Love Is A Four Letter Word. So Is Riot – Part 2

27 01 2010

On 31st March, 1990, the people of the United Kingdom staged a demonstration in London to protest against the proposed introduction of the Community Charge (or Poll Tax). Against a background of increasing frustration with the government of Margaret Thatcher, a young man finds himself in a situation with conflicting interests, and realises that is time to take a side.


Love is A Four Letter Word : Part 2

We met at a party in North London thrown by a mate from the private school I attended. Parents on holiday, 3 bedroom semi- detached with swimming pool, access to a liquor cabinet that didn’t ask for ID. Throw in some 16 year old girls from the local area persuaded to attend by the promise of Malibu, and a boring Saturday evening turns into the one thing that teenage boys will bother to shower for.  

I arrived late, not fashionably, but because the London bus system was not exactly running at full capacity on this May evening in 1984. I was wearing my “uniform”, skinny jeans with a black Def Leppard T-shirt and a pair of black Converse Hi-tops. With four cans of Australian lager stolen from my father’s fridge in my hand, I was ready to party like it was 1999.

The house was in semi-darkness when I rang the bell, the sound of music and laughter filtered from a downstairs window. Net curtains showed glimpses of shape and form, the unmistakeable smell of cigarettes being smoked by individuals who thought it was cool and rebellious. Upon entering, the layout was immediately clear. Girls in the lounge swaying to pop music, lads on the outskirts holding cans of weak lager, transfixed by the sight of female flesh within touching distance.  The kitchen hummed with discussion, voices raised as the effect of alcohol took hold making the speaker feel more important than they actually were.

She was in the kitchen.

She sat silently at the table, taking in everything around her, an amused smile playing over lips that had the slightest hint of make-up, strawberry blonde hair tousled but not styled. She was wearing a long dress which had delicate floral patterns and no sleeves paired with fishnet gloves. From under the dress, a pair of Dr Marten shoes peeped out. In a house full of Lycra mini-skirts and big hair, she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.

I was spotted by the host, a big smile breaking out as he beckoned me into the already crowded room. I opened a can of lager with a flourish and passed it to him, communal back slapping with a hint of drunken acknowledgment. He leaned into my shoulder, as if we were part of a conspiracy.

Somebody’s looking at you, Chris.”

I feigned nonchalance, heart racing just a tiny bit.

Really? Who?”

Who do you think, you plum? How many birds can you see in this kitchen? Victoria, of course!”

I turned around, saw the smile and flashed one back. The smile didn’t leave her face, but she got up from the table and walked through the French doors onto the patio. The sound of her DMs sounded loud on the wooden floor, but there was a clear invitation to follow. I waited and turned to my mate.

Is she with anyone tonight?”

He grinned, “Na, mate, she’s never with any of us. We’re the enemy, the public schoolboys whose Daddies earn too much money by exploiting the workers. You should feel privileged to even get a smile. My advice to you, my son, is go for it. See if she has got anything to offer besides politics and a hatred of Maggie T.”







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