Month: May 2021

A Song and Dance

A True Story.

I’m in a writers group. I had missed a meeting and they told me that a music producer had been there, looking for lyrics writers. I got the contact details and made an appointment.

I met with the record producer, a bitter, twisted old man. I was surprised to find he was my age, do I look like that? He complained about young girls that rock up to his studio, with thousands of ‘likes’ on Facebook, and expect to be turned into a pop star. No material, no band, no clue. Where do these singing knickers get their ideas?

The studio was in a disused office building, the sort of run down place amateur bands and artists use. He had a huge mixing desk, he said it was an analogue desk he had recovered from a place in New York, he used to work there. Look at this thing, tell me you can do this with laptop, these idiots with their Apple computers think they make music, it has no soul, no life. I agreed with him, I felt that it would be best to go along with whatever he said. I couldn’t really remember the way out, he lit up a cigarette. I prayed he would not offer me a coffee or anything. I might wake up in an ice bath with my kidneys removed. Then I remembered the writing group, how come no one pointed out that this guy is a psycho? They can’t have missed it.

Pop music and talent shows have killed real music. He was just ranting now. I wondered, If real music is dead then who are you making this album for? I kept that thought to myself, I told myself I can just churn out some lyrics, if he uses them I get royalties.

The sticking point came when I asked him to send me some tunes to work with. He was reluctant, as if I would steal his music. I’ve heard nothing from him since. Maybe he found someone else. Fine with me.

3 May 2017

The Marriage Lottery

I awoke on a park bench. There was a wedding party by the fountain, wedding parties usually came here for the picture shoot after the ceremony. I sat up and squinted to get a clear look at the bride.

Azores Lighthouse

I was engaged once, working in an office, free coffee, lottery pool, we had everything. It was a proud moment when I was elected to be in charge of the lottery. Little did I realise the lottery would be my doom. Pride made me do it, I should have left it to Carla from payroll, she had wanted it badly.

Every Saturday afternoon I would duck out during our weekly shopping trip to buy the tickets, 24 tickets between 48 people. Every week, the woman at the till would say ‘here he is, Billy Big Boots, your usual 2 dozen?’ we laughed. The queue built up behind me while she fed in the grids and printed the tickets. It was a ritual I enjoyed.

Then it happened, the big one. We hit the jackpot, only I didn’t see it. I checked the numbers as usual on Saturday night, we had 1 or 2 numbers on each ticket, 2 tickets had 3 numbers each. Then Jim called, he had picked three numbers and Cynthia picked another three. They made up one grid between them and the numbers had come up. I should have had the winning ticket. I didn’t.

I went over the events in my head. I had gathered all the emails and numbers into a spread sheet and taken a printout to the supermarket to fill in the grids. Then I used the same grids for the next 3 years and 7 months. Now I could see that I had put Jims numbers with Martin’s pick and Carla ‘s numbers were on the next line. 3 years and 7 months of joking with the lottery ticket lady. I had the wrong numbers all along. Technically it didn’t matter because the odds were the same for any combination. Carla screamed ‘This was the winning ticket! You bought a losing ticket! How can the odds be the same?!’ I couldn’t go back to work, one by one they came to our house and cursed us both.

My fiancée couldn’t take it. She asked me to leave, that’s what wakes me up, every night, every day. We were going to get married. For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death us do part. We didn’t even make it to the altar.

I watched as the photographer directed the guests and took the pictures. Eventually they finished up and moved on, happily walking into the life I should have had. I wished them well.

21 May 2018

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