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I just had this great idea about sharing all Liverpudlian art from around the globe. You my include, paintings, drawings, sculpture, poetry, short stories, short comments about certain places, but this is not a blog, so keep the commentary short. Thanks Saigon, it was your Asian Art Thread that gave me the idea. :)
Looks like I will have to go first. Thought i would include a chapter from a story that I am writing.
The Roller Rink
.I was fourteen when I first courageously shifted up the entrance steps to wrench open one of the hefty four doors that led into the lobby of the Mecca Roller Rink on Summer Hill Road. The muffled disco sounds pounding away, the whoosh and skim of skates and loaded laughter, as people flipped in and out of the entrance doors. The doors that had so often, in passing, tempted me to steal a glimpse inside them, until one day I was unable to fight the urge any longer. Terry, my younger brother, wasn’t tagging along as usual, but I just had to do it, the pull was too strong. It was freaky, being blown away, when I first walked in, by the sound of thunderous throbbing music, whizzing roller skates, zinging pinball machines, and the myriad clamour and clatter of teenage banter. The vibrating ground sent a buzz up through my feet, and hauled me further in enticing me across the humming floor to the welcoming lyrics of a familiar song, until I found myself grasping the barrier ledge separating the crowd from the skaters.
The atmosphere was electric, the sheer volume of music dubbing my own nervous words. From the barrier I was able to feast my eyes on the energised skaters and the illumined dark-curly-haired disc jockey. I was mesmerized by this single figure who began to scream into the microphone
“ D’YA WAN’ IT LOUDER?”
“YEAH! Came the unanimous cry of the skaters.
The earsplitting lyrics rocked the arena, “ THIS.. IS.. MY.. SWAN.. SONG!”, blasted from the huge speakers.
“WHA..T..EV..ER I DO NOW…. I DO IT WELLLLl”, roared the crowds, drowning out the warbling Bee Gees. As their wails richocheted around the arena I found myself instinctively reaching for those same screeching high notes of the crowds. I seemed to be hanging on to the rim of an orchestral cyclone, not yet whisked into the eye of it. A whole new world had opened up to me, it took my breath away, and then I breathd it all in again as I tried to grasp with the reason for my deliberating for so long before giving into my instinct, to look behind those closed doors. To answer the call of the music and the positive energy. I could never have imagined how it would feel to be standing in that dynamic, pulsating spot at the edge of the rink. But I had listened and I had followed and I was so grateful.
“ A CHANCE TO SHOW THE WORLD.. THAT.. I.. AM.. STRONG!” Detonated from the speakers. It gave me hope, hope that I never dreamed possible. From that moment on I always knew that there was possibility, that my world was miniscule in comparison with what was out there, I suddenly felt separate from that other world, invisible, swallowed up by that, that had been waiting on a path that I had avoided; a tiny fish now amongst a shoal, and that constant inner strength climaxing more speedily than ever before. I remember looking at my hand s that held onto the barriers as the skaters veered toward me and then away, their wide grins sharking at me then swimming away, all the time, everyone singing in unison, my hands holding on, as though I never ever wanted to be anywhere else ever again. I remembered those same hands being waterlogged, and wrinkled and frozen from car washing with Terry, always dirty from newspaper print, blistered from the rough canvas bags that I lugged around on Sunday winter mornings, stinging cuts from the butchers knives, the stench of blood on them, the red rawness of being emerged too long in deep sinks of boiling water and dirty dishes at the Ambassador Hotel, always sorting, feeling my way around, leaving when things didn’t feel right, trying something else, always being urged on, but suddenly they held on.
The song fizzled out. Some people; gasping, exited the floor and plonked themselves down into the nearby seats, or removed their skates, or plied themselves with refreshments, their excitement sparked at me as we rubbed shoulders, their conversations of how great that song was, how much fun they had had, filled my head. The music eased off, ordinary sounds unnerved me for a moment I felt uncomfortably noticed, that I was slipping back, a single fish tossed out of the water and back on land, alone, flapping with fear for my next breath, aware of my uninitiation, being found out as the intruder I felt, until I caught sight of the D.J. flipping through the black vinyls. He was reaching for the arm of the record player, it was such a common practise of mine that when I saw how roughly he handled the procedure, and how the needle had bounced onto the record, veering and jumping instead of gliding smoothly into those first grooves, I found that my hands had loosened from the ledge and I was weaving slowly between the arc of patrons until I was there at the helm of the stage. I said nothing, but observed keenly as I shoved my hands into my pockets. Another sound was coming, the skaters were already building up momentum on the floor, pushing their bodies forward, then cruising, gathering speed, circling, breezing past each other, the learners tripping around the edges, clumping into the barriers, the french chalk rising in smoky clouds.
The D.J, smiled my way, maybe past me, and then bellowed, “ARE YA READY?”
“YEAH! WE’RE READY!” Boomed the skaters.
“ARE YA SURE YA READY!” He echoed, grinning.
Before the music had even began I knew what the song was. I knew by those first contact hums of needle with vinyl. My ears were so accustomed, so fine tuned. My whole body seemed to tremble expectantly The D.J gawked at me, I mouthed the title to him before the song started. His lips puckered and surprised curiosity spread across his face, but no due acknowledgement was paid. I was just a snotty-nosed kid, and a new one at that.
The first note of, ‘HEY JUDE’, began, I had been ready before anyone, the feeling was electric, then it began to dawn on them, and the cheers began for the brilliant, Fab Four’s song.
“TAKE A SAD…SONG..AND MAKE IT..B.E.ETT..ER!” We bellowed. I could not wipe the smile from my face. I had found something so amazing and I was gripped, to be hooked forever on the feeling!