Heads resting on arms, encircling the empty tins on the table by the bay window. Further bodies on the floor. Some with backs against walls, heads lolling. Others curled under blankets. His flatmate asleep on the sofa.
He sits in the sole armchair, wearing that oversized tweed coat whose stale smell I’d come to know so well. As would mum when she’d lift it off the hook in the back hall, holding it at arm’s length with a slight turn of the head.
‘How was the after-party?’ he asks, turning his head slightly to exhale. The smell of damp Superser temporarily suspended.
I shrug. ’Best bit was a conversation I had about The Great Gatsby.’
His head flicks back.
‘You know Gatsby?’
’Well I never’. He draws slowly on the B&H in between the index and middle finger of his left hand. This time he blows out to the side of his mouth. No escape from that gaze.
Van Morrison the only sound remaining. ‘Well here it comes, here comes the night…’
Next thing I know, I’m back in a village house in southern Spain. Friends gathered for new year. Two Superser gas fires this time! A vain attempt to counter the cold, damp mountain air. Buena Vista Social Club on repeat.
Then, I’m sitting in my bestie’s bedroom helping her get ready for her wedding. We’re sipping champagne and looking at the relationship collage on her wall. Her own track, I Dreamt You Up, still to be recorded.
Where do you go when you put your music library on shuffle?
What tracks would you like to be in that mix this time next year?
It’s a reflective time of year.
Let’s embrace it.