Simon was the most extraordinary Man who ever lived an ordinary life. He helped take on a country from behind a guitar. Follow his life told by the people who mattered most to him.
Sometimes Simon asks me to reminisce for him, little moments that have slipped from his grasp over time, momentous occasions that perhaps changed our lives, and sometimes events that happened no more than three hours ago. Sometimes a song will come on the radio, a piece of immortal music from a time when he could still play his guitar, a melody that he may once have sung to me in a candlelit room thirty five years ago, our song perhaps; I see then in his eyes an inner turmoil. I wonder how much it pains him, as he tries to grasp the frayed edge of a memory that should be important to him. When it pains him, it pains me, a little more of me dies every time.
I cannot remember the date that Simon became so frail and fragile inside, nor the exact moment that I realised the rock I had relied so heavily upon for all these years had begun to crumble from within. I wish I could turn back to that
very event, and hold him tight just one last time, knowing that it would be the
last time he fully understood that I loved him, why I loved him, and that love
would be a continuous unconditional thing. I wish above all things, that for one day my Simon would come back, the man who could make me smile, who never stopped making the washing machine of sensation swirl through my stomach, and the man who gave and changed so much for me. I wish some days he could simply
remember my name.
He is asleep now, the radio is playing next to my right arm, and I am scrunched upon the sofa with a book of outstanding mediocrity; just another escape route from the dulling, withering and altogether languishing days that comes with old age. I am not taking in the words before me, they slide in through my eyes and avoid my mind whilst it is busy with so many thoughts; but still I turn the pages, playing out the scene for an invisible audience. Here is a happy and content old biddy reading her books, still compos mentis bless her, enjoying retirement like any happy and content old biddy should. Later she may get up from her orthopedic floral recliner, totter to the musty smelling kitchen and cook dinner for her and her Husband, sit down and discuss the primroses and daffodils growing in the little garden, before
settling back down to watch her soaps on her archaic flat screen television. Christ I remember getting that television with Simon, back when I lovingly called him ‘Stud’ in front of his sister to embarrass him, ‘Honey’ when we were out in public, ‘Dude’ in front of his mates, ‘Wreck-head’ on Saturday nights, and ‘My World’ when we
were alone. We were so proud of that Television, we sat and watched about twenty DVD’s one after another that weekend, breaking only to eat and to make love.
Oh god that sounds so prudent and quaint doesn’t it? Making love. I am pretty sure that wasn’t what we called back in the days when ‘making love’ was a regular and important part of us displaying our love for each other. My god the most action our carpet has seen over the last five years or so has been the occasional spilt drink and a cigarette burn when Rob came over to visit before falling asleep watching old DVD’s of gigs they performed back in 2013. Bless him, Rob does try with Simon. It must hurt Rob to realise all those important days together have gone missing from Simon’s mind, ever since Faye died Rob had only us to piece his past together. But Simon smiles politely, dies inside, and tries to mend his fractured mind as he stares like a zombie at the flickering and withering gaudy images upon the screen.
Ah one of Simon’s songs has come on the radio. I used to love this song, one of
the many gems that Simon had buried within his extensive and moody collection
of CD’s. “Be a foundation for all, my cornerstone.” I sing mutely along with
it, letting the fractious and luxurious reward of memory wash over me. This is the moment I picture everything just the way it was. For Simon if he ever remembers the moments I hold onto so dearly, it will be temporary, perhaps even so fleeting that it won’t even register in his mind as a memory. I want to tell my story, so melodiously intertwined with his, for so long. I want people to know how we moved the rest of the worlds to be with each other.
I want England 2052 to know that human interaction wasn’t always based on how much blood they could draw from each other. I want this decaying world to know that sometimes I used to wake up in the dead of a very cold night, not because an
‘Exploding Jenny’ had hit a neighbours’ house, or a ‘Molly’ had sailed into our
garden, but because I wanted to pull ‘My World’ back into my arms and keep him
there ‘til morning. Mostly I want to tell this story for Simon.
I remember he used to play a game on his mobile phone. ‘Infernus’ it was called,
the idea was simply just to escape a prison cell the games character had awoken
in. On an island surrounded by water, the character had no idea where he was, or indeed how he had got into such a tricky situation. I wonder if that is how Simon feels every day. Waking up in an alien world, unable to make sense of it, no memory, nothing to look forward to, trapped on his own island in the prison cell of his own mind. Yes, I want to tell this story for Simon. He doesn’t deserve to be
remembered as the prune-skinned fuddy-duddy ex-rocker crazy nutball that most
people see him as these days. So for Simon I begin.
But life wasn’t always easy.