a cymbal. Pete. You tune back in to john, paul and george. They?ve spotted him too. It seems that they are due to go on in a minute. No stu? Maybe he hadn?t arrived on the scene yet, or maybe he just hadn?t turned up. Paul hadn?t mentioned him before, had he?
The lads were getting up, and you realise the current band is getting off the stage.
?you stay here, it?s nice and close to the stage,? paul says to you as pete makes his way over, ?we won?t be long.? Yeah YEAH yeah YEAH.. you can?t help it! Before you can reply he and the others are up on the stage, setting up. John makes a comment that seems to make most of the audience laugh. It?s a pity you didn?t quite hear it. They start playing a song you don?t recognise, and it?s really good. The crowd thinks so too. You wish you had someone to tell about this! (maybe you can write a story about the whole thing and post it on the board... if you ever get back to the future, that is.)
The performance seems to be made up of both songs you know well, and songs you haven?t heard before, but you wish they had recorded them at some stage. They are much better than some of the books made them out to be! You are really enjoying their performance, and it seems paul has caught you singing along with one of the songs because he gives you a questioning look from the stage.
When the performance is over, the group clears the stage for the next band and comes to sit back at your table.
?how do you know the words to some other guy?? paul asks you.
?oh, it?s because I have the cd of the beatles live at the bbc, from when you?re all really rich and famous, and that song?s on it. I listen to it every day in the car,? is what you?d love to say. you settle instead for ?it?s the sort of music I like, I listen to it all the time at home.?
Paul gives you another puzzled look, and very quietly whispers ?do you have that sort of thing in.. well, you know? new zealand??
?yeah, of course we do. Why wouldn?t we? Good music is always good music.?
?but, surely not everyone??
?nah, most people listen to more modern stuff, but I don?t think it?s any good.?
You hadn?t realised, but the others had been watching your whispered conversation and they?d been giggling at you the whole time. Paul gets a knowing look from george, and john starts giving little kissy gestures which paul must be just ignoring. You roll your eyes at him and he prods pete?s arm. They start giggling again.
?just take no notice, they?re jealous,? paul seems embarrassed again.
?of what, they don?t know anything? do they??
?well?? what?s he gone and said?? Oh well, he is a guy, you suppose. They don?t get any better than this, and besides, who cares what silly ideas john, george and pete have.
?we?d better go, if we?re going to get to town before the shops shut,? paul changes the subject, ?see you guys tomorrow.?
?yeah, see ya,? john seems to be the one who says the most, and what he doesn?t say is even more, as you notice him mouthing ?love birds? as you turn to go.
You and paul leave the club, and you notice the others laughing and joking as you go. They like to tease, but they?re nice guys. You arrive at the bus stop, and it?s a different one from the one you arrived at. Paul looks at the timetable posted on the pole,
?fu*k! there i?n?t a bus for quar?er of an hour, and it?s bloody freezing out ?ere!? maybe his mates? teasing got to him a bit more than it affected you.
?are you cold?? you should probably try and cheer him up, make him forget about the other lads and their teasing.
?no, not me, but I don?t want you getting sick or anything like that.? He says more calmly.
?don?t worry about me, I?m a tough southerner, remember??
he gives a little chuckle, ?yeah ok, if you?re sure,? and sits down on the bench to wait for the bus. You sit beside him, and venture to put your arm around his. He?s very obliging, and very warm. There isn?t much wind, it?s just that sharp cold you sometimes get that makes your nose all red.
You suddenly realise something important.
?I haven?t got any money. How will I buy clothes??
?don?t worry about that, you can pay me back another time.?
How can you refuse? You?re sure he can?t have much money of his own, but you can?t go living in one set of clothes without knowing how long you?ll be there, can you.
?alright, I promise I will. Thank you, I don?t know where I?d be if you hadn?t found me.?
?I?ll tell you then. You?d be a hungry little ice cube in the gutter, is where you?d be, and I?d never know I was missing out on meeting such a lovely lady. I?d go through me ?ole life not really knowing how nice gerls can be,? what a charmer! If it was anyone else saying that, he would have taken it too far, but paul can pull off any degree of flattery and sound like he really means it. It?s a pity there aren?t many guys like him left in the world.
?you poor old thing!? hey mister, are you nursing a broken heart? You might be living in a time well before a hard day?s night was even invented, but it doesn?t stop your strange habits.
??ey, but what you don? know can? ?urt, you know.? What a lovely accent! You could listen to it for days on end. You wouldn?t even need food or anything, just paul talking to you for weeks and weeks. Maybe that?s what?s in heaven.
?mmmmm,? you reply. You can?t manage anything better, you?re about ready to melt.
Paul starts to take off his tie (maybe it?s his dad?s) from under his coat, the collar of which is turned up at the back (cool!), and with one hand it seems he?s having a bit of trouble (you?re hanging on to the other arm for dear life).
?oh, look at that, I?ve gone and undone the knot!? the end had come out and the whole thing was now an untie. Opportunity!!
?here, let me,? you unhook you arm from his, and touch his chin to get him to lift his head so you can tie it the right length for him. He can?t have shaved that morning (maybe he was too busy watching you sleep) because, and this is almost the last straw, you?re just about ready to have a paul attack, you feel the soft stubble on his chin. It can?t be much (he?s 17 after all) because you can?t see it, but it?s one of the best things you?ve ever felt. You pause for a moment, and when you?ve recovered you put the tie around his neck and tie a nice full Windsor knot.
?oh, look at that. I always make it too short first time,? you have your voice back now, ?It?s because I couldn?t see, you know. Put your head up, silly.? He obeys with a lovely smile on his face, and this time you get it right.
?I?m impressed! I don?t know many birds can tie a knot like that!? he says with a grin.
?I learnt it in maths class, believe it or not.? You did. Your maths teacher in the forth form was a really cool guy, and when a girl brought in a whole bag of ties, the whole class got to learn tying instead of maths.
?well I did, so you?d better believe me.?
?oh yeah, or what?? ooh! Tough guy paul!
?I don?t know. You got me.?
?ok, what?s seven times nine?? time to get out the calculator!
?er? um? well.... that would be 70? minus 7 which is? um??
?ok, ok! I believe you!? he exclaims as he lowers your counting hands with his own. Yours are ice cold, but he?s somehow managed to keep his warm.
?mmm. That?s nice. How come your hands are so warm??
?I dunno. Here,? and he rubs your hands to get them warm.
Just then, at just the wrong time in your opinion, the bus pulls up and screeches to a halt. Has it really been 15 minutes? You pile on after paul, and as he pays you say ?this is ridiculous! How can I get some money of my own??
?well,? he begins as you find a seat, ?you could go down to the job centre and give them your details.? His grin tells you that he might just be coming to terms with the fact that he?s 44 years older than you.
?I?ll need to get money at some stage, won?t I!?
?we?ll sort something out, don?t worry.? Paul reassures you.
?that?s alright then.? You say, smiling.
?that?s alright mama, that?s alright with you?? your own private bus concert with paul mccartney! He sings so beautifully, and starts drumming on the seat in front, to the dismay of its old lady occupant who gives you both a dirty look. You love it even more when paul?s laughing while he sings.
?de de de de dah dah de de, I need your lovin?? mmmmm
?it?s all yours!?
?right, nothing. I get it.? He pretends to let it go, and changes the subject, ?so what sort of clothes do you want? I mean need? Nothin? embarrassing I ?ope!?
?you?re a big boy aren?t you? You can help me pick a bra,? you say with a grin. As you expect, he gets all self conscious like that morning. ?just joking,? you lie, ?I?ll need some jeans or something, a t-shirt and something to keep me warm.?
?how rich do you think I am?! And anyway, birds wear frocks, don?t they??
?not this one!? yuck! You wouldn?t be seen dead in a frilly dress, even three decades before you?re born.
?we?ll see what we can find then. You have to be difficult, don?t you.?
and you carry on like this for the rest of the bus ride into the heart of swinging Liverpool.
As the bus comes to a screeching, hissing halt you are aware of the differences between your destination and the place you just left. In the cold, dreary suburbs the streets were home to the occasional wanderer, boy with chapped knees and old lady in her coat that she bought before the war when everything was better quality. Here, amidst the little shops (and some not so little ones) was a hustle and bustle you never expected on a cold day like this. It?s not exactly busy, but the people walking along the footpaths and ducking into doorways seem to have more purpose, seem to know where they?re going. You haven?t had anything to eat since breakfast, and you?re very glad when paul leads you to the nearest chippie. You haven?t got time to wonder whether the chips are cooked in vegetable oil (not likely!) and you?re so hungry you wouldn?t even care if they are, so you?d rather not know. It must be well past lunchtime, but your watch doesn?t seem to be in the right time zone.
?do you want fish as well??
?huh?? you must have been on mars.
?fish, do you want a bit of fish with your chips??
?oh, no thanks, not me. Just chips is fine.?
As paul puts in your order you grab the opportunity to look around the dingy, smelly little chip shop. It?s not too much different from the ones at home, even down to the old scummy fridge in the corner where the fish is kept. You suppose the fridge isn?t that old, and it hits you that it might still be in use in a chip shop in 2004. you give a little chuckle at the thought.
?what?s so funny? Haven?t you seen a chippie before??
?no? I mean yes? I have, we have them at home too, just like this. I just think it?s funny that they haven?t changed in however many years, that?s all.? The man behind the counter gives you a look that says ?are you saying my shop is old looking??
paul makes for the seats and you sit in the one beside him. As you are waiting for your food, a few interesting characters come in, including a group of rough looking guys, a bit older than you and paul, with thick accents and greasy hair. Paul looks a little nervous. Luckily, they order their chips and leave. They must be waiting somewhere else.
?one chips, and one fish and chips,? you hardly understand what the man is saying his accent is so thick, but you click when paul gets up and accepts the parcels wrapped in newspaper. He hands over a few coins in return, and gives you the parcel without the F.
?ta,? it?s lucky you?d taken a crash course in beatle-speak before you came.
?lets get out of here before those teds get back,? no wonder paul?s nervous. You?ve heard about some of the teddy boys roaming the streets of Liverpool. Real nasty characters. ?if we see them, just don?t look at them too hard ok??
?I know, I?ve read books,? you reply with a little smile.
The next place you go to after finishing your late lunch is a little old building with the sign ?we buy and sell? above the door. Inside it is slightly gloomy and very musty, and you can make out rows and rows of old clothing, books and bric-a-brac.
?see if there?s anything here you fancy,? paul instructs as he sifts through a rack of clothing. You follow his example and pick a rack of your own to search.
?here you go,? he pulls out a pair of old woollen trousers, not in bad condition, which look about your size.
?is there anywhere I can try them on??
?here, duck behind this huge bookshelf. No one?ll see you. I?ll stand guard.? You were thinking more along the line of a changing room or something, but his suggestion will have to do. You duck behind the shelf and put on the itchy brown trousers. They are a woman?s cut, so they are tight at the waist and ballooned around the hips, but they fit.
?let?s ?ave a look then.? You come, a little sheepishly, out into his view. ?great! they fit perfectly. They suit you.? You pull a face. They?re so old fashioned! ? maybe not. You have to remember when you are.
?you think so??
?I know so. Very smart,? he replies with a grin. You just hope he?s not kidding.
??ow much for the trousers?? paul asks the old man at the counter. You hadn?t even noticed him there.
?two an? six,? replies the little old man. He was wearing little spectacles and a tidy tweed waistcoat. A walking clich?.
?two ?n? six?! You?ve got to be jokin?!?
?alright, one and six, but me dear ol? dog goes ?ungry.?
?I?ll give you a bob. And I bet you ?aven?t even got a dog!? paul seems to be enjoying this.
?alright a bob. But don?t tell anyone or they?ll put me out of business.?
Paul pays the man his shilling. ?do you want to just keep them on?? he says to you, ?they?re warmer than what you were wearing.?
You?re hesitant, but you decide you?ll have to wear them some time, and besides, he?s right, they are warmer.
?yeah, I will then. Are you sure they suit me??
?of course! They make you look dead hip!? he sounds sincere enough, you decide. You leave the shop with your jeans under your arm.
?the next one?s a bit of a walk, but there?s a record shop on the way, north end music store, and I want to see what?s there.?
?ok, sounds good,? you always have time for a browse through stacks of old? new records.
?lucky that we found something in the first place we went to,? remarks paul. He?s right too.
?yeah, I never even thought of it like that. We might have spent all day looking and never have found something that fits as well as these,? you?re starting to get used to the trousers. They might even be growing on you. They sure are warm!
The next shop you follow your hero into is NEMS. You?d always wondered what it was like, and now you are going in there with paul mccartney himself! It looks just like a conventional record store, with a rows of stands covered in vinyl records in alphabetical order and grouped according to genre. You don?t notice any stands labelled ?rock and roll? although the relatively small ?blues? one catches you eye. Paul heads straight to the counter.
?do you have it yet?? he asks the well dressed young man.
?no, it hasn?t arrived. You only asked me a couple of days ago, son.?
?I know, I was just checking. You know, just in case.?
?yeah, well I said it would be outside a month before we were able to get a copy in, and I haven?t changed my mind.?
?ok, well thank you anyway.?
As you are leaving the shop you spot the jazz stand. Jazz must be a lot more popular because it seems to have a prime spot on the shop floor.
?what were you after?? you ask.
?er? looking for.?
?oh! Um, you know, rock and roll. We have to order it, then we ask to listen to it and never buy it. It really cheeses them off, but they?re too expensive to go buying them all the time.?
?don?t they just say no, they won?t order any more?? you are a bit puzzled by this plan.
?no, because we go to different shops all the time. By the time we?ve pulled the trick on all of them, the first ones don?t remember.? Cheeky sods. You would never have thought of that though. Clever cheeky sods.
The next odds and sods shop was very similar to the first, and the next after that. Eventually you end up with enough old clothing to keep you going for a little while at least, and paul seems to have managed to get bargains on almost all of it. By the time you?re all finished shopping you are absolutely knackered. Paul can see this, and he offers to take you for a coffee at one of the clubs.
?I?m sure a coffee will do you good. It?s on me,? he offers with a friendly smile. He knows as well as you do that if it?s not on him, it?s not at all.
?well? alright then?but only because you made me,? you accept his offer, and it just so happens you are very close to one of the aforementioned clubs.
?this?ll do,? he says as he leads you inside, ?how do you like it??
?fine,? what funny question.
?no, I mean how do you like your coffee?? now you feel stupid. You blush and answer,
?flat white, one sugar.?
?flat white,? he asks.
?yeah, you know, with milk,? you explain.
?so? just coffee with milk and one sugar??
you laugh, ?that?s right.?
?ok, you get us a table, I?ll get the coffee,? he says as he heads for the counter.
You make your way to one of the classic 50s tables, the ones with the plastic coated tops and chrome legs, and sit on one of the vinyl covered seats (we?re not talking American diner here, no booths or anything. Just tables and chairs). Paul comes over with the coffees wobbling on their saucers and puts down one in front of you. It looks like he has his exactly like yours, because it?s white and he?s putting a spoon of sugar in it. You follow his example and take a sip. Oh yeah, that?s good. It?s not great coffee like you?re used to, but it?s warm and it makes you buzz. Paul seems to be enjoying his just as much and you pause to watch his beautiful face. He?s even better in real life than in all the pictures you have saved on your computer. His little mannerisms make you want to shake your head around and scream (now you know how the audiences felt!). you hold back though, and continue to watch as he drinks with his eyes closed until he opens them and looks up at you. You avert your eyes, embarrassed to have been staring, and he laughs. You take a few more sips of coffee and it warms you from the inside out.
?you know something, don?t you,? it wasn?t a question, and the sudden seriousness of his tone surprises you. Paul had been observing you since he first met you, and he just might be as smart as he looks.
?er? like what?? you try and sound innocent and probably fail.
?like about me? later, as it were,? now he?s nervous. You can tell by the way he suddenly looses about half his confidence.
?but I don?t want you to tell me. I don?t want to know what happens, even if it?s good.?
?I?m not going to tell you. I never intended to, and I still don?t.?
?so you do know?? damn!
?that wasn?t fair!? you protest at his trick.
?I?m sorry. I had to find out if you knew. But I meant it, I don?t want to know? whatever it is.?
?yeah, ok, so I?ve done my research,? an understatement, but you don?t want to even hint at what?s to come, ?I?ve always been interested in the 50s and 60s, you know, rock and roll,? you don?t like lying, but bending the truth is ok when you have to, ?and I found this book about English rock and roll in the late 50s and it mentioned Liverpool, that?s all.?
?that?s not all, is it? You knew one of my songs.?
?but you don?t want to know.?
?no, I don?t want to know.?
?then I can say no more,? you just can?t help it can you! No pun intended.
?please, say no more,? he seems to have the hang of it already! You decide to leave it there, and refocus all your attention on your coffee. That was a close one, and you?d rather not have to repeat it. The conversation has also reminded you of home. Will you ever get back to your friends and family? You hope so? but not too soon.
When you have both finished your coffee, paul looks at his watch, ?better be heading home, c?mon then.? You follow him out the door and to the nearest bus stop. After looking again on the timetable at the stop paul tells you the next bus will be 10 minutes, and suggests something to do while you wait.
?I want to show you one of the places I went when I was a lad, it?s not far from here.?
?ok, lead the way,? you are eager to see this little piece of history, whatever it might be.
As you approach a little park, which you can imagine would be a spot of green on the grey cityscape were it not winter he says ?I wish we had more time. I used to come here when we moved away from speke. I missed going out beyond the houses where all the trees and animals were, so I found this little bit of country in the city. I used to feed the squirrels.?
?you?d like it where I come from. It?s very green. I live very close to nature? I wish you could see it,? he would like it, and he could see it but he doesn?t know it. Maybe he?ll remember.. but he?s a busy man and you don?t want to keep your hopes up. You and paul spend a few minutes wandering in the park, not saying much, just enjoying each other?s company, and then make your way back to the bus stop just in time to get on the green bus to take you back to allerton.
You get there as it?s starting to get dark. You guess it must be about four or five o?clock because it?s winter. You head inside to the sound of voices.
?it?ll be one of my aunts,? paul tells you, ?they often come over to help out, but usually on tuesday.?
You get inside to the smell of food, and you realise how long it?s been since you had those chips. Your mouth is watering. As you approach the kitchen you see a lady, about middle aged, with the distinct look of an auntie about her.
?this is my aunt jinny,? paul introduces you.
?pleased to meet you ma?am,? you hope this is the right thing to say.
She gives a friendly little laugh, and replies in a nice, rounded liverpuddlian accent, ?likewise, love.? Now she turns to paul, ?your father told me you had a friend to stay, so I made extra. Sit yourselves down and enjoy it with us.?
The whole family: jim, paul, mike and jinny, and you, sit down to a meal of meat and two veg. Paul, understanding as he is, carefully and discretely rids you of the meat bit, and no one appears to notice. You smile at him, he smiles back. As you eat, you make polite conversation with the mccartney family, and in the end you think you?ve done reasonably well. After the meal you all migrate to the sitting room and jim does a number on the piano, and then it?s paul?s turn. He plays a little jazz number to start with. He?s really good, even at 17. no wonder he?s so great now? then? later. The next number is an oldie, and his aunt seems to enjoy it. You?ve never heard it before, but you recognise the sort of thing. A happy little tune that almost reminds you of Marcia my dear. Yes, very similar. The evening progresses, and you find yourself growing tired. Paul is yawning too, and you wonder how much sleep he got last night. Eventually, mr mccartney declares it time to retire for the night, and thanks jinny very much for coming. He will take her home, and expects the boys to be out of sight when he returns. When he and jinny have left, paul leads the way up the stairs.
?what does he think about? you know.. the arrangements??
?you mean of us both sleeping in my bed? He doesn?t,? comes the answer along with a cheeky smile.
?what? He doesn?t know at all? What does he think, then??
?I donno, it hasn?t come up. He wouldn?t be angry or anything, just a bit suspicious. Nothing to worry about. And besides, he probably won?t cotton on.?
?if you say so. he?s your father.?
?don?t worry about it.?
You follow paul to the bathroom and brush your teeth with the new toothbrush you bought today. He goofs around pulling faces at you while he brushes his, and you get froth all over the place laughing through your toothpaste (no fluorine in it in these days, and it didn?t taste very good either. A bit like baking soda badly disguised with some sort of mint). you go back upstairs and get ready for bed. You will be wearing paul?s pyjamas again because if he had some to lend you there was no point buying your own. He doesn?t bother to leave the room this time, and you both get changed at the same time, but facing different ways. The funny thing is, you both decide to take a peak at the same time. You turn around when you have the top half of yours on, and find that he?s turned his head as soon as he?d got the bottom half on. He looks embarrassed at being caught, but when you laugh he sees the funny side and laughs too. When you are both dressed he asks you
?were you comfortable on the wall side last night, or do you want to swap??
?I was fine, what about you??
?don?t worry about me. I?m fine if you are.?
So you get in first again, and the sheets are stone cold. He follows and you feel his heat immediately. This time sleep isn?t the first thing on either of your minds, and you both feel a bit awkward. But that soon passes when you are well into whispered conversation. He notices you shivering a little and moves closer.
?can?t have you being cold, can we??
?or you,? you reply smugly as you pluck up your own courage and snuggle up to the warm lad. He takes the opportunity to stroke your hair, and you close your eyes and relax. Bliss! What a dream come true! You are in paul mccartney?s bed, with paul mccartney, and he is stroking your hair. You get a big smile on your face and a little ?mmmm? escapes before you can stop it. He gives a little chuckle. After a while you must have drifted off to sleep?.
<please note: all reference to pronunciation in the following chapter refers to the New Zealand pronunciation of the example words (often very similar to that used in america) and the liverpuddlian pronunciation of the spoken words? get it? I know I wouldn?t!>
? because you wake up and a tiny ray of sun is coming in the window. There is a softly snoring pre-beatle beside you, as you smile and close your eyes again. You are perfectly warm and happy having a lie in with paul mccartney. Your very own bed in! paul gives a little grunt, and rolls over. He wakes slowly, and utters a grumbly ??mornin?? when he becomes aware of your presence.
you offer a ?good morning? in reply. As he becomes more awake it becomes apparent why you are still here at this time of morning.
?I was woken up when dad left earlier this morning, but I decided it was a good morning for a lie in,? he explains as he reaches for the radio and turns on the teenagers? programme of rock and roll. He puts an arm around you and you both lie still and listen to the music for a while.
Your feet are just starting to get too warm when he saves the day again.
?do you want a bath?? he asks you.
?yes. Are you sure you have enough water for two baths? I don?t want to use all you water so that you can?t have a warm one.?
?no, we don?t have baaaths,? he replies with a grin, ?in my house we have bAths,? he says it like you would say bus, which he says like you would say look, which he says like you would say fluke, and somehow, he says fluke just the same as you. You laugh, and attempt to say bAth.
?buth.? Now it?s his turn to laugh? laff.
?sort of. And gerl,? he challenges you. He must have picked up on the differences already.
?girl,? you reply.
?that?ll ?ave to do,? he says, laughing again, ?and now, how about that bAth??
?I?d luv a bAth,? you attempt a liverpuddlian reply, ?boot (like soot) what about you??
?joost leave the water in.?
?eeew! Really?,? you pick up that he?ll use your water after you.
?yeah! Gerls aarn?t very derty,? now he?s using and even stronger accent on purpose.
?well, if you?re sure??
?of course I?m sure,? now he gives you a friendly shove, ?come on, out you get!?
you fall out of the bed dramatically, and he climbs out after you. You head downstairs together, and into the bathroom. You notice a cheeky look on paul?s face, as he says
?or? we could just ?.?
?aha, I don?t think so!? you don?t even need to hear the end of that sentence to know that he was about to suggest (jokingly) that you have a bath together. At the same time. You and paul. Paul McCartney. Ok, so you do think so, but the little piece of your brain that hasn?t been melted and shut down at the idea tells you that yes is not the right answer just yet. Besides, he didn?t really mean it? did he?
You snap out of it, and turn your brain back on. Now you REALLY need a bath, preferably a cold one! He puts your towel where you can reach it when you get out, and as he?s leaving the room, tells you
?remember not to pull the plug out.?
You decide against trying to wash your hair for two reasons. The first being you can?t see any shampoo anywhere, and the second being you don?t want to leave him all soapy water. You have a quick bath so that the water isn?t too cold when you get out. You get dressed and go to find paul to tell him it?s his turn.
After you?re both all nice and clean, paul makes brunch (it?s too late for breakfast by now). It?s not bagels and humus, it?s not the famous fruit mandala you read about in mojo magazine last may, but it?s quite a nice meal.
?what?s on the agenda for today then?? you ask paul.
?well, the lads might come over for a while later on, and I thought I?d show you some of the sites around Liverpool. Dad?s supplied some bus money for us.?
Sounds like you are in for another lovely day with lovely paul.
After breakfast you head out to the bus stop again. It?s a lovely sunny day. Still not warm, but that wonderful winter sun that you feel on your face and that warms your toes just a little bit. The bus pulls up in no time, and you head off towards the city again.
?I want to show you the docks where I used to go a lot to practice my Spanish on the sailors who came. Then we can go to where there?s a market, and if you want to go back to that little park for a better look we can do that too.?
?that sounds great!? you are really excited at the prospect of being shown the sights of Liverpool by paul mccartney himself.
The first stop is the docks, and as you are clambering off the bus something catches your eye. A whitish thing flapping a bit in the breeze. You decide it might be worth checking out, and you bend down to pick it up.
?what?s that you?ve got there?? paul asks. You show him the rectangle of printed paper. ?a fiver! You?re rich!? he exclaims, eyebrows raised.
?here,? you give it to him. ?I owe you money, don?t I??
?yeah, maybe. But not a whole five pounds! That?s a lot of money you know.?
?I know, but you have it. I haven?t got any use for it have I??
?well, I suppose not. Well, we?ll have a nice lunch today!?
?it?s up to you.?
He tucks the note into his pocket and gives it a pat as he gives you that paul mccartney look (you know the one? Eyebrows raised, little smile. It never lasts for long, but I?m sure you know the one.)
You follow him down the road a little bit, towards the dock area. It?s a typical sort of dock, with the occasional big ships moored, men busy working, sea birds and the like. You love the smell of the salt water, and you?re glad the sun decided to come out today because the brisk little breeze coming in off the water would have cut through your clothing like knives.
?are you too cold?? paul seems to have read your mind.
?no. only a little bit chilly,? is your reply. You rub your hands together and blow on them to try and get them warm. Those and your nose are the only bits of you that are cold.
?not those hands again!? paul has noticed and remembers the day before when you had cold hands. ?come here,? he demands, and as you comply he takes your hands in his, which are soft and warm like the last time. He gives yours a gentle squeeze. ?why are your hands always so cold?? he asks you as he takes a step closer and changes his grip.
?I have no idea. They never used to be. It must be the climate,? you decide. He doesn?t answer, just looks at you for a bit. (butterflies yet?)
you raise your left hand with his still holding it firmly, and like on your first meeting, notice the rough skin on the tips of his fingers.
?from the guitar?? you know all about the agony of learning on a cheapish instrument. Forcing yourself to play until you simply have to stop because your fingers won?t press the strings any more. It goes away eventually, and you are left with fingers of one hand that are useless for feeling textures because the tips have become so hard.
?mm. It?s nothing,? he shrugs it off, and is surprised to see that yours are very similar. ?do you play too??
?yeah, well? sort of,? you are still standing face to face, your hands in his. ?I?m not very good at all, but it?s fun.?
?I?m impressed! You?ll have to show me what you can do when we get home.? He is talking softly, and it makes you weak in the knees (ok, the author might be listening to honey pie. Call it inspiration).
Now it?s your turn to give no answer. You can feel your hands getting warmer, but you?re not ready for him to let go.
?come on then,? but he does. You follow him around the docks as he points out thin