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Your Mother Sucks Cocks In Hell!

18 September 2000
Neil is feeling his age.

It was the exclamation mark that really got me. Forget the rather dubiously necessary plural (she doesn't just suck cock, she sucks lots of them!)- that defiant piece of punctuation on the back of the t-shirt worn by the kid energetically leaping around in front of me in the club was what really caught my attention. So there, it seemed to say.

Of course it would be easy to be snobbish about the lack of sophistication, patronising about the eagerness to offend, even facetious about the sentiment (good on her, she probably never got round to it on earth) but the feeling I found myself washed with was something more like a sense of loss.

I'm not sure how old he was, my ability to determine ages is hampered by the fact that I judge people against myself as if I's still eighteen, but let's say fifteen since that number, that age, has a certain potency for me, but I felt suddenly sad that I'd left that stage, that sensation of wild, burning, undirected passion that makes you want to tell people that their mothers suck cocks in hell (so there), so far behind.

Pictures are the worst. For reasons that I've either long forgotten or else (more likely) were never entirely apparent in the first place, I carry around, grimy and dog-eared, old passport photos of myself in my wallet, the reject left-overs that never got used for anything and then became successively outdated. Two are from when I's fifteen and, passing swiftly over the one where my face is twisted into a gurning contortion as some bastard friend made me laugh under the curtain, whenever I look at the second one it's almost in disbelief. It's not just that the hair I always hated so much is such a gorgeously deep colour or that I seem so slender that my white t-shirted body disappears against the background or even that I actually have cheek-bones, it's more that there's something in the intensity of the stare that I know just isn't in me anymore.

And that's just me, imagine if it was someone genuinely beautiful. Death in Venice is a classic (old) film about this dying composer who gets obsessed with this beautiful kid, played by a guy called Bjorn Andresen with tumbling blond hair; the film is practically wordless but an incredibly powerful mixture of classical music and breathtaking images, of the city and of the boy. Andresen is now an accountant in his forties, how must he feel when he watches that film?

I suspect it only works for yourself- my father has a load of photos of the sports teams he played in all the way through school; I look at them and all I can see is a fifty year old solicitor with slightly more hair standing in a row of school-boys, but what does he see? Glory days, captaining them to the cup, his first hundred, the form he never quite recovered after breaking that ankle and himself in his prime.

I realise that I'm coming dangerously near to becoming a fully paid-up member of the Cult of Youth here which, given the pop stars and tennis players currently showing that if you haven't made it by the time you leave school it's already too late, frankly doesn't need me; I know you can be happy and fulfilled however old you are, that age comes before beauty, life begins at forty, you can be wet and wild as a pensioner and the intensity in that stare made me miserable and yet ... and yet ... let me give you an example.

On my wall I have a picture. It's of a boy, let's say he's fifteen, I cut it out from a newspaper when I's about the same age. It accompanied an article about kids feeling unsafe on city streets and shows him going down into an underpass. The vulnerability in his face as he stuffs his hands into the pockets of his jeans and glances back over his shoulder makes that image, that still, that moment beautiful. The boy in the picture was a model- he's out there somewhere now, the same age as me, probably bigger, broader, without those dark tendrils of fiftten year old hair, no longer able to create that instant of beauty. Sure, maybe he'll go on to create others but potential is intangible, nothing will be lost if he doesn't.

I guess what made me sad was the certainty that the kid in the club will lose his impotent defiance, will lose that passion, will stop wearing that t-shirt. Goldie Hawn looks great for her age, but that's the best she can hope for.


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

17 June 2002. Neil writes: Cockfosters
23 May 2002. Neil writes: Siege Mentality
29 April 2002. Neil writes: Oh So Pretty
1 April 2002. Neil writes: Lost
11 March 2002. Neil writes: These Are The Days
14 February 2002. Neil writes: Bedtime Story
21 January 2002. Neil writes: Said She Was An Artist
24 December 2001. Neil writes: Here's All the People
3 December 2001. Neil writes: On Antibiotics
8 November 2001. Neil writes: Private Schooling
15 October 2001. Neil writes: Morning After
20 September 2001. Neil writes: Flightpath
27 August 2001. Neil writes: Tsarina
2 August 2001. Neil writes: Family and Friends
9 July 2001. Neil writes: My Fabulous Weekend
14 June 2001. Neil writes: The Sound of Music
21 May 2001. Neil writes: Lethal Injection
26 April 2001. Neil writes: Voter Apathy
2 April 2001. Neil writes: ET
5 March 2001. Neil writes: The Shadow Over Brunswych
12 February 2001. Neil writes: Bibliofile
18 January 2001. Neil writes: Suburban Gothic
25 December 2000. Neil writes: Many in Body, One in Mind
30 November 2000. Neil writes: Urban Regeneration
6 November 2000. Neil writes: In Extremis
12 October 2000. Neil writes: Obituary
18 September 2000. Neil writes: Your Mother Sucks Cocks In Hell!
24 August 2000. Neil writes: Parent Power
7 August 2000. Neil writes: Love Letter

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