Swaying To The Rhythm
Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Location: New Zealand
|Posted: 07-19-2004 01:28 AM Post subject: GO BACK IN TIME with Ringo11: story of the century!!
|ladles and jellyspoons, i stand here today to bring you the one, the only, the best story this board has seen since yesterday, in full and all in one place and up to date (or at least up as far as on that other thread)!!! step right up, read it here, do it today! this is one you mustn't miss! ladies, get all the thrills you need right here. guys, read on to see how it's done, to find out what makes the other half tick.
that's right ladies and gentleman, this is where you can find "Go Back In Time To 1959..." right at your fingertips, so get your screen eyes out, do your scrolling hand stretches, and sit back and enjoy!!
how long can one post be? we'll soon find out...
Last edited by Ringo11 on 07-19-2004 01:47 AM; edited 1 time in total
Swaying To The Rhythm
Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Location: New Zealand
|Posted: 07-19-2004 01:32 AM Post subject:
|DISCLAIMER: the grammar, punctuation, spelling and all other general editing and proffing in this story is abysimal, so please ignore it. capitol letters are scarce and when present, often misplaced. commas run wild and wreak havock amoung the badly phrased sentences, words change spelling almost every seperate time they appear. hopefully you'll enjoy this adventure anyway.
Make This Journey Last
Joined: 06 Jul 2004
|Posted: 07-19-2004 01:32 AM Post subject:
|* drum rolls*
Paul in Milwaukee 10/23/05
Swaying To The Rhythm
Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Location: New Zealand
|Posted: 07-19-2004 01:34 AM Post subject:
|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 cliché.
“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
Last edited by Ringo11 on 07-19-2004 02:01 AM; edited 1 time in total
Swaying To The Rhythm
Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Location: New Zealand
|Posted: 07-19-2004 01:39 AM Post subject:
|things of interest. A ship from norway, one from America which he approaches to ask one of the crew if they have brought any new records from the states.
“not this time, son,” comes the answer from up on the deck.
“oh well,” paul says to you as he turns to walk away from the ship. “are you hungry yet?” he asks you.
“no, not yet. We just had breakfast!”
“just making sure,” he says with another lovely smile. He smiles a lot, but you will never ever take his smiles for granted.
You and paul make your way back to the bus stop and there is only a short wait for the right one to take you back into town. He shows you the market with all the salesmen performing and showing off their goods.
“shall we buy a stack of plates?” paul asks you. “they don’t even break when he knocks them over!”
“now what on earth would we do with a stack of plates?” you ask in reply.
“got me there… but they’re only three pounds!”
“and we can’t eat them or travel on them, so there.”
“ok, but what about this tablecloth?” you give him a friendly punch on the arm and he stops teasing you and pretends he wants to fight you instead.
“go on then! I bet I can beat you hands down,” you challenge.
“not if I find your weakness!” and he goes straight for the spot where you are most ticklish.
“hey!” you squirm to get away.
“ha ha! Got it!” and he chases you around the market, bumping into old people and not caring about the cross looks you are both receiving. He eventually catches you and you decide that you can’t get away so you’ll attack him with his own strategy. You discover his weakness is behind the knees.
“NO!” he yells. “not there! Ahrrgh!”
eventually you both give up and end up laughing and exhausted, leaning against each other on a bench in the market square.
“I told you I’d beat you,” you tease.
“you did not. I won fair and square,” comes his answer.
“no, you were the first to give in. that means I’m the winner.”
Now he puts on a serious face. “ok, but please don’t tell anyone I was beaten by a girl. Please, I beg of you,” and he can’t keep up the act because you see the corners of his mouth turn up as he tries not to smile.
“weelll….” you try and look as if you are considering something really important.
He puts his face close to yours, looks you in the eye and tries to look forlorn. You smile, and kiss him on the nose. You never meant to do that! Oh well, can’t be helped…
“hey!” now he pretends to be angry. “you can’t do that!”
“well, I’ve done it son, so you’re wrong.” You play along.
“ok, but now it’s not even.”
“what’s not even?” you ask.
He gives you a look that says “you know very well what’s not even!” and you turn your head and try to look innocent. Just then he kisses you on the cheek.
“hey!” now it’s your turn to be surprised.
“what do you mean ‘hey’? it’s only fair, isn’t it?”
this time it’s your turn to take his hands in yours, and as you do, you turn to face him.
“yes,” you say in a kind voice. “now it’s almost even.”
“almost?” he says, moving closer.
“almost,” you repeat, “only now it’s unfinished.”
“you’re right. couldn’t have that now, could we.”
You finish it. Just once. With your eyes closed. (now there’re butterflies. Don’t deny it!) does it need describing here? Probably not.
When you’ve finished finishing it (not being too subtle again am I?) you just sit there for a few seconds, seconds that feel like years, in silence, still holing each other’s hands.
He is the first to speak.
“well! Now are you hungry?”
you let his hands go and rub the back of your neck sheepishly. You make a quick recovery.
“oh yes. All that running around has given me a huge appetite. I still wouldn’t eat a horse though.”
The moment is over, gone like so many before it. He gets up off the bench and you are once again aware of the hustle and bustle of the market, and of the soft warm sun on your face.
“come one then. Let’s find some food.”
You get up off the bench and walk away together to find a café for lunch.
Or at least you thought you were looking for a café, but what you seem to have conveniently forgotten (hardly surprising considering recent events) is that it’s 1959 and what you end up with is something you wouldn’t hesitate, in 2004, to call “tearooms”.
“here’s a place. What do you think?”
you decide to be honest, and with a chuckle, reply “in my day, this sort of place would be full of little old ladies.”
He looks through the window.
“oh! It is now, too. Ha ha! I’m not used to eating out, let’s keep looking.” And you do.
Eventually you find a place to eat. You are surprised, because you never expected to see this sore of café in Liverpool in 1959. it’s cosy and tucked away down a cute little side street. You go inside and find that it’s a lot lighter that you’d expected it to be. It had windows on the other side that look out over water, and you could hear trendy modern jazz playing softly in the background. If you didn’t have any sense you would have said someone must have put a café in a time machine and brought it all the way from 2004!
The patronage seems to be ladies with fancy hats, and French looking men with little moustaches. Perhaps this is the sort of place the rich foreigners come to eat when they arrive at the port on business. Time to check out the menu.
You notice paul looks a bit out of place in a place like this, and realise that you probably do as well, but the difference is you feel right at home.
“just try and walk as if you own the place,” you tell paul as you walk up to look at the menu board. What’s on offer seems to be a mixture of French and Italian breads with fancy fillings, some funny named soups and apparently the entire range of espresso coffees that you are so used to.
“what’s lat?” paul innocently asks.
“lat?… oh! latte! That’s a sort of milky coffee,” you explain.
“’ow do you know??” paul is surprised at your sudden expert Italian.
“what do you mean, how do I know? I thought everyone knew… where I come from anyway,” you tease.
Just then a youngish man with a thin, dark little moustache comes out from a door behind the counter and gives you a look that says “oh dear. What do you want, then?”
You decide the best thing to do is to try the modern approach on him, and hope he takes it as trendy and foreign.
“hi there,” you begin in your very best non-liverpuddlian accent, trying really hard not to sound at all like an Australian. “hmmm… I’ll have a panini, lightly toasted, with feta and obergine. And a cappucino. What do you want, love?” the last bit is directed at paul, who looks at you in dismay.
“he’ll have the same thanks,” you tell the man. “will you bring it to our table?”
“yes, it shouldn’t be long,” comes the reply in a very mixed and possible fake European accent. You lead paul to a table by a window, and he seems to have just a few of hits wits about him, because he pulls out a chair for you to sit on.
“why, thank you,” you say as you sit down. He sits opposite, and gives you the most puzzles look you’ve ever seen on his face. You laugh quietly, and tell him
“don’t look so worried! This is the only sort of food for me. I’ve been dying for a cappuccino since I got here, and a bit of feta cheese never did anyone any harm.”
“but… have you been to italy or something then?” he’s still trying to work out how on earth you know about all this fancy foreign stuff.
“no, not me. This is the sort of place I have lunch at home. Well, ok, so this one is at the top end of the market, but it’s the same sort of food and everything.”
“does everyone eat at places like this?”
“yeah! Why not?”
the man arrives with the food, and you never get to find out why not. He places one plate in front of you, and one in front of paul.
“I will bring the coffee out in a moment.”
“thank you,” you say.
Paul is poking the panini with a fork.
“don’t prod it. Eat it,” you instruct as you cut a bit off yours and savour the taste of what you consider modern food. The man brings the cappuccinos, with plenty of froth on the top and chocolate coated coffee beans in the spoons. Wow! Now you really feel at home! You eat both of them at the same time, and crunching away, watch paul as he sticks one in his mouth carefully.
“chew it, don’t just suck all the chocolate off.”
He chews it, and pulls a face.
“it’s gritty!” he exclaims.
“of course it’s gritty. It’s a coffee bean,” you laugh.
You put a spoon of nice raw sugar in your coffee and poke it with the spoon until it sinks through the froth. He does the same. You scrape your spoon across the top and eat a spoonful of cinnamon covered froth. It’s quite nice. You usually have coco on top at home, but perhaps that’s strictly a modern thing. He copies you again. You stir some of the frothy milk into your drink and then stir in the sugar sitting on the bottom. You take a sip, and tuck into your lunch. You watch as he sips his coffee to, and laugh at him when he gets a white moustache, licks it off and says “mmm!”. He tucks into his italian toasted flatbread as well, and seems to like it.
“how on earth are we going to pay for all this stuff?” he asks you. “it’s bound to cost more than what we have left.”
“don’t worry, son. I have a plan,” you reassure him as you dig into your pocket (you’re wearing your jeans again today) and pull out what you have left of money from home. It’s a green twenty with the queen on it. it’s plastic and has a see through fern in one corner. You also have a few coins: a dollar, a two dollar (both gold coloured) and some small change. “this should do nicely,” you say with a smile.
When you have finished your lunch and you go to pay, you ask the man if he takes foreign currency.
“if the correct exchange rate is known,” is the reply. You try your knowledge of exchange rates.
“the current exchange rate, to my knowledge, is three dollars to one pound, approximately. I will give you extra to make up for exchange fees.”
The man seems pleased with this, and calculates the cost of the lunch.
“that comes to eighteen dollars.”
You give him the twenty, plus most of the change. He looks at it sourly, so you take paul’s arm and leave the café as briskly as you can without looking suspicious.
“lets get out of here before he sees the date!” and as soon as the door closes behind you you break into a run. you only stop when you are safely around the corner and a fair way down the road. Puffing and laughing, paul asks you
“is that really the exchange rate?”
“are you mad? New Zealand uses pounds in 1959, and britain’s currency is completely reviewed by 2004. I can honestly tell you that one british pound in 2004 is equal to about three new Zealand dollars, but what is he going to do with coins dated 1988 and notes made of plastic?”
“is everything made of plastic in the future?”
“you’d be amazed.”
The next place you head on the Paul McCartney Tour Of Liverpool is back to the little park you saw briefly the day before. The sun is still shining and the air is still crisp. You stroll past bare boughs and over damp grass, arm in arm, until you come to another bench, invisible from any roads, secluded, and totally surrounded by nature. You can barely even hear the traffic noise as you sit together, breathing the fresh air and enjoying the warm sun in the sharp air. After a while he breaks the silence.
“oh that! What about before?”
“well… I meant it.”
“you meant it.”
“I meant it.”
“What do you mean, you meant it?” you know perfectly well what he means. It’s not that you want to avoid talking abut it, or that you are teasing him. You’re just in a good mood, and you feel like being playful.
“you know,” he knows you know.
“I do, yeah.”
“ok. I meant it too. There.”
He gives you a look.
“sorry. I’m in a great mood, that’s all. I’m not trying to take the mickey,” you say with a smile.
“it’s a nice day... but…” he begins.
“oh dear. But?” you ask. “well, it’s a shame really.”
“what’s a shame?” now he’s got you going.
“well I just think it’s a shame you’re not… you know… from around here. We could have -”
“it is a shame,” you put a stop to that last bit, “but we can just enjoy it while it lasts… how ever long that is.”
“do you miss it? The future I mean.”
“of course I do. I miss my family and friends, I miss colour tv, I miss -” you decide not to mention the internet, “well, you know, modern life. But I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad we met, and I’m glad it’s now.”
“I am too. Do you mean we could have met later?”
“don’t be silly! how on earth could we have met later? You mean in 2004? You would be a 61 year old Englishman somewhere in the world, and I’m a 17 year old student in New Zealand, which is about as far away from anything as you can get. How do two people like that meet? Even if we walked past each other in the street by chance one day, you wouldn’t know me from a bar of soap! Anyway, I thought you didn’t want to know. I’m not going to say any more.”
“ok, don’t. but if I saw you later, when you get back, I’d… you know… say hello.”
“are you sure you’d remember me?”
“yes! I’ll never forget you, I promise,” he promises.
“no. it’s almost 50 years away. I wouldn’t expect you to remember me. I’m just another face in the crowd.”
oops. “the crowd on the street. The crowd at the movies. That sort of crowd.” Phew!
He doesn’t reply, just sits there in thought.
“but I meant it. Before,” you change the subject.
“I know… I could tell.” He smiles that lovely smile, and you sit for a while longer, side by side, arm in arm, in a little park in the middle of Liverpool in 1959. you and a 17 year old paul mccartney.
The sun is starting to get low and the shadows are cold. Paul notices your occasional shiver.
“let’s head back home now eh?”
“ok. What’s the time?”
“it’s heading for half past three,” he says after looking at his right wrist. Whenever you see people with their watch on the wrong hand you think of paul. You get up and, still arm in arm, head for the bus stop. This time your luck has run out and the bus will be at least five minutes, and in the cold this is longer than it sounds. Paul unlinks his arm from yours and takes it out of the sleeve of his coat. He wraps that side of the coat around you.
“put your arm in there.” You do. It’s warm in there with him. He puts the arm around your waist and gives you another smile. You return it.
“you’re such a gentleman, you know that?”
“no, I was talking to that three legged dog over there.”
“oh. I’ll mind me own business then,” he retaliates with a grin.
“but I mean it, you are. I’ve never met a guy as polite and charming as you… specially one my age!”
“well, a lot of blokes don’t realise how great it is for pulling all the birds,” he explains. “if any guy asked me for advice on how to win all the girls, I’d tell him to treat them like queens. You lot melt all over anyone who goes to the effort, you know.”
You give him a friendly nudge with your elbow inside the coat.
“well? You brought it up!”
“I take it back then!” you’re only joking.
“I don’t care.”
“I don’t care was made to care!”
the bus pulls up at this point, and you have coordination problems getting in the door because you are both wearing the same coat at the same time. You giggle and stumble, and finally make it close enough to pay.
“the money’s in my inside pocket, but I can’t move my arm!” paul says. It’s still around your waist inside the coat, and after the struggle getting on the bus he doesn’t have any room to move it.
“so what am I supposed to do?” you ask.
“your arm’s free isn’t it?”
“well, get some money out of my pocket for me will you!”
“forget about all that just now. We need to get home! It’s in the pocket closest to you, just see if you can get a bob or two would you?”
you twist your arm around so you can reach the pocket of his pants. If you get you elbow back far enough and twist your wrist you can reach some coins.
“hey! Careful. That tickles,” he says with a grin. You pull out as many coins as you can and hand them to paul’s free hand.
“thanks,” he pays the driver and you stumble down the aisle and sidle into a seat, laughing and pushing each other around. You finally settle down when the bus is moving.
“how are we going to get out of here?” you ask paul.
“oh, it shouldn’t be too much trouble.”
“I’ll take your word for it. I trust you have a plan…” a very famous plan.
“sommat like that, yeah.”
After a while in the bus paul says
“er… could you lean forward for a while, please? It’s just that I can’t feel my arm.”
you laugh and lean forward. He wriggles his arm.
“now you’re tickling me! Hey!” he’s doing it on purpose now. You use your free arm and go for his knees again.
“ok! Ok! I’ll stop!” he stops wriggling his arm. “but I need to my arm out from behind you or it’ll drop off.”
“go on then,” you prompt, as you stay leaning forward. He twists his arm, bends at the elbow, pulls the arm out from behind your back and links through in your inside arm instead.
“why didn’t you do that to get the money?” you ask.
“I, er, didn’t think of it…” he grins. You notice what nice teeth he has, then you give him a friendly nudge with your shoulder.
“that hurts.” He puts on a sad face, and then breaks into a big smile.
The bus pulls up at the allerton stop and you pile off again. You walk to within a block of his house, and then you stop to get out of the coat so that his family doesn’t make fun of you.
“you said you had a plan. Now we put it to the test.”
“ok,” he begins, “you turn that way and I’ll turn this way so our backs are facing each other…” you do it, and the coat feels nowhere near as tight. “… now try and get your arm out of the sleeve, and…” it works, “there we go!” you hold the side of the coat out so he can get his own arm back in, and then complete the journey back to his house. As you walk through the front door he calls out to see if anyone’s home.
“hello? We’re back!” no answer. “hmm. Dad must still be out, and mike must have gone to his mate’s place.” You have the house to yourself. Now’s your opportunity!
“I have a good idea,” you say to paul.
“what’s that then?”
“could you teach me to play the piano as well as you do?” he laughs. He might have been expecting you to say something completely different.
“I probably can, yes. Can you play anything at all?” instead of telling him you go into the lounge with him following, and sit yourself down at the piano. You automatically go for an f chord (both hey jude and yesterday start on f if you play them in an easy key) but then you realise your mistake, and quickly go for a bit of a rock and roll left hand pattern off changing rooms, a tv programme that you used to watch. He’s impressed by that even though it’s not exactly Beethoven’s ninth symphony, part of which you decide to play next. Ode to joy is the first thing you ever learnt to play on the keyboard, and it’s about as easy as chopsticks. Next you attempt to remember für elise, but you have to stop half way because it’s been a long time since you played it and you can’t remember how it goes.
“ok, so it looks like you know where all the keys are at least,” he says with a grin. You attempt to do that thing where you run your hand down the whole keyboard, nearly breaking your fingers in the process. It’s very different from doing it on your electric keyboard at home!
“what do you want me to tech you then?” he asks.
“can you teach me how you do those lovely little jazz riffs? And how you play real rock and roll songs?” he sits beside you on the piano seat, and starts off showing you another left hand pattern, a bit more complex than the one you played before. Then you have a go at playing it and he guides you. He shows you a couple of complicated 7th chords by placing your fingers one at a time on the keyboard. His touch is firm and gentle. You are going to enjoy this immensely.
When he has been teaching you to play the piano for what feels like ages but could have been anything from half an hour up to two hours, you hear the front door bang shut and heavy footsteps in the passage. Paul’s father comes into the front room, and with a smile says
“I see you got ‘round to askin’ ‘im then.” You smile politely. Jim has a whole bag of bangers in his hand, and he chucks them at paul who catches them skilfully and gets up off the seat beside you.
“oh oh. Time to cook dinner then,” paul says to you.
“I’ll help if you like,” you offer.
“ok, come on then.” You follow him into the kitchen. He turns on the cooker and shifts a shelf to the top.
“you won’t be wanting any sausages will you?”
“no thanks,” you try not to pull any faces when you say this.
“are you really allergic to meat?” he asks suspiciously.
“not exactly allergic,” you try and choose the right words so that he’ll understand, “I’m vegetarian.”
“oh! Why didn’t you just say so?”
“well I just thought you’d think it was a bit strange, that’s all. I mean, it’s not exactly common is it?”
“no, I s’pose it’s not, but I don’t think it’s strange anyway. ‘specially not compared to some of your other quirks.” There’s that grin again.
“it’s funny, people at home think I’m strange for being so old fashioned!”
“well, you seem to be doing a good job of it. If you hadn’t told me you were from the future I would have just thought you had some wacky foreign connections,” paul explains.
“I think that’s good…” you change the subject, “what’s the secret of that lovely mashed potato you made the other night?” you’ve read all about paul mccartney’s wonderful mash and the first night you were here you found that it’s all true.
“if I told you, I’d have to shoot you. So I’ll just show you.” He gets out a pot and a bag of spuds, fills the pot with water and sets it on the stove. Then he gets out another, smaller pot and a can of tomatoes which he opens. He gets a knife and sticks it in the tin and wriggles it around to cut the tomatoes. The tomatoes go in the smaller pot, juice and all, and it’s set on the stove as well.
“you don’t happen to have any green beans do you?” you ask on the off chance. Your grandmother has just taught you how to cut them so that when you boil them they go lovely and tender instead of stringy and squeaky.
“you might be in luck there, I’ll have a look.” He grovels in a cupboard and then goes out the back door into the yard and you see him look in a sort of crate with a lid there. He pulls out a bag and brings it inside.
“that’s where we keep some stuff so it stays a bit cold,” he explains. He didn’t need to, you’ve seen it before in germany when you went on an exchange there. The veggies would freeze on the windowsill.
He opens the bag and tips out the beans.
“what are you going to do with them?” he enquires. You explain the method of cooking them and tell him you think they’d be nice with the tomato puree he’s making.
“and they’re good for you, beans. Keep you strong and healthy,” you tease.
“go on then,” he says, and hands you a knife and a wooden chopping board. They are flat beans so you cut them on the diagonal into little pieces and put them in yet another pot to cook.
“what about garlic. Have you got any of that?”
“garlic? What on earth do you want that for? I’m pretty sure we don’t have anything like that!”
“never mind then.” You just thought it might be nice with the tomato stuff.
When the grill is hot he puts the sausages under it, and by then the water is boiling for the potatoes so he throws them in their pot.
“and now we wait,” he tells you. And then you wait.
He turns the sausages, stirs the sauce and prods the potatoes. You try and help by testing a bit of bean. Cooking has never really been your thing.
When the taters are ready he drains the water, adds butter and salt and a little drop of milk and mashes the s**t out of them with a fork. He certainly is a good masher. His muscles bulge in his mashing arm as you watch, mesmerised. When the whole lot is smooth and creamy he gets a bit on the fork and holds it up to your mouth.
You open up. He feeds you the mashed potato. It’s the best you’ve ever had! It must just be because it’s made by him. You’ve made them plenty of times with exactly the same stuff in them and they never tasted so good. You tell him.
“I’ve made them plenty of times with exactly the same stuff in them and they never tasted so good! So I still can’t figure out your secret.”
“I s’pose it’s just all about getting the right quantities then.” Another lovely smile.
The rest of the food is soon ready and you serve it all up and call the family. Another meal with the mccartneys.
“these beans are great,” jim comments. “how did you get them so tender?” paul indicates, with one of his lovely gestures that only he can do, that it was all your doing. You melt and fill with pride at the same time.
“my grandmother taught me how to cut them a special way, that’s all,” you tell jim mac.
When the meal is over, you all move into the sitting room to listen to the goon show. They are a hilarious trio with whom you are already a bit familiar. You once found a 7 inch EP at home and loved it, and now you get to hear the real radio show. Spike milligan, harry secombe and peter sellers.
<side note: if you have never heard the goon show, please do! They really are great!>
When you and paul are back upstairs, after having gone through the silliness of teeth brushing and general washing up, you both get changed for bed with even less worry for all things proper and polite than previously. You climb into his little single bed and he climbs in beside you like before. He turns out the light but you don’t sleep. You talk well into the night, about everything under the sun. you talk about your family and his family, about each of your dreams and ambitions (you can’t tell him that yours has always been to meet him, and listening to his is difficult when you know which ones come true and which don’t). you talk about his mates and his band, and his childhood. Even his mother. He, being paul, doesn’t seem to show any signs of inner pain or anything revealing what’s right down deep in that wonderful mind and soul of his. Those are things that will forever remain a mystery to all except perhaps his soul mate (who you already know is definitely not you). After hours of heart to heart talking you both finally drift off to sleep.
You dream of paul and of his future, of Linda and their children, of wings and also of your own life in the future. You dream that dream you have every night. The one where you finally get to meet the 21st century paul, shake his hand and maybe even talk to him for a while, only this time he recognises you from somewhere but can’t remember where.
When you wake up in the morning it’s still dark and paul is still asleep beside you. You are a bit cold so you roll over and move a bit closer to the warm lad. You drift off again for a while and reawaken just as the first show of light is coming through the window. Paul is still beside you, but he’s awake and is looking at you in a thoughtful, kind sort of way. He sees you have woken up and puts his arm around your shoulders. It’s going to break your heart when you have to leave him (and you figure you must at some point otherwise you would have shown up in history and you would have noticed yourself in a book or something). After just lying there for a while in peace and warmth, you and he get out of bed, have baths and make breakfast. You are sitting eating when he tells you
“the lads are going to come over for a practice today.”
“oh, good… you haven’t told them anything have you?”
“no! I wouldn’t do that you know.”
“you’re right. I trust you. It’s just... well… I just have to be careful, that’s all,” you attempt to explain.
“I know. Don’t worry, I’ll never tell a soul anything.” You do trust him. You would trust him with anything. You’ve always thought that, even before you actually met him, so now you’re not sure why you asked.
“when are they coming then?” you ask.
“oh, some time this morning,” is his vague reply. “I can teach you more piano if you like, till they get here. You accept his offer, and you’re just learning how to roll notes when they just appear at the doorway. Neither you nor paul heard them come in.
“what do you think you’re playin’ at, sneaking up on us like that?” paul jokes.
“just checking,” is george’s cheeky reply.
“well, you missed the show. You should have come earlier.” You can play this game too. Paul plays along.
“oh yeah! I’m glad you didn’t walk in before. John would have had to cover your eyes!”
“I would ‘ave ‘ad to cover me own!” john remarks. They both leave the doorway and enter the room, dumping their guitar cases on the floor in the process. John pushes in between you and paul at the piano and plays silly buggers, playing with his elbows and feet and pulling faces. He manages to make paul fall off the seat and is sitting there beside you. He bats his eyes at you.
“what’s a pretty girl like you doing in a place like this?” he says in a silly voice.
“now that you mention it…” you reply with a grin. He takes your hand and gives it a dramatic kiss. You pretend to be overwhelmed with flattery, and putting the back of your hand to your forehead, fall backwards in a fake swoon. George is standing behind you and catches you. John jumps up and flings his arms in the air.
“alright boys, lets get this show in the road!”
“alright!” “yeah!” come the replies. He and george grab their instruments and leave the room.
“come on then,” paul says to you as he goes up stairs to get his own. You follow him up, and back down again to the bathroom where the other two seem to already be set up to begin.
“hold on son. You can’t bring a bird in here. If you set that sort of example then who knows who geroge’ll decide to bring along!”
“come on, she’s alright,” paul says.
“paul, birds and bands don’t mix you know,” john retaliates. You decide to take this one on yourself. This is john ono lennon telling paul mccartney that birds and bands don’t mix, and you’re the only one who can see the irony! You go up to john and, facing him, fix his collar.
“if you met a foreign bird,” you tuck a stray bit of hair back behind his ear, “I know for sure that no one would mind her sitting in on one or two rehearsals,” you pick a bit of fluff of his shoulder and give it a brush with your hand, “eh john? Your mates are very understanding, just like you.”
John gives you a stern look, and then grins widely.
“you shall be on trial,” he imitates a queenly voice.
You sit down on the edge of the bath and he hands his guitar to you and gets out his mouth organ. You look at your new instrument in surprise at first, and when paul gives you an encouraging look you rattle off a bit of the start of roll over Beethoven followed by a bit of the blues scale in c. the lads seem impressed enough, and you give john his guitar back. He taps it four times and he, paul and george break into that’s all right mama, not quite as professionally as you’re used to, but certainly not badly. When they have finished you clap and john stands up and bows. You ask them if they can play in spite of all the danger and paul is the only one who gives you a funny look. The others just presume that he’s already demonstrated some of his songs to you, but he knows very well that that’s not how you are familiar with the mccartney classics. Oops. Well, at least you’ve managed not to bring up any song that he hasn’t written yet. And all the songs you have let on that you know about are ones from the exercise book he has apparently written them in. You can come up with an explanation later. The soon-to-be-beatles play the song you requested, and it’s great to hear it without all the crackle from the anthology version.
George, after the band has played a few more songs, has a bright idea and asks paul if he happens to have a tea chest hanging around anywhere. You follow the lads out into the shed where there just happens to be a big wooden box, and paul disappears and comes back with a broom and a bit of string. They rummage around to find a nail and something to make a couple of holes with, and in the end you are persuaded to demonstrate your skill on tea chest bass. You’ve made one before, at home, with a big plastic drum, but it wasn’t a very good one because plastic doesn’t seem to resonate well. This one is much better, and after a bit of experimentation you manage to get a two note bass line going. The lads carry the contraption back inside to the bathroom, and you are now part of the Beatles! you play two note bass on a couple of numbers and then one of the lads swaps with you and you get taught a guitar part while he plays the bass for a while, you go on for a while like this, swapping and playing and laughing. The bathroom makes the instruments sound good, and the liverpuddlian humour even better.
When it’s time for a break from the band practice, you head back to the kitchen for a cup of tea.
“erm…” george makes it known that he has something to say.
“well? Spit it out son, or one day you’ll explode, mark my words,” jokes john.
“me cousin’s getting married tomorrow, remember? And we said we’d play at the party afterwards…”
“oh yeah, id almost forgotten about that,” says paul.
“’m not surprised!” remarks john, and gets his foot stood on under the table.
“… and anyway, I just thought, you know, that it’d be good if we had an extra person, sort of thing,” george sort of finishes.
“oh, I get it! What’s this costing you, paul? Well, can you play the washboard lass?” the last bit comes out of john before the others can even protest at the first bit. It takes you by surprise as well.
“er, yeah, why not? Have you got one?” you ask.
“we’ve got one at home. and he didn’t even know I was going to suggest it, before you get onto that again, john” george says.
“well done luv, you’ve passed the audition. Turn up tomorrow morning with your dancin’ shoes on and we’ll get started,” john says to you as he gets up and shakes your hand. You’re going to play a gig with the beatles!
paul looks at his watch.
“****! Look at that! Me dad’s going to be home soon, and he thinks I’m at school. Er… get rid of these cups,” he says as he collects them up and runs them under the tap. You grab a towel to dry them off and then you hand them to george who shoves them in the cupboard. John has meanwhile collected the guitars and appears back in the kitchen. He hands one to george and the say goodbye as they hurry out the door.
“ok, now we get out of here,” paul ushers you out the door and locks it behind him after a quick last glance. You head down the street a way, and then when you are safely out of view of the house, he asks you what’s been on his mind all afternoon.
“first it was when I’m 64, now you know in spite of all the danger as well? What’s going on here… is it what I think it is?” what does he think it is?
“well, you’ve written down some of your songs in a book, haven’t you?”
“some of them, yeah…”
“well, someone’s bound to find them or something, aren’t they?”
“I suppose so,” he accepts your non-explanation. Thankfully. The one thing you don’t want to let on is that he and his band become superfamous and live in the public eye for the rest of their lives. Who knows what effect that could have!
The sun is setting over allerton, and everything is turned a beautiful soft pinky-orange. In one direction you see smoking chimney stacks on the horizon, silhouetted by the sunset, and in the other direction the sun casts deep blue shadows amongst the patches of evening light on all the little rows of houses. you have rushed out of the house without a lot of warm clothing on. Ooh, cold. It’s a cold place. You’re both shivering. This seems to happen a lot in Liverpool in 1959, but what did you expect? And another thing that seems to happen a lot happens now. He puts his arm around you. In german, apparently, this is called umarmen (approximately). It reminds you of pictures you’ve seen of him with his arm around Linda. He has no problems with being close, he’s not the sort of guy who has to be all manly and macho in public.
“sorry about this, I should have told you what was going on,” he says. You already know he did that (skipped school), you’ve read all about it, but you don’t let on.
“it’s ok. This isn’t so bad,” you reply with a smile. “what time are you supposed to get home from school?”
“we’ve got a good half hour to go yet,” he’s very embarrassed that he’s dragged you out in the cold without warning, let alone warming.
“is there somewhere warm we can go near here?”
“well, there’s the pub down that way,” he points in one direction down the street, “and the church over that way,” he points in the other direction and quickly replaces the arm around your shoulders.
“ha ha,” you chuckle at the irony, “well which one do you prefer?”
“we wouldn’t get into the pub. You have to be 21.”
“sure we would! I do it all the time. Just make sure you look like no one’s got the right to stop you, and don’t try buying ale. Act as though you have every right to be there, but not too obvious. Just be completely calm, walk in and order orange juice or something and sit down and look around. Shall we try?”
“someone’ll see us! Everyone knows me around here.”
“nobody will recognise me so they’ll presume it can’t be you they’re seeing. People can only see what they think they see. Terry Pratchett said so.”
“who?” paul has never heard of this wonderful twenty first century author.
“he’s… oh, never mind. Come on, it’ll be fun. And warm!”
“well… ok, go on then.”
You walk down the street to the pub on the corner (which you half expect to be called the rovers return), with paul’s arm still firmly around your shoulders keeping both of you warm, and your breath coming out in puffs of steam. You reach the pub and get one of those nervous twangs that are so exciting. He must be feeling the same because he draws a deep breath. You look at each other before you go in, and then he pushes the door open and tries to look nonchalant. You secretly laugh at him because he has put on a funny look. It’ll do though. You go up to the bar and he claims his arm back because it’s quite warm in here.
“er… what are you having then?”
you do your best liverpuddlian which, because you’ve been around real scousers for long enough, is pretty good. “oh, I’ll just ‘ave ‘n orange juice, ta.”
“two orange juices thanks luv,” he says to the barmaid. He’s not doing to badly, but you can feel his hand shaking a bit when you reach over to give it a squeeze under cover of the bar. The lady produces the juices, and you go and sit at a secluded table.
“that wasn’t so bad now, was it?” you’ve kept the accent to ask that.
He lets out his breath in a “whew”. “I was sure she was just going to laugh at me and kick us out!”
“she didn’t though, you did very well,” you smile kindly and sip your orange juice which is nice and cold in the very warm pub. It’s funny how you can be freezing outside and then you get in a shop or whatever and almost die of the heat because you’d adjusted to the cold. He sips his too, and his hand is still shaking a bit. You laugh.
“yeah I know. And I thought she’d notice. Is anyone looking at us?”
“don’t worry about that! Just keep it up, don’t start looking nervous ok?”
“yeah… yeah ok.”
He settles down after a bit, and forgets about getting spotted and kicked out. You sit and chat for half an hour and then head back out into the cold. He shudders as soon as you get out there, and now it’s your turn to umarm him. He lets out a little breath, which turns into steam, and umarms you too. You make your way, very quickly because it’s so freezing now that it’s getting dusky, back to paul’s house. Your nose is so cold that you can’t smell much of the evening scent of the city. You clench fists to keep your fingers warm and let your breath out in little puffs.
You’re sure your jeans are freezing solid when you finally reach the front door, but just before you go in you have a thought.
“what? It’s bloody freezing out here!”
“I know, so what will your dad think if he sees us come in without coats or anything?”
“right! I never thought of that. We’ll just have to scoot up the stairs and come down again as though we’ve dumped all that in my room.”
“good plan,” you say as you both sneak quietly over the threshold and up the stairs making a lot of noise slamming the front door. Paul calls out when he’s sure jim hasn’t has time to see you come in.
“hello! We’re home!”
there comes a hello in reply from the kitchen.
“I think he’s only just got home himself,” paul tells you.
After what seems an acceptable time, and when you’ve both stopped shivering, you head back down the stairs.
“light the fire, could you paul?” is the first thing jim says as you enter the room together. Paul does so. He gets it roaring in no time. He obviously does this a lot.
“now sit down, the both of you. I want to have a chat before you disappear up the stairs again,” jim instructs. Oh dear. He can’t have found out about the pub because you just left, but has he cottoned on to paul’s skipping school or what? You look at paul and he meets your gaze. You both sit down on the sofa.
“what’s up dad?” paul asks, trying not to sound nervous.
“well… er… I’ve, um, noticed your, er… sleeping arrangements…” he never was very good at this sort of thing.
“oh, that! it’s -” paul begins.
“no, I’m not going to stop you if you think you’re doing what’s right. You’re both old enough to make your own choices,” paul’s father interrupts.
“dad! It’s not what you think! We just thought it was silly for us to both be freezing and for one of us to be uncomfortable down here as well. We’re not… it’s not… it’s…” paul tries to explain. You decide not to say anything.
“you’re saying, are you, that you’re just sleeping? All night. That’s all?” father mac doesn’t seem to believe this. “paul, son, it’s ok, you know. I’m not angry or anything.”
“argh! Dad, I’m not lying to you! Why would I do that?”
“listen -” jim begins.
“he’s right, it’s nothing. It was my idea, anyway. He was going to sleep on the couch but I hated the idea of him lying awake all night shivering,” you cut in. “if you want it to stop I’ll…”
“no.” jim hesitates. “no, it’s ok. I believe you. I know you’re good kids. Just be careful if you do… ok?”
“flamin’ ‘ell dad!”
“ok, sorry,” jim apologises. “I’ll keep my oar out. I just care about you, both of you. That’s all.”
“yeah, well, thanks. I mean, it’s great that you care… but…” replies james junior.
“I know. I promise I won’t meddle any more. I trust you son.” Aww. You’re experiencing a father-son moment. It’s nice to see, considering the some of the relationships some people have with their parents in your day and age. You resolve to always be open and honest with your parents, and to respect them like paul does his father.
“mike’s got the dinner going, it won’t be long now,” jim tells you, changing the subject.
When paul’s brother has finished making the dinner you all sit down and eat. The conversation is kept polite, and paul makes up a great story about what he did at school. The sleeping issue never crops back up. When you have finished dinner, paul’s father turns to you and paul.
“why don’t you two make some pancakes? I got some lemons today from a bloke at work,” jim suggests. Paul looks at you questioningly.
“yeah, why not,” pancakes are more up your culinary alley.
“do we have a recipe?” paul asks.
“for pancakes? It’s all up here!” you say, pointing to your head.
“oh, ok,” paul replies, laughing. You get up and clear the table, and the rest of the family bustles off out of the kitchen. “so what do we need?” he asks when you have cleared all the dishes away.
“er, we need flour eggs and milk. And a bowl and fork of course.”
“a bowl? Really? Blimey, I though we’d just mix it all together in the kettle!” you give him a sarcastic look in return for that one. He smiles and sticks his tongue out at you. He pulls out the stuff you need to make the desert, and also a cup for measuring flour out.
“ok, first we need two cups of flour in here,” you begin, and he unrolls the bag and sticks the cup in. when he takes it out again, full of flour, he flicks the top of the bag with the cup by mistake and the flour goes all over you.
“what the?!!” you exclaim. He just giggles at you. Well, two can play this game. There are plenty of eggs there, so on impulse you grab one and crack it on his head.
“so there!” you tell him.
“oh, now you’ve done it…” and he gets as much of the egg off his head as he can, and proceeds to rub it through your own hair. You retaliate by putting flour on his egg, which sticks there very nicely. He makes moves to do the same to you, but you manage to grab his wrist half way to the egg on your face. You struggle together for a while, even though you know he’s much stronger than you and could easily overpower you. You are both laughing so hard you can hardly speak, but he manages “ok! Ok, I give in! but what are we going to do with this mess?”
“we’ll have to clean it up quick, before anyone decides to come and see what’s going on!” you say. “Here, stick your head under the tap,” and to your surprise he does, and turns it on. Gasping at the cold water, he manages to get a lot of the egg and flour out of his hair, but not all of it.
“here,” you say, helping reach the bits he can’t. he has nice, dark hair. Almost black when it’s wet.
“ooh! Careful! It’s going to go down me neck in a minute!” he says, but it doesn’t. when you’ve managed to get it all out. He lets it drip and then raises his head. No more quiff! He curls his lower lip and blows at the drips coming down his face from his now limp fringe. You realise his hair is quite long, it’s almost in his eyes. He grabs a towel and dries it off as best he can. It’s now sticking out in all directions until he shakes it into a mop top. You have just witnessed the first beatle hair cut!
“right, now it’s your turn!” he says.
you have as much egg in your hair as he did, but thankfully no flour. You hesitate for a second.
“don’t worry, I’ll be good,” he says with a grin. It looks like he means it though, so you glance at him one more time and lower your head under the tap. When he turns it on you gasp as well. The water is freezing cold! It’s giving you brain freeze, but it passes.
“oh dear,” paul says, “I shouldn’t have rubbed it in. here, let me…” and he takes over your failing efforts to get the egg out of your hair. Now, you thought that getting your hair washed at the hairdressers was nice, but you’ll never feel the same about it again! You completely forget about the cold water because his touch is so firm, yet so gentle. He runs his hands through your hair with the water running over it. You have a crick in your neck from the awkward angle needed to access the tap.
“don’t worry, I’ve nearly got all of it,” he says in a soothing voice. When he’s sure all of it’s out, he gets the towel and holds it under your fringe as you lift your head. He gets all the drips off your hair with care.
“there. All better. Now we need to get these pancakes made!” he says as he puts two cups of flour in the bowl. You just look at him for a while, still mesmerised by his touch, until he meets your eyes and asks what to do next.
“oh, er.. make a little nest in the pile of flour… that’s it, and put two eggs in there. Right, now get the fork and very slowly… here, I’ll show you.” You take the fork and put it in the egg, stirring slowly but not mixing it all at once. You sort of just scrape a tiny bit of flour from the edge of the nest at a time and mix that in completely before getting any more. This is so you don’t get lumps.
“here, you try.” You tell paul. He does, and he picks it up straight away. When all the eggs are mixed you slowly add milk to the middle of the nest and he mixes that with the flour in the same way until all the flour is mixed. The mixture is a bit thick so you add a tiny drop more milk. Done. (A recipe and story in one!)
“you cook them, I was never any good at it,” you tell him.
He puts the frying pan on the element and adds butter. You pour a bit of mixture into the pan and he sings as he cook. The honeymoon song. He’s a great singer, even without the music. When you have made all the mixture into pancakes (you keep them warm in the oven while you cook) you put the pile on the table with a lemon cut in halves and the sugar bowl. You call the others. When they come in they notice that both you and paul have wet hair.
“eh, what ‘appened to your ‘air, paul?” mike asks.
“oh, nothing. It just got a bit wet, that’s all.”
Jim gives you both a knowing look, and you can’t help smiling.
You all tuck in to your pancakes with lemon and sugar. They worked out perfectly and both jim and mike compliment the chefs.
Paul has decided he will go to school tomorrow (big of him) and you have that wedding to play at afterwards, so you decide you will both get an early night. You both brush your teeth with the odd tasting bicarbonate of soda toothpaste and head upstairs, and as you do you can almost feel jim listening for your footsteps. You reach paul’s room and tonight, as on the first couple of nights you spent in the mccartney household, you both avert your eyes while you change into pyjamas. Jim’s little talk is still in both of your minds as you prepare for bed, and some of the awkwardness of previous nights has returned.
“this is silly. Who cares what he thought,” paul decides.
“what everyone thinks,” you point out.
“ha. Yes, that’s true. But it’s up to us, as dad said. I mean… up to you… as it were…”
yeah, as it were. If it really was up to you, well, he is the most attractive person in the world isn’t he? But you know, even if you’re not sure why, that nothing is allowed to happen. He is technically old enough to be your grandfather, and who knows what effect all that would have on all things cosmic.
“no. it’s not… and we just… can’t. I can’t explain. It’s not you,” you add, just to be sure he understands that at least.
“ok, yeah. I know. It’s just… well, it’s a shame.”
“it really is. Bugger being born too late!” you exclaim with a smile. He laughs, and the tension disappears.
“come on then, in you go,” he tells you to get into the bed. You do as you’re told, and he follows as usual, and puts his arm around you at once.
“you’re still the best bird I ever met, you know.”
“oh, I’m that, am I? Well,” you chuckle, “pleased to hear it! And I’ll tell you what, there’s certainly no one like you. And there never will be. I’ll never, ever forget this,” it must sound cheesy, or it would have on tv, but when it’s sincere then cheesy doesn’t matter anymore. You both know that, and you just lie in silence until you’re both fast asleep in each other’s arms.
The next thing you know, you are being gently shaken by the shoulder.
“c’mon love, school today, remember?”
you groan and turn over to find that paul is up and trying to wake you. He can’t have been out of bed for long because he’s still in his pyjamas. You roll back to face the wall and pull the covers up over your ear. Paul laughs, and strokes your hair before he prises the blanket out of your fist and gently coaxes you out of bed into the cold, dark room to get dressed. He hands you your bundle of clothes, and puts his on at the same time, facing the other way. But he’s not wearing the tight drainies and jersey like yesterday. It’s a school blazer and tie, and loose pants. You smile and he notices.
“we have to wear it. Did you have to wear a uniform at school?” he asks.
“only till the fifth form. After that we could wear what we liked. It was a horrible uniform too. Worse than yours, and everyone ended up looking really scruffy.”
When you are both dressed and a little warmer, and you have managed to wake up enough to use your feet, you head down the stairs for breakfast.
“porridge or toast?” you are asked as you enter the kitchen, which is slightly warmer than the rest of the house because of the fire lit the previous night. You can’t stomach anything substantial at this time of morning.
“toast. Have you got marmalade?”
“what sort of question is that? Of course we have marmalade. Could you stick the kettle on while I make the toast then?”
you do as you’re asked. You fill it from the tap and stick it on top of the stove. He has put slices of oldish bread into a funny toaster which has a flap on each side instead of slots. You put the bread in and close the flaps and check it so it doesn’t burn. Beats putting it under the grill. When you’re sat at the table with toast and tea, he gives you the brief for the day.
“I’ve been thinking up a plan to get you into school.”
“well, you’re my cousin who’s staying because your mother is poorly. You desperately want to keep up with your school work. Hopefully that’ll go down ok and the teachers won’t mind you sitting in on lessons if you’re nice and quiet.”
“well, if you think it’ll work I’m willing to give it a try. How long do you have to be there?” you ask.
“we’re meant to stay till four, but we can sneak home for our dinner and we will have to skip the last class or two to make this wedding of george’s,” paul explains.
You finish eating and paul heads to the bathroom to fix his hair back into that wonderful quiff.
“come on, you can help me if you like. It always works better with two people.”
You follow him to the bathroom where he gets a big tub of Vaseline out of the cabinet and closes the little door so he can look in the mirror. He opens the tub and scoops out a big bit with one hand, then with a finger of the other hand he scoops just a little bit and puts it on your nose. You laugh and scrape it off your nose, smearing it on your dry lips instead. It’s a good feeling seeing as you left your lip balm back in the future and the weather is chapping your lips something awful. He is now carefully distributing his goop evenly through his dark hair, and it sticks out in all directions when he’s done.
“and now comes the tricky bit. Do you know how to do it?” he asks you.
“sure, I’ve seen it in a set of instructions done by a great german artist,” you reply (Klaus voorman to be exact. It even had arrows!), “I think I remember how it went.”
He hands you a comb.
“me?” you’re taken by surprise that he trusts you with his hair.
“why not you? I trust you, and besides, what harm can you do by trying? It’s much easier for a second person than if I did it myself, anyroad.”
“oh, alright then,” you reply. You start with the top and back. Back down, top forwards. It’s not easy dragging a comb through all that Vaseline, but you manage. Now the sides go back around and overlap at the back. This is tricky, and you try a couple of times before you get it just right. Paul is very patient and he wasn’t kidding when he said he trusts you. He’s very at ease, in fact, he seems to be enjoying having you play with his hair. Once you’ve got the back and sides just right, you hand paul the comb.
“you should do the front because I don’t know how you like it.”
He agrees, and does something very tricky to his fringe to get it looking just like it does in that hamburg picture that astrid took of all the lads on the back of that truck. (that is one of the very best pictures of paul at that time. He looks SO good! If you haven’t had a close look then you really have to do so. Pg 52 anthology book.)
When you’ve finished the hair and paul’s got all his school stuff together you head out the door into the cold. It’s not freezing today, but it is drizzling. You both put your collars up (jim lent you a coat that use to be mike’s, and it’s not too bad a fit either) to keep out the drops, which are getting bigger and heavier all the time. You manage to get to the bus stop without getting your skins soaked right through to the skin, and it’s not long before the bus pulls up.
You get on the double decker bound for the Liverpool institute and head for the seat at the back upstairs. You almost slip over in the wet aisle, but paul catches you gracefully before you manage to make a fool of yourself. The bus ride would be dull, grey and boring, but for the company. You talk about what you will play at the wedding party in the evening to come.
The bus pulls up at a stop very near the school. You see kids with their shoulders hunched against the rain heading into the drab building. It’s quite big, but you remember having read that the institute and the art school are joined to each other. You follow paul inside and now you are very wary of the wet corridors, having nearly fallen over on the bus. You follow the flow and head down the passage to an old fashioned classroom with wooden desks and ink wells. Kids are chatting and some are sitting down and getting out books and things. Paul says hi to a couple of guys and makes his way to a desk at the back, up to which he pulls a second chair for you.
“stand up when the master comes in. I’ll do all the talking,” you are instructed none too soon. There is a bustle and in a moment everyone is standing behind a desk and a conservative looking bloke in one of those black teacher robes is entering the room.
“sit,” he instructs, and you follow paul’s lead and sit in the seat he provided. You feel a bit out of place because everyone is sitting neatly behind a desk and here you are, perched beside paul. The teacher glares at you. You don’t just see it, you feel it.
“mccarntey!” he points to the spot beside his desk, and sits down behind it. Paul gives you a reassuring look and makes his way to the front of the room where he holds a muttered conversation with the school master. You can feel everyone in the room looking at you, with no uniform, short hair and trousers. When paul and the teacher have finished talking, the master gives you a nod of approval, and paul comes back to his seat smiling proudly.
“it’s worked, but only just. I just hope it works with the teachers that like me less,” he whispers to you. He must have done some fast talking.
“also,” the master begins, “heute revidieren wir der Artikels, Dativ und Akusativ.”
German! You can do that. the lesson isn’t too bad, you manage to follow most of it. It’s very different from what you’re used to though. They have to recite the articles in turn and have all rote-learned the adjective endings.
The other classes of the morning are less straight forward, and you sit there in silence for most of the time. Only one of the teachers makes any fuss about your tagging along in the class, and demands a note from paul’s father which paul promises to provide with his fingers crossed behind his back.
When lunch break finally arrives you are greatly relieved, and you and paul head out of the building into the still falling rain to sneak out and go home for lunch. You are planning to meet george and john at paul’s place to sort out the gig for later that day.
You are soaked right through by the time you get from the bus stop to paul’s front door, and when you arrive there are two bedraggled lads standing there waiting for someone to come and let them in.
“you’re a sorry looking bunch,” paul says to john and george, who both give him dirty looks. “come on then.” He unlocks the door and you all pile inside, leaving nice little puddles in the hallway. All the effort you put into paul’s hair that morning has gone to waste because the rain has flattened it out, as it’s done to the other lads’ hair as well. You, john and geroge wait in the kitchen for paul to fetch some towels, and he also brings a couple of his jerseys for people to wear while their own clothes dry off by the kitchen fire which he stokes up and gets going again.
Before geroge dries himself off, he gets his guitar out of it’s case and wipes it down. He’s very proud of his hofner president.
You spend the lunch hour carefully planning which songs you will perform at the wedding party and eating some leftovers that john has nicked from aunt mimi’s fridge. When you’ve got a pretty good set that everyone is happy with, it’s time to move on in the agenda.
“right, lets see who has the best handwriting. I need a couple of notes for school,” paul says. You get some scrap paper and some pens and you all test your handwriting to see whose looks most like an adult’s. paul doesn’t participate because the teachers all recognise his writing. It is finally decided that george’s is too childish and john’s is too messy, so it’s now your job to write the notes explaining firstly why paul wasn’t at school yesterday and also why you have turned up out of the blue. Paul dictates as it’s decided he’s the best at composing polite letters.
When all matters have been sorted, scraps eaten and plans formulated you head back to school in the now subsiding rain for the afternoon’s lessons. They are better than those of that morning, but still not very interesting when the historical novelty has worn off. You are relieved to be dismissed after the last class for the day, and as it turns out your excuse notes have worked perfectly as well.
You head back home on the bus. The rain has now cleared up and stopped all together which is rather good news because the gig was planned to be outside. It’s also not very cold because of the overcast sky, so you couldn’t have hoped for better weather despite the wet ground.
When you get back to paul’s place you have time to grab a butty and fix paul’s hair. He gets changed into something flash and you do what you can with the clothing you have, both your own and the stuff you bought at the second hand places. You end up in your own jersey and the trousers you bought at that first shop, which you have now grown quite attached to. You transfer everything from the pockets of your jeans because you don’t want to leave any futuristic evidence lying around for someone to discover. You both scrub up well, and when you’re all looking spick and span paul grabs his guitar and it’s out the door to get the bus to george’s where you arranged to meet and move to the venue from there.
When you reach george’s little council house he is there to open the door. John hasn’t turned up yet and he’s already a bit late. George already has all his gear together and he’s wearing what you have to call a suit for want of a better word. The jacket doesn’t quite fit and has obviously been died the colour of the institute school uniform. It has still got the hounds tooth checked pattern on it from its previous incarnation as a sports coat though, and there is no embroidered school emblem on the pocket. Under that he is wearing what appears to be an evening-suit waistcoat, also black, and double breasted with lapels. Both the boys are wearing ties, and together they look pretty flash. John finally turns up, untucked and with his jacket half on and his tie untied.
“what’s happened to you?” george asks.
“twitchy happened, that’s what,” john replies in a tone that suggests that’s all the answer that’s going to happen at this point in time.
George appears to have suddenly remembered something, because he raises a finger and hurries off, leaving you, paul and john standing in the hall surrounded by instruments.
“odd little fella. Did you bring the set list?” john asks paul.
“yeah,” paul pats his jacket pocket, “got it right here.”
john turns to you. “alright?” he enquires.
“alright,” you reply.
“you look nice… don’t you have a frock?” john attempts to be nice to you, but you can tell you’re going to have to earn his respect.
“no. I hate dresses,” is your 21st century reply. It has the right effect, john looks at you as though you’re from another planet, but a good one. One where people can fly or something.
George returns with a washboard and you are finally ready to set off. One of his family has offered you a ride in his car, probably his brother you decide on meeting him. He doesn’t say much as you all pile into the back of his big car, being the quiet one must run in the Harrison family.
He pulls out from the curb when you and your instruments are all safely in the car, and john and george joke and chat all the way there while paul talks mostly to you.
The car pulls up outside a semi-detached place with a bit of a back garden. You follow the lads through the gate at the side with all the gear for the gig to set up before the wedding goers arrive. There isn’t much to set up because the guitars are all acoustic and all you’ve got is a washboard, but a piano is being shifted out from in the house, which is very trusting of the weather in your opinion. There are already tables with a couple of plates of food covered in various things, but none of them have cling film on them. You can see little sandwiches and scones, but the rest are covered so well you can’t tell what they are. the thing that catches the eyes of the lads is the set up of crates and tables in one corner of the garden, which they instantly recognise
Last edited by Ringo11 on 07-19-2004 02:04 AM; edited 1 time in total
Swaying To The Rhythm
Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Location: New Zealand
|Posted: 07-19-2004 01:44 AM Post subject:
|as the bar. The moment you are left alone in the garden while some of the older folk go to help shift the heavy piano, john leads the way in securing some bottles of beer and a bottle of wine in the guitar cases.
“they’ll never even notice it’s gone, they’ll be so pissed so quick,” he reassures you. You must have looked concerned without realising it.
It’s not too long before you hear happy voices coming from in the house, and the first of the wedding party to enter the garden are the bride being carried in the arms of her new husband, laughing and stumbling. They are soon followed by a huge band of relatives, some of whom make beelines for george who looks very embarrassed at being fussed over.
A middle aged man in a suit comes over to you and the group.
“alright lads… and lady. Lets get this show on the road eh?” he instructs the band to start playing, and on seeing that most of the party are sufficiently drunk on arrival and already onto the supplies at the bar, you and the quarrymen proceed with the set list you had devised that lunch time.
The first song gets off to a bit of a shaky start but no one else notices and you all soon get right into it. After the second song you have got a small drunken audience clapping along and when you reach half time of your little set, a couple of uncles comes over with a reward of a drink of your choice each. John, paul and george don’t hesitate in requesting black velvet, which paul explains to you is guiness mixed with cider. You don’t like beer much, but you decide to give this a shot. You follow the boys to a secluded corner behind the piano where there are a couple of boxes to sit on and not too many nosey old people. John takes a big gulp of his drink, and looks at the others expectantly. Paul sips his own drink gingerly, and george just looks at his for a second… a second long enough for you to take the opportunity to make it known to lennon that you deserve a better reception than you get from him. You take a sip, and pull a face. Not the best tasting drink in the world, but you’ve had worse. You take a deep breath and go for it. Half the big glass disappears down your throat while paul looks on, wide eyed, john looks as though he might go spare any minute, and george grins from ear to ear with respect. You stick your tongue between your teeth.
“eergh! Aw!… ok. What?” you ask the lads innocently.
“paul… have you ever seen a bird do anything like that before?” john asks quietly.
“can’t say I ‘ave, no,” is the reply. “geroge?”
“wha’? oh... no, never.”
“well? What’s the matter? You guys have hardly touched yours,” you say to them, trying not to look too pleased with yourself. John goes to take another big draught of his, but you stop him.
“john, love, you wouldn’t be able to get me one of those little butties would you? One with just tomato, no ham. Ta!”
He almost says something, but decides against it, gets up and heads for the nibbles table.
“wow! You’ve really made your mark on him, you know,” george tells you.
“yeah! He’s never got me a buttie before!” paul contributes.
You take another sip of black velvet without saying a word in reply, and george goes to take a few hasty gulps of his to keep up.
“no,” you tell him, glass halfway to his lips.
“we still have half the set to do yet. I shouldn’t have done that. We promised these people a good show and we need to have our wits about us to do that. It’s only fair. After the gig though…” you grin, and he gets the idea. He sips his drink instead and paul follows suit, trying not to pull a face at the bitter taste of the stuff. John returns with a handful of sandwiches and hands a couple of tomato ones to you. You smile and accept them.
“what about us?” asks paul.
“what about you?” is john’s snide reply.
“here,” you cut in, and hand one of your little triangles to paul and one to george. “I won’t be a tick.” You head off to the nibbles table, trying really hard not to look as dizzy as you are. As you are leaving, and when they have judged that you are out of earshot, you manage to catch snippets of conversation between j, p and g.
“…never seen a bird do that!”
“I bet she wears…”
“… sure she’s from new zealand?”
“…not like any of the birds around here, that’s for sure!”
“.. heard that girls in france…”
You complete the journey to the table and get a few more handfuls of food to hand out and plenty for you to soak up what you’ve just put in your stomach, and make your way back to the corner behind the piano.
“ssh!” you hear from one of them as you approach. You sit back down on your crate and hand out your morsels.
John says nothing, he’s still looking at you in awe.
When you’ve finished the drinks and food, it’s time to begin the second half of the performance. You grab your washboard and they their guitars, and wobbily make your way back to the stage area. You manage to play alright considering how long it’s been since you had any drink, and how much you’ve just had. You notice george is a bit shaky. He’s not a big guy by any means, and he’s been the most affected by the drink. Still, he’s not doing too badly and you soon make your way through the whole performance and make your way back to your corner to broken applaud from the even drunker audience. This time john cracks open his guitar case and produces the bottles of beer, the first of which he offers to you. You shake your head.
“beer’s not my sort of drink really.”
“nah, horrible tasting stuff.”
“yeah, but that was just for show.” You grin. “wine’s more up my alley.” You’ve had your sights set on that bottle he picked up. He hesitates, but decides you deserve it. He opens it for you with the bottle opener he also nicked, and you take a swig straight out of the bottle. It’s not great wine, but more drinkable than beer. John laughs, and hands out the beer to paul and george, opening a bottle for himself as well which he polishes off quite quickly.
You all sit there, drinking and joking, laughing and crying, and in the end you are all quite plastered. You offer to get more nibbles, and all you hear this time as you head for the table in what you hope like hell will pass for a straight line is more laughter and joking. You return with armfuls of food to find that your crate has been sat on by george. Paul offers you his own.
“no, it’s alright. Here’s a good spot,” you reply, and prop yourself unsteadily sitting with your back leaning against the back of the upright piano and your knees tucked up under your chin. You find your bottle of wine and realise that you have managed to finish off most of it. You scull the rest in a few gulps, and this time on the offer of a bottle of beer, decide to accept on the knowledge that at this stage you won’t taste it anyway. The lads all start a new bottle as well.
You notice john and george giving each other knowing looks, and then one after the other they mutter something and get up to leave. You are left, very pissed, with the equally very pissed paul, and he holds out his arm indicating for you to go and sit with him in his much cosier corner than your spot up against the piano. You oblige, and get up very dizzily to go and sit next to him in his more secluded spot in the corner. He immediately puts his arm around you, and after a couple of seconds, begins to gaze at you with those big brown eyes. You gaze back, and find yourself lost in them for an age and a half. he begins to move closer to you, and being as drunk as you are you make no moves to stop him. Closer still, and he closes his eyes. You do the same. You probably would never let it get this far were you not so off your face, but when you’ve got such a great excuse… why not eh?
When john and george return, making wobbly lines towards your little spot, you and paul are still snogging in the corner. They stand and watch for a while, giggling and joking, until something catches george’s eye by the piano. You notice through the corner of your eye, and manage to pull away from paul for long enough to realise what he’s seen. George is picking up your little metal card wallet. It must have fallen out of your pocket when you were sitting there! You should have thought of that, because the pockets in those balloon-hipped trousers are much bigger than in your jeans, but you’re so used to it just staying put that you never even considered it falling out. You nudge paul with your elbow, and the beautiful lad snaps out of his spell and sees what you’re seeing.
“’ey! That’s not yours!” he yells at george. Too late. Geroge has opened it and is pulling out your cards.
“look at this john. Here,” he hands john your student id while he looks at your drivers license. “check out that photo!”
“’ow come you’ve got two student numbers… two thousand and four and this other long one?” john asks.
“this one says two thousand and four too! Do they number you at birth or something in new zealand?” george puts in.
you just chuckle and hope he just lets it be.
“hey, are you only 13? Or are you 23?” john asks.
“eh?” you don’t have any idea what he’s talking about.
“says here that you were born in 1986. they must have printed it wrong. Is it 46 or 36?” he explains. You say nothing because geroge is looking at the back of your license where it says what all the dates on the front are.
“er… it says here that you got this card on the second of may… 2003. and it expires in 2012. and it says you’re born in 1986 too. Who have you been fooling around?”
“er… well… no one, I…” s**t! They’re going to find out, but how the hell do you explain the whole thing?
“it’s true,” paul cuts in. “she was born in 1986, 27 years from now. We don’t know how it happened.. but here she is.”
“ha ha! You almost had me there. Girl from the future, paul you’ve been reading too much! I’m not that pissed you know!” john slurs. George stays quiet to see what will happen next.
“john, I’m not joking with you, man. Not this time,” paul tries to convince him.
“load of bollocks! Why the hell do you think you can still keep this going paul? It’s not even a good one!”
“er… well it does explain the clothing, and all that…” george finally says something. John is silent this time. He turns away moodily.
“is it really true, paul, or are you having us on? Tell me seriously ok? Because what ever you say, I’ll take your word for it,” george says in a hoarse whisper.
“yeah… yeah george, it’s true,” paul says. George looks at you now. You nod. He shuts his eyes as though he’s giving his brain a moment to come to terms with the situation. Your head is still swimming from the drink. Maybe no one will even remember all this in the morning. You should be so lucky.
“you have to promise you won’t tell anyone!” you tell george.
“I… I promise. I swear, I won’t tell a soul.”
You look at paul who’s known him a long time and will know if he’s trustworthy. Paul understands and nods his head. John has wandered away, but now he turns and comes back.
“paul, I’m going to have to tell your dad that you’ve gone spare. I don’t think it’s safe for someone to be going around spreading this sort of thing, getting people all worked up,” he tells paul.
“no! john, I swear, it’s the truth. It’s hard to understand, how the hell do you think I felt? You can’t tell a soul, promise me!”
“no!” he turns away again and starts to walk away faster than before. You jump to your feet and struggle to balance. You catch him by an arm and spin him around.
“john, you have got to believe this. If we were joking or lying then why would we have kept it going this long. John, please!” you plead. He looks you straight in the eye. It seems like ages he spends squinting at you, reading your thoughts.
“eh?” you’re surprised at this sudden change of tune.
“ok, I believe you, and I won’t tell a soul.”
“yes really! But just stop talking about it ok? It’s stupid, all of it.”
You are so relieved that you momentarily stop making the huge effort to stay upright, and loose your balance. John, despite his own drink problem, reacts just in time to stop you hitting your head on the ground, and lowers you down gently to the ground where you lie, laughing. Paul jumps up and staggers over.
“s**t! Are you alright?!” he asks you.
“me? Never been better!” you say as you grab him by the collar and pull him towards you. You give him a big kiss, and when you release him he sits up beside you, dazed. “you have no idea how good it feels not to have to be all secret and mysterious! Pass me another beer,” you demand.
“aha, no, I think we’ve run out. You’ve had enough anyway,” paul replies.
“you ain’t seen nothing yet mate,” is your response, and you try and prop yourself up on one elbow. It turns out to be a very difficult manoeuvre.
“ok, maybe you’re right,” you admit. John and george laugh, and paul just lowers himself down to lie beside you on the concrete.
“what a night!” he exclaims.
“um… so what’s it like then… the future?” comes a little voice from above. George is sitting on one of the crates and john comes to sit beside him, just in case you have something interesting to say.
“mm, well, we have cars that fly, and there are these cities under the ground…” you joke.
“no, you plonker,” paul laughs at how gullible george is. “she’s just not going to tell, believe me. We’ve been through all this already, and we both decided it’s better if she just says nothing at all about it. And let that be and end to it.”
John goes to open his mouth.
“end to it!” paul repeats.
“spoil sports,” john says in one of his funny voices.
“so no flying cars?” george asks. You all laugh and the other two get off the boxes and come and lie one of either side of you and paul. You all lie there in a row, looking up at the stars that are scattered in the now dark sky, listening to the raucous of the wedding party.
It’s not very long before the same man who told you to start playing at the beginning of the evening now comes over with your fee. It works out as one and a half crown each (7/6 each… that’s 30 bob in all, quite generous really). Paul holds on to yours because of the pocket problem. You can’t wait to get back into jeans after that! It’s made clear that it’s time to go home, as it’s now getting quite late and it is a school night after all. John and george will catch a bus together, but paul’s dad has provided money for you two to get a taxi, which is ordered and arrives in no time. You all stumble out to the street and say your goodnights. The taxi takes you right to the door of paul’s house, and you go in the door as quietly as drunk people can (for the alects of effahol have not worn off yet) and stumble up the stairs to paul’s room. The first thing you do is take off your jersey, but in doing so loose your balance and end up plonking your bum down on the bed where you promptly fall back onto your back. Paul laughs at you quietly and before you know it he’s right there leaning over you.
“I think you really paid the price for making such an impression on john,” he tells you. You just smile and go “mmm”.
“well, you impressed me too you know,” he says, and ever so slowly leans closer to you. You do nothing, a combination of drink and tiredness and you don’t really feel like moving too much. You are aware of his gaze again, and his hands move very very slowly upwards. You can now feel your heart beating faster. He slowly, gently, undoes the second top button of your shirt (because, of course, you haven’t got the very top one done up). Before he manages to move down to the next one (teenaged boys will always be teenage boys after all, specially after drinking that much) you gather your wits about you and raise your own hands, gently getting hold of his.
“mmm… no…” you say. “I’m sorry.” You wouldn’t let a guy get any further without warning in 2004, let alone one who was born in 1942, and even though he really is the nicest, most attractive guy in the world, you still know that for temporal reasons beyond your understanding you have to stand your ground on this.
He looks at you with those deep eyes, and says in that lovely voice with that lovely accent, “so am I.”
Oh! How sorry you are! you just want to lose yourself in those eyes, but you’ve always been the sensible sort, even under the influence, and this, you know, is certainly not the time to ignore that.
He settles for kissing you gently on the cheek, always the gentleman.
“john was right you know. You really aren’t like any other girl around here. you’re just… amazing.”
“come on, it’s just that beer talking,” you reply.
“no! we all think so. I mean, they’re all just so… medieval. They all wear these frocks and girdles and everything, and do what their parents tell them all the time. Half of them get embarrassed if you look at them for too long! You… you’re just such a… a breath of fresh air or something. I don’t know, it sounds awful when I say it, it’s so hard to explain. You’re just so much fun…”
you put your finger up to his lips to silence him. He shuts up. He’s just so lovely it hurts!
“come on then,” you manage after a while of just looking at each other. You gather all your strength and balance, and get up to change into pyjamas. “it’s cold and late, we should get to bed.”
He changes into his as well and you both get in bed. You put your arms around him in a big, friendly hug, and he does the same to you. It’s so warm and lovely, you never want to let go. You both just lie there in each other’s arms, not falling asleep, just being. After ages and ages he breaks the spell, saying
“are you as thirsty as I am?”
you were just thinking that exact same thing. All that wine had left you fair parched. You look at him and nod.
“let’s go and get some water, and maybe a snack as well. We didn’t have a proper dinner and I’m starving,” he suggests.
“great idea,” you agree. He gets out of bed first, and gets some warm clothing for you both to put over your bed clothes. You put on the jersey as soon as you get out of the bed, and slip your feet into your shoes. You head downstairs together and into the kitchen where the fire is not yet out. He pokes it a bit and puts a bit of wood on while you pull up two chairs nice and close. He puts the kettle on the stove and sticks some toast on, and comes and sits beside you.
“I’m sorry about before. I got carried away,” he tells you.
“nah, don’t worry about it,” you reply. “I mean, it’s not that I don’t want to or anything. I just… we can’t. please try and understand.”
“I do. I understand, I just couldn’t… you’re so -”
“ha,” you give a little laugh, “how long have you known me? Not even a week! All my life I’ve -” you cut yourself off. All your life you’ve dreamed of meeting him, of just talking to him. You change the subject before you get carried away. “did you have as good a time as I did tonight?”
“better. It was great!”
“do you think they’ll remember… you know?” you ask.
“they probably will I’m afraid. But they’re both good guys, it won’t go further.”
“do you remember…?”
“ha ha. Yeah. How could you let me get so drunk?!”
“me?! It was you made the first move!”
“ha! I certainly haven’t forgotten that much! I wasn’t in any position to make sensible decisions and you knew that perfectly well.”
“ok, but you didn’t resist did you?”
“well… no, not really. But perhaps I didn’t want to,” you say with a smile. The kettle whistles and he smiles back at you as he gets up to make a pot of tea. While it brews he butters the toast and hands you a bit with jam. He gets his own piece and sits back down beside you, handing you a mug of tea which you wrap your hands around to keep them warm and sip at carefully.
“you still dizzy?” he asks you.
“nope. Not any more. You?”
“not at all, just tired.”
“I won’t be able to sleep after this tea… but don’t go getting any ideas,” you joke.
“hey! I’m not that sort of guy you know. I can usually control myself. And besides, I did apologise.”
“I know, I was only kidding. You don’t have to sound so hurt,” you didn’t realise he would take it so seriously.
“yeah, well I just don’t want you to think I’m the type to take advantage of a girl, that’s all. I hate it when blokes do that, it’s not right,” he explains. This is a lad who really has been brought up well.
“you’re one in a million aren’t you? I’ll never find another guy like you. It’s depressing really.”
“well you’ve got me all to yourself for now,” he smiles, and you finish your snacks and head back to bed.
When morning comes you wake to the sounds of shuffling downstairs. The others must be up and about, probably having breakfast. Paul wakes up, and rolls over clutching his head and groaning. You feel fine, but he must have had a harder time last night.
“do you want me to go and tell your dad that you’re sick and can’t go to school today?”
“awmngrh… yes please.”
You get out of bed and put your jersey on to head downstairs. You go to the kitchen where mike and jim are having toast and tea.
“mornin’. Alright?” jim asks you.
“I am, but I don’t think paul’s up to getting out of bed today. He looks really ill.”
“well, you tell him he can stop here then. Make sure he knows it’s his own fault though. I’ll write to his headmaster tomorrow.”
“thanks, I’ll tell him,” you reply, and head back upstairs.
You reach the smallest bedroom to find paul still dozing.
You get back in bed beside him to keep warm, and when you’ve heard two slams of the front door and no more noise coming form downstairs you head to the bathroom for a wash. You don’t disturb paul. After you’re all clean you decide to make breakfast just in case he gets up hungry. When you have the toast on and the kettle boiling, you remember you left some jewellery in the bathroom and head back to get it. You open the door to find paul standing at the basin, clean shaven, with no top on and his pants undone and hanging from his waist showing his undies at the top. He has a toothbrush in his mouth and his hair wet and slicked right back.
“oh! Sorry, I didn’t think you were up!” you say as you turn to leave.
“hold up! …thanks,” he says after removing the toothbrush and spitting hastily.
“what for?” you ask.
“getting dad off our case.”
“but I thought you were…”
“that’s what I wanted you to think! I couldn’t have you telling fibs to me dad could I?”
“so you made me thing you were sick? That’s not very fair is it!”
“would you rather go to school? Or maybe you’d rather I’d got you to lie to ‘im?”
“ok, you’re right again,” you say, smiling.
“I thought we’d go see a film today, if you want to. We still have most of that five quid you found, remember?”
“sounds good to me. Any plans for which one?” you like the idea of seeing a ‘50s film in the ‘50s.
“I don’t know yet, we’ll see what’s showing.”
“fine by me. I’ve got a brew on and some toast burning, if you’re up to it,” you tell him with a sly grin.
“I’m sure I could manage just a bit,” he grins back.
You take one last look at the little hairs below his belly button and go back to the kitchen, heart all fluttery. Why oh why weren’t you born in 1942?!
You manage to save the toast before it’s completely black, but when paul comes in and you pour the tea, well that’s a different matter.
“hope you like it strong,” you tell him as you pour him a cup, “it’s black as your hat!”
“but I ‘aven’t got an ‘at!” he returns.
“well, it’s at least as dark as your hair then.”
“I can’ ‘elp bein’ tall dark an’ ‘andsome,” he grins.
“I’ve seen taller, I’ve seen darker, but I ain’t never seen anyone so handsome in all me days,” you make it sound like you’re joking, but you’re not.
“aw, shucks!” he puts on quite a convincing American accent.
You change the subject after refocusing your attention on the black toast which you have proceeded to spread with marmalade: “you know, in the future we call it brunch when you end up eating breakfast this late.”
“well, it’s not breakfast, it’s not lunch. And we have this stuff called humus, which exists now but not in England, and it’s really tasty, and we spread it on things called bagels which also exist now but not in England, and we drink earl grey tea without any milk. But then again, in some parts of England people still, I mean still in 2004, have burnt toast with marmalade and stewed tea, or bacon and eggs for breakfast.”
“so, where can we get some of these humus and bagels then? We have five whole quid you know, so we might as well eat well.”
“er… I think humus is somewhere in the south of Italy and bagels are Jewish so maybe you can only get them in America and the Middle East. And earl grey tea is English… but we might have to ask the queen if she has any. Besides, you probably wouldn’t like it.”
“well, it’s worth a try! I propose we go on a trip to London to visit the queen, if that’s what it takes to get you some tea!”
“or we could just see if you can get it in Liverpool. Where do all the posh people shop?”
“they don’t. they have people do it for them, or they have it all delivered. I don’t know where from. We could see if john’s aunt mimi has any, she’s posher than us, like,” he suggests, “or we might be able to find some in the corner shop.” Wouldn’t it be great to have a nice cup of earl grey again! Too bad about the bagels and humus… and you would have settled for cream cheese but apparently that was invented in the 70s.
But you put up with your toast with marmalade and gumboot tea for now.
It’s about 11 when you finish your breakfast. You gather your coats and head out the door to the bus stop. It’s a cold, overcast day with a sharp little wind, and you’re glad to be wearing the sleeveless pullover paul lent you on the fist day under your coat.
At the bus stop paul digs in his pocket to find the fare, and remembers something.
“hey, I’ve still got your money ‘ere from last night,” he says as he hands you some coins.
“but I owe you money, don’t I?” you remind him. You try and give the money back to him but he resists. He points out that you were the one who found the fiver. You point out that it’s his bed you take up half of every night. In the end you manage to persuade him to take all but a half crown which you keep for yourself. You slip it in the coin pocket of your jeans.
The bus pulls up and you head off on your way to town.
You follow paul off the bus at a stop in the middle of what appears to be a central business district. The cinema is only a few yards down the street from the stop. You dash from the bus through the harsh breeze to the shelter of the foyer of the cinema.
“we’re in luck, there’s a film on in 10 minutes!” paul tells you, looking up at the timetable thing on the wall. “ ‘the bandwagon’ with fred astaire. It’ll be a song and dance number. You keen?”
“I’m up for anything,” you reply.
Paul heads over to the ticket thingie.
“two to ‘the bandwagon’ please,” he says to the ticket lady. He hands over a few coins and she hands two tickets through the hole. Paul walks back over to you, looking at the tickets.
“great. M 23 and 24. we’re right over at the side near the back I think. Oh well, so long as we can still see,” he says.
He holds out his arm bent at the elbow, and you link yours through it, and arm in arm you head into the cinema. You find your seats and he’s right, they are at the side, but it’s not too bad and anyway, once the film’s started you’ll forget all about it. At least you’re not right down the front where you’d have to look up all the time and get a sore neck. You sit down and he lets you have the one closest to the middle, not that it makes much difference. The seats are old fashioned and not very comfortable. The cinema may have once been a theatre, you decide on noticing all the decorations and fancy stuff.
When the lights dim there aren’t many people sitting near you up the back and luckily you don’t get anyone tall in front of you. The screen flickers to life and the film starts up straight away. You notice the lack of advertising, and the credits are all at the start instead of the end. It’s in colour, but only just. The first shot is of a hat and cane and you realise paul is right yet again. It’s going to be a song and dance number.
The film turns out ok. Everyone calls each other ‘kid’ and various people break into song at random times and start dancing around with everyone else watching. Some other people start dancing as well and the whole thing turns into one big performance. At the end of each time this happens everyone stands around clapping or just returns to what they were doing before some guy started singing and dancing in front of them. Even though it’s a bit cheesy and all that, you really enjoy it, much to your surprise. You just think it’s amazing how well they dance! All that fancy footwork and jumping all over the place like gymnasts on speed.
You are sitting there in the dark watching these Americans, and you feel and arm settle around your shoulders. Here we go, you think to yourself. Isn’t it funny how guys haven’t changed in 50 years?
You pretend not to have noticed the sneaky arm trick yet, and continue to watch the film. The arm stays put for a while, but then you notice it start to move very very slowly and carefully. Is this the same guy who was apologising to you the night before? Maybe guys just have no control over their limbs when the lights go out. You ignore the arm still, and still it moves carefully downwards over your shoulder. Now you can’t help smiling to yourself. Nearly there, but the arm isn’t long enough. No problem, this whole routine is built into a guy’s very being when his DNA is formulated. He shifts in his seat as though to get comfortable, and bob’s your auntie: longer arm! You look down at the hand that is now definitely not on your shoulder any more, but you do it without moving your head much and he doesn’t notice. In one really quick movement, completely unexpected, your own hand shoots up and grabs ahold of the now primely positioned hand on the end of paul’s arm. He suddenly wakes up, and you hold the hand tight so it doesn’t go anywhere. If a hand could be embarrassed, this one definitely is. You might say, in fact, that it’s been caught red handed! The boy on the other end of the arm only says “erm”.
“mmm?” you act as though you’re not holding his hand exactly as you found it, carefully positioned well below your shoulder.
“a-ha,” you can’t decide whether that was an embarrassed or a nervous laugh from him, “um…”
“oh!” you exclaim very quietly (you’re still in a movie remember), “look at that!” you look down at your hand holding his. He starts to see the humour of the situation now, and you can see his nice white teeth in the dark cinema.
“is this yours?” you ask innocently.
“oh, hey, yeah. It’s um… it’s just ah… culture. Society. It’s um, that’s just what it does during films.” He reclaims his hand, and pretends to tell it off. “yes, ah, hands are taught from a very young age, you see, to um, in the dark… pretty girl… you know. Er.” ….SO CUTE!!!
“silly! You just couldn’t help it could you?” you tell him, and shifting in your seat you put your arm around him and he returns the favour, this time with his arm around your back and his hand safely on your arm. You rest your head on his shoulder, which just happens to be exactly the right height, and go back to watching the film.
About three quarters of the way through the film, the picture cuts out and the lights turn on. You can hear a sort of alarm bell in the distance.
“hey! What’s going on here?” you ask the world.
“must be a fire alarm or something,” comes the reply from a bloke in the row behind you.
“come on,” paul says as he takes your arm and you go up the aisle and out of the cinema. You congregate with all the other movie-goers on the footpath outside. The sun is now out and the wind is all gone. It’s actually quite warm. The people are all milling around in wonder, and you hear a fire engine approaching.
“there must really be a fire!” you deduce.
“that bloke hopes so,” replies paul, pointing to a man with a big camera and lots of gear trying to get a better shot by climbing on the back of the fire truck that has now pulled up on the road and has firemen buzzing around it like bees at a hive. They seem to be going in and out of the café thing beside the cinema, looking very official and talking to a young lady with a child who has opened the door of the closed café and looks as though she just got out of bed. Even the ushers seem confused as to what’s going on. They’re all standing in a row holding their torches. After everyone has done a lot of fluffing around and you and paul have watched nonchalantly while catching a bit of the lovely warm sun, you see people heading back inside the cinema.
“I reckon there must have been some problem in that place and someone set off the alarm. See how it’s in the same building as the cinema?” paul points out that the café is sort of joined on to the side of the cinema building and that the alarm must activate in both buildings. You both head back inside and take your seats again. After everyone has filed back in and sat down the lights go out and the film resumes from where it left off.
When the film is over and you’re both back outside in the sun that seems to have stuck around, you mill on the footpath again with your faces turned to the warm light.
“isn’t it amazing how they sing and dance like that!” paul says with enthusiasm. “I used to love that sort of thing when I was a kid. Fred Astaire was my hero when I was younger.”
“I can just imagine you in the hat and coat, dancing around like that,” you tease, and look at him with a grin. He looks at you in return, bemused, and then suddenly moves towards you.
“come here!” he says. You get the idea, and dodge his outstretched arms. He chases you and you run away down the street. You sidestep a few pedestrians as you glance back to see if he’s still on your tail. He almost crashes into an old lady and a bloke in a hat. You slow down and he comes up to you, puffing.
“you wouldn’t get by in New Zealand with a side step like that! you’d never make the all blacks in a million years!”
“you’re too damn quick for me,” he admits. You notice paul glance over past your shoulder and you look around to take in your surroundings. You’re outside a little shop witch looks like it sells fancy food things. On looking further you notice that you appear to be in a more upmarket part of town than the one paul showed you around the other day.
“hey, they might have earl grey in here,” you suggest to paul.
“why would he be in there, it’s just a little shop in Liverpool. No place for a man of his stature!”
you growl at him, and pull him by the hand into the little shop. It smells nice inside. There is a lady at the counter in a fancy hat.
“er, hello,” you say in your clearest accent, “I’m looking to buy a packet of earl grey tea. Do you stock any?”
“yers, we have some. Would you like a tin or a packet?” the lady asks you.
“oh, erm, just a packet please.”
“Would you like a laarge packet or a small one?”
“a small one please.”
She goes to a shelf and gets a yellow packet. Twinigs! It’s exactly the same as what you get in the supermarket at home! She hands it to you and looks expectant. You look back, and then realise what she wants. You indicate to paul to give you the money, and hand the lady a pound note. She gives you some change, but not much.
“thank you very much,” you say to the lady as you leave.
“thank you,” she replies.
Paul gives you a wide-eyed look as you go out the door.
“don’t you raise your eyebrows at me young man!” you joke when you’re both safely out on the street.
He laughs at you.
“come on then, lets get the bus home. I’m dying to try this stuff now,” he says.
On the journey back to his house he makes a big deal of smelling your tea as though he were a connoisseur, and going “mmm” and rolling his eyes.
By the time your bus pulls up at the closest stop to the house and you’ve walked back along the street to paul’s house, he’s all sweet and serious again. You follow him straight to the kitchen.
“I’ll put the kettle on then, and we’ll brew up some of your famous tea,” he says as he fills the kettle from the tap and lights the gas element on the stove with a match.
“ok, and we have to warm the pot, if we’re going to do it properly.” You run the hot tap until it’s steaming, and fill the enamelled tea pot with hot water. Then you feel the side and when the warmth has come right through you tip out the water and open the yellow packet of tea.
“you’re meant to put in one for each person and one for the pot, but I find you can forget abut the pot one and it comes out strong enough if you swill it around a bit before you pour it,” you tell paul as you put two teaspoons of tea leaves into the warm pot.
“do you want toast with it too?” he asks, getting out the bread before you answer.
“yes please,” you know you didn’t need to say that, of course you want toast. No use having just tea is it? He puts some bread into the funny little toaster.
“we’d be having a proper dinner at school, you know. Powdered eggs and boiled twigs,” paul points out.
“erg. I think I’d rather stick with toast,” you say. You remember noticing on coro street that people in Britain often have a hot meal at lunch time.
The kettle whistles and you take an oven glove thing and pour the boiling water into the tea pot. You put the lid on.
“cups?” you inquire?
Paul goes to the cupboard and pulls out two cups and two saucers.
“we can’t be drinking this flash stuff out of mugs, now, can we?” he says. You laugh and pour the tea. You hand him his cup and sit beside him at he kitchen table with yours. You glance in his direction, he’s smelling the steam coming off the tea. You add half a sugar to yours and take a sip.mmmmmmmmmmmm… bliss. It seems so long since you had such a good cup of tea. No wonder you were addicted to this stuff! So good! You just sit with your hands cupped around your mug, sipping the tea with your eyes closed, punctuated by the occasional mouthful of toast, until you’re all finished. Only then do you look at paul. He’s still sipping away at his.
“enjoyed that didn’t you.”
“how could you tell?” you ask innocently.
“oh, well, you know… you had your eyes closed,” he says. You bet you did. Just like when you put on CHOBA B CCCP and listen to his wonderful voice on summertime. You are willing to bet heaven is something like that: summertime sung by paul and endless pots of earl grey tea. You’re looking forward to it, but for now you’ll settle for paul and earl grey tea… maybe you didn’t go back in time after all. Maybe you actually died and this is your wonderful afterlife. In that case, being a good girl really has paid off!
“oh! What?” you snap out of it.
“cor! Where were you?! I was wondering if you wanted another cup?”
you chuckle. “sorry, I must have been miles away. No, I’ll hold back for now. I think if I had another cup you’d never get me back! You go ahead though. Did you like it?” you enquire.
“it’s different. Yeah, I think I liked it.”
You hardly hear his reply. The taste of the tea reminds you of home, back in 2004. you have managed not to think about home all this time, but now you find yourself really missing it. You miss technology, you miss your mates, your family. You just sit there, hands around your empty cup, staring into space.
“are you okay?” paul asks.
You would have been. Isn’t it funny how, if you’re just a little bit upset and you can easily hide it, and then someone goes and asks if you’re okay, you are suddenly very much not okay? Happens every time. Including this time. As soon as he asks, you suddenly feel worse. You can’t help feeling that you might never get back home. You might be stuck here, to live out your natural life, and if you see anyone you know… knew again, you’ll be an old woman. You can’t stop a little tear forming in your eye, and you turn your face away so paul won’t see it there.
“hey, what’s the matter?” he asks you as he moves closer and puts his hand on your shoulder.
“nothing, don’t worry,” you sniff.
“you miss the future don’t you?” he guesses. You nod. He reaches for your hand, and you let him gently coax you onto his lap. He puts his arms around you in a big, comforting hug. Suddenly you don’t feel half as bad any more. You lean your head on his shoulder and just sit still...
TO BE CONTINUED!
Swaying To The Rhythm
Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Location: New Zealand
|Posted: 07-19-2004 02:12 AM Post subject:
|if you enjoyed that and want to join the fan club, or even if you just want to hear more, say "bump".
Make This Journey Last
Joined: 06 Jul 2004
|Posted: 07-19-2004 02:41 AM Post subject:
Paul in Milwaukee 10/23/05
Swaying To The Rhythm
Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Location: New Zealand
|Posted: 07-19-2004 08:34 AM Post subject:
|HeyHeyJohnny wrote: |
Make This Journey Last
Joined: 06 Jul 2004
|Posted: 07-19-2004 01:02 PM Post subject:
|Ringo11 wrote: |
|HeyHeyJohnny wrote: |
Yeah well, as long as your fan club has little buttons that say " Ringo11's Biggest Fan!" ( and plus , I can't wait for more of that story!! )
Paul in Milwaukee 10/23/05
Make This Journey Last
Joined: 06 Jul 2004
|Posted: 07-19-2004 01:04 PM Post subject:
|Ringo11 wrote: |
|HeyHeyJohnny wrote: |
Yeah well, as long as your fan club has little buttons that say " Ringo11's Biggest Fan!" ( and plus , I can't wait for more of that story!! )
Paul in Milwaukee 10/23/05
Let Me Roll It To You
Joined: 23 Mar 2002
Location: Massachusetts, USA
|Posted: 07-19-2004 01:04 PM Post subject:
|Ah, groovy! Thanks for making as thread off of the "Ladies Only" one. Can't wait for the next installment!
God bless Lady Linda McCartney.
A Wonderful Sight
Joined: 22 Jun 2004
|Posted: 07-19-2004 01:34 PM Post subject:
|Bump! I've been reading for quite a long time now!
Floating Inside The Truth
Joined: 30 Dec 2003
Location: lost in a cornfield
|Posted: 07-19-2004 06:14 PM Post subject:
|Yay!! I'm so glad you posted it all in one place! Would you mind if I printed it out to read late at night when I can't sleep?!
...will always love you...
Make This Journey Last
Joined: 06 Jul 2004
|Posted: 07-19-2004 06:22 PM Post subject:
|in1964johnlennonwashot wrote: |
|Yay!! I'm so glad you posted it all in one place! Would you mind if I printed it out to read late at night when I can't sleep?! |
I did that... I hope you have a lot of printer paper 'cause when I printed it out, it used up quite a few sheets... but it was worth it!!
Paul in Milwaukee 10/23/05
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