.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

September 23, 2003

Sally Sage

Not her real name, of course. Comic genius that I am, I called her that because her name was Sally Onions. There was general hilarity, and she was stuck with the name for ever more.

She was one of the exotic redheads at school; in a distant class, another band, another crowd; we never took any lessons together. I only spoke to her for the first time when we both entered sixth form. I don't know what she was doing there; I was generally wasting time and filling hours -- until the time came to chuck it all and go off to be in a band. I can't remember how we struck up a conversation, but we did.

As I mentioned, she had red hair, which she described as strawberry blonde. It was very orange, in any event. She recounted a funny incident involving the head teacher, who'd accused her in front of the whole dinner hall of dyeing her hair, which was Not Allowed. But it was her natural colour, and you have to wonder what goes through a head teacher's mind when she's made an arse of herself over something like that.

Bright red hair wasn't enough for our Sally, though, and she was also 6 feet tall, more or less; skinny, tall, with a big nose and bright red hair, you could hardly miss her, but I did. We started talking, and discovered a similar sense of humour, once she'd forgiven me for her alliterative nickname.

I think for about five minutes, a few weeks anyway, it was on the cards that if I'd asked her out she'd have gone for it. But I missed that opportunity, and she became a friend-girl rather than a girlfriend. I realised I quite fancied her too late, and kept asking, and she kept saying no. For a while I convinced myself I was in love with her, but in that she only really joined a long list of girls I had a yen for, and also other currencies. It turned out with the passing of time that Lucy was the one I loved the most, but I wasted a lot of time and energy (and words) on Sally Sage.

A couple of my earliest songs were about her; and then there was one I wrote later, which was all about how she wasted my time. Lucy mentioned it to me on the drive down. She'd guessed who it was about, but I'm fairly sure only Lucy has paid any attention to my career, so I think I got away with it.

sally and I were friends only until I left home. She wrote a couple of times, but I could tell her heart wasn't in it -- she made nothing like the effort that Lucy did. Anyway, she had that big Secondary Modern girly handwriting, which is not something I wanted the postman to see. Lucy's writing was more angular and adult, which is much more in keeping. So we lost touch, and it was only when she invited everyone to her house in France that I found out what had become of her.

But actually, it was hard to tell what had become of her. She in no way resembled the girl I'd known. Didier, her second husband, was a good deal older (and louder) than her. She seemed shrunken, almost, sitting quiet, or running round the house getting things for people, mainly Didier. She was hyperactive, up and down from the dinner table fetching condiments that nobody had asked for. Didier's efforts in the kitchen seemed to involve getting the corkscrew out of the drawer. It was hard to get a handle on Sally Sage, and what she might be thinking.


Post a Comment

<< Home