I heard this track on the radio today and it took me back to what, now, seems like another life.
To a life where, for a brief period of time, I felt pretty damn formidable.
I was probably at the peak of my attractiveness, my body was lithe and model like, and the boys rather predictably, didn’t seem to care about my dubious nose or big teeth anymore and I hid behind that confident veneer as if my life depended on it.
My punk/new romantic look made my aloof features an advantage, and along with my Miss Whiplash attire and liberal use of black/navy/burgundy/blood red make up atop of my pallid visage, the desired ‘Don’t touch, in fact don’t even look‘ image was complete.
I was earning decent money for once in my life so was starting to realise I didn’t have to rely on anyone anymore.
I’d broken one heart and was about to break another.
The mother who’d never loved me enough had died and after a month of pure agony, my blood was replaced by ice water, my body turned to marble and the six inch thick steel door that stayed in place for a good decade or so, slammed shut on my emotions, making me one very scary bitch indeed.
If anyone had dared ask, I couldn’t have exactly said I was happy.
I might not have realised how fucking angry I was, but I knew that I was, for once in my life, powerful.
No one was going to make me feel bad anymore. No one was going to let me down when I needed them the most.
And, most importantly of all, no one was going to tell me what to do, least of all a man.
I realise now that under that haughty, superior exterior, I was one sick puppy. But at the time I didn’t know, and if I had known, I wouldn’t have cared.
Anyone who tried to mess with me now was going to pay.
Three decades have passed since that girl partied hard in the clubs of Manchester, outplayed the players, saw dating as a blood sport, and used her sexuality in the most harmful way possible; My looks have faded, my snarl has gone, and after years of therapy, my life blood has returned, my form softened and the steel door has gradually come down.
And for the most part, I don’t like it. And whilst I do still have a weapon, I can’t always find it, plus my challenge is to try to choose my battles and whenever possible, leave it in it’s sheath.
I’m old, unarmed and scared.
But I fight on. For that motherless, abandoned girl for whom love only ever brought insecurity, doubt and pain, who embodied a white hot fury that had to be incarcerated as it was too painful to acknowledge, and I can only hope that I can make a life where she can experience what love, security and self acceptance actually feels like.
So I resist the urge to tool up and fight.
But my God, if I could have put this brain into that young body, I could have ruled the world.
And when I hear this song, I could almost be there, striding into a club, in spike heels, vinyl trousers, flicking my burgundy hair with an insouciant smirk across my plum stained lips.