This self-indulgent riff was inspired by a passage in "The Accidental" by Ali Smith which I highly recommend if you like the sort of novel where nothing much happens but the writing is interesting and experimental.
Me a name I call myself. I was born in the age of walnut whips and curly wurlies, on Friday it was Crackerjack. I lived in the jungle with my mummy until she was shot by vilanous hunters and dragged off in a net. The hills were alive with the sound of music. In the beginning my grandfather took me in and I slept on a straw mattress in a sweet-smelling hayloft living off nothing but wooden bowls brimful of goats’ milk. I went to a bald king’s palace and danced with complex hand movements and whistled a happy tune. I was the king of the swingers, the jungle VIP and when I wiggled my nose, spells were cast. Penelope Pitstop was my heroine although Christopher Columbus was a very brave man, he sailed across the ocean in an old tin can and the waves got higher and higher and over.
We had midnight feasts with tumblers of ginger beer and tinned pears in the dormitory at boarding school but sometimes the French mistress caught us. I promised I would do my duty to the Queen and help other people at all times. We all lived together in the streets of London where a dirty old man taught us to pick pockets but Nancy saved me. Never before had a boy wanted more, but it was lipsmackin' thirstquenchin' acetastin' motivatin' goodbuzzin' cooltalkin' highwalkin' fastlivin' evergivin' coolfizzin'. We had a dog called Shep. And they called it puppy love, oh I guess they’ll never know…
I lived in New York, I watched the ducks in the park with my sister Phoebe and visited an old school teacher in his apartment. Then, I lived in a house with a crotcheted blanket on the sofa, with my older sister younger brother and two funny but grossly overweight parents — we ate a lot of pizza. My name was Darlene. I was really from Australia and I wore tight black satin trousers with high heels and a pony tail. I went on holiday to Butlins (twice) with a redcoat called David Essex before he became a rock star. Much, much later I moved to a suburb with softer lighting and my parents turned into healthy professionals and I kept a voiceover diary of my so-called life. I spent a lot of time kissing a boy called Jordan Catalano. Is this the real life. Is this just fantasy. Caught in a landslide. No escape from reality. Open your eyes. Look up to the skies and see.