Today as I battled through mid-afternoon traffic, to buy, of all things, a front fastening bra (thanks buggered shoulder, well played) I found myself traversing some of my old stomping ground, and craning my neck as I zipped past 232 Lower Dandy Road (I think it was 232, near enough for the purposes of a trip down memory lane).
Driving down that particular stretch of road got me thinking of how utterly I pined for the lovely lad who lived there – let’s call him Murray, for that was indeed his name. Probably still is. Hey Muzz.
Let’s run down the checklist of boy-worthy-of-pining-over criteria:
Quiet, and therefore alluringly mysterious – CHECK
A bit left of centre, political – CHECK
Long and lanky – CHECK
Passionately angst ridden – CHECK
Sweet, easy on the eye – CHECK
Sincere, charming, sometimes a tad socially inept – CHECK, CHECK, CHECK!
And for 1,000,000 bonus points:
Musician – CHECK. Musician in a band, if you don’t mind. Record deal and all. #Lightforce
I met Murray at the church I went to back in the 1800s 1990s. Heady times, we were Pentecostal and proud, boldly evangelistic, sweetly naive, ready to take on the world and give the devil a hiding.
And we had the rock ‘n roll. No sleepy organ “church” music for us, we had brilliantly talented musos and a big warehouse in an industrial estate – and we weren’t afraid to turn the dials to 11. Good times.
Many an hour was spent in Murray’s sparsely furnished flat, which was within walking distance of church, that place saw hours and hours of conversations, laughs, angst-y times and more I’ve surely forgotten.
I don’t know if Muzz broke my heart (he wouldn’t have done it intentionally), and it’s so long ago now, but there was definitely, from my side, that classic young love-can-save-us-and-make-everything-sparkly idealism around my unrequited affections.
I can remember hanging out in the lounge there, listening to Eternal Flame by The Bangles, and lots of emotion being directed towards another girl at some stage, which kinda sucked major balls. Ahh youthful pinings. Most definitely wayward.
Muzz and I were great friends, we shared common interests and passions, and I spent a lot of time with the band he was in (HEY, it was NOT like that, we were good God-fearing people). There was a lot of philosophising about changing the world, a lot of pushing back against injustice and even the social norms of being in a big Pentecostal church in that era of over-the-top, slightly out-of-your-tree spirituality.
I really liked the things that driving past 232 reminded me of, even though they aren’t all easy, happy memories, I remember relying on Muzz in some very low and hard times – but nevertheless they are memories that I now cherish.
We all find our way to who we become via many and varied highways and byways. Some of us start on the straight and narrow and veer wildly in our 20s, some of us spend our classically wild years in church, trying to save the world.
Either way, the best you can hope for is to make some friends that you still love and want to hang out with, almost 30 years later. Check.
I haven’t seen Muzz in maybe 20 years, I heard he became a blacksmith, and that he moved back to the country, at various times. I hope he’s well.
I wonder what he’d remember of those “halcyon days” if he drove past 232 Lower Dandy. What were his wayward pinings? I’m kind of curious about the next chapter.
I love a good reminiscence. Thanks Muzz ❤️
Where’s your 232? Got any of your own wayward pinings this post has stirred up?
Feel free to share your stories in the comments. That’s where the good stuff happens.