Sympathy for the Devil
By Le Clown.
Friends labeled our cramped and minuscule living room quaint and charming. Our furniture had found a way to live together harmoniously: my father’s recliner chair and its side table took a corner, the teal three-seater sofa was on the opposite wall leaning on a mirror between side tables, in front of the window curtains, a two-seater with more side tables, and on the largest wall of our quaint and charming living room, the oversized antique wooden television wall unit. We had an ashtray per head, and when friends visited, more ashtrays colonized the side tables. In the only available space between the furniture, the carpet, the mirrors, the curtains, the framed art, our family, the frequent guests, and the outside traffic commotion which didn’t want to stay outside where it belonged, the cigarette smoke hung, and lingered, and crowded an already crowded living room.
On Saturday July 13, around 12:30 pm, I was sitting alone on the three-seater in my undies from the day before. Mom was in the kitchen, dad was working, and I couldn’t care less where my siblings were spending the weekend. I abhorred the stench of cigarette butts: I moved the ashtrays to the kitchen with an exaggerated look of disgust. I was alone with the outside traffic and 1.9 billion others in my living room the day Bono Vox became bigger than God.
I recognize the lyrics, Bono is serenading Wembley Stadium with Bad. My head sways left right up down, my feet tap the rug, my skinny upper body vacillates, I hum, I sing, “Fade away… Just fade away… No!” Bono drops the microphone, walks down the stage, points at a girl in the crowd over and over and again, leans down and jumps closer to the girl. Bono reaches Kal Khalique, the young woman from the crowd he saved that day, and holds her dearly. Bono climbs back on stage and sings:
“Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, who’s gonna hang a name on you?”
Mom comes out of the kitchen, intrigued.
“Please to meet you! I hope you guess my name!”
- “Who’s that singing the Rolling Stones, honey?”
“Doo do doo, doo do doo, doo do doo.”
- “Oh, it’s Lou Reed…”
- “No mom!! it’s Bono Vox,” I scream, “and he’s not from The Rolling Stones, he’s from U2 and he kissed a girl from the crowd. And you missed it.”
Inspired by Bad (from the Live Aid 1985 concert).
Lady with the Spinning Head
By Wakinyan Winyan.
It was a hot summer night in the town I grew up in. I was 15 and I was somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be.
I was supposed to be spending the night at my girlfriend’s house. Instead, I was at a raging house party in a bad part of town surrounded by people who ranged in age from 17 to 25.
I was on my third clear plastic cup of warm, frothy beer. I had also eaten a handful of mushrooms before walking in the door.
Someone, I have no idea who, put on the U2’s Lady with the Spinning Head.
Here she comes Lady luck again Figure of eight Six and Nine again
The music was pulsing through my chemically-altered body at warp speed. I felt like I was convulsing. The fine hairs on my arms were bristling. It felt like every beat was mimicking my own heartbeat. I imagined the pupils of my eyes were spinning like spirals. I looked at the walls and I thought they were breathing.
I felt a hand on my bare leg and a jolt of electricity shot through me. I heard a distant voice murmuring in my ear, “Get up, we have to get outta here.” I was vaguely aware that something bad was going on. I saw people scrambling over each other, jumping out windows. Through my dilated green eyes, it was all happening in slow motion.
He dragged me down the stairs, led me outside, dropped my hand and took off running. I collapsed in a heap on the cool, damp grass. I could still hear Bono singing, but it seemed more like a distant memory.
A police officer stood over me. He pulled me to my feet and started asking me questions. I stood for a few seconds, before collapsing back on the grass. My legs weren’t working. They felt jittery and numb.
He pulled me to my feet again and though he tried to catch me before I went down again, he didn’t. He was getting tired of my antics, so he dragged me over to a stop sign, slapped a handcuff on my wrist and placed the other around the metal pole of the stop sign.
I stared at him, mouth hanging open…and then I started laughing.
“But I’m the lady with the spinning head,” I said. “I am the lady with the spinning head.”
Inspired by Lady with the Spinning Head.
Prompts: 1: Do you remember having a teen idol? OR 2: Do you have an embarrassing teen moment where alcohol and/or drugs and/or the police were involved (I know… but just concentrate on ONE memory…)?
Featured image: “RoboGirl”, by Lauren YS. Used with the expressed consent of the artist.