The Summertown Diaries Part 1

‘I can’t believe discos used to be a thing in the 80s.’

My 20-year-old son is dancing around the kitchen.

He thinks he’s dancing.

According to him, he is the best, the coolest amongst his friends.

What he does is not what I constitute as dancing.

A shoulder wiggle, the occasional moving of the knees. No.

The music he is moving to is on his Phunk playlist.

It is not Phunk (with a ph) or Funk (with an f) it is Indie New Wave.

I blame myself.

I should’ve sent him to breakdancing classes

instead of flute lessons.

He’s tall, got long legs, wears skinny jeans.

He reminds me of the time when the 18-year-old me

wasn’t fighting to change the world,

just fighting for jeans that would fit

so I didn’t look like a 50-year-old man.

Jeans tight enough to look good

and flexible enough to dance in.

Me and my college friends would get to the disco early,

we’d practice in the toilets before the girls turned up,

ready to dance to 80s tracks like  ‘Madonna’s ‘Into the groove’

It was Madonna’s birthday the other week.

She’s 60. Rich enough and old enough to retire.

She’s entitled to a senior citizen’s railcard.

Does she still sing ‘Like a virgin’ at her concerts?

It’s time for me to write a memoir

about a time when dancing meant something.

I saw Mark Kermode’s film documentaries

and I reckon I’ve got something that fits

the coming of age genre.

All the doubts are starting to creep in now.

Would it be relevant? Would it be interesting?

Has the nostalgia boom been and gone?

Does any of this really matter?

I haven’t got the answers

but the journey back in time should be entertaining enough,

if only for me.

So, I’m going to delve into my garage

and dig out all the diaries the teenage me diligently kept.