Rock 'n Roll Vagabond. Part five
Man: Next thing you know there’ll be degrees in bricklaying and driving a bus. It’s getting ridiculous. Going to university wouldn’t have helped me. In my business you learn on the job. You learn it by doing it. You don’t get it from books.
Girl: Lots of people studies music.
Man: Not me. I’m not interested in that poncey classical stuff. It’s boring. For me it was rock ‘n roll or nothing.
Girl: You’ll be getting your old age pension soon. You’ll be retired.
Man: I’m never retiring. I want to die on stage in the middle of a song. No. At the end of a song just when I’m hitting a high note or playing a power chord with the drummer going crazy and the lights flashing. Maybe at the end of Rock ‘n Roll Vagabond. That would be a good song to die to.
Girl: That’s crazy. That could be years away.
Man: It could be sooner than you think. Most days I feel very, very old.
Girl: Yeh. You are old but you might live for another thirty years or twenty, at least. It’s normal. Loads of people lives into their eighties.
Man: I hope I’m not one of them.
Girl: There’s no worry about you working yourself to death is there? You’ve only played five or six gigs since I met you and you never practice. You don’t do nothing.
Man: This is always a quiet time of year. It’ll pick up in the summer.
Girl: What if it don’t? Are you just going to sit around in your armchair waiting for things to change? What did your other girlfriends think of your behaviour? I can’t imagine they was very happy with it.
Man: They didn’t complain.
Girl: Was they all young?
Man: Before you there was Amanda. She was younger than you. She lasted about three weeks. She had mental problems and I was glad when she left. She was doing my head in.
Girl: And the others?
Man: Yeh. Most of them were pretty young. That’s one thing I have never understood. What do you young girls see in an old man like me? But I’m not complaining. It’s flattering. It shows that I still got it.
Girl: You still got what?
Man: That I still got what it takes to pull the young girls.
Girl: All you got is a reputation. They know you’ve been on telly and had hit records and they want to be part of that. Once they see the reality of the situation...that you’re a tired old man who’s living in the past they’re going to get out.
Man: That’s their choice. It’s the same with you. You’re just in it for what you can get. I’m just someone you can boast to your mates about. You had no intention of staying around, did you?
Girl: That’s not true! It was never a fling with a rock-star for me. There was something about you that made me want to know you better. You was different from the others.
Man: What others?
Girl: You treated me better than most of the guys I’ve been with. You were kind and nice and you listened to my opinions and treated me with respect. I’m not used to that where I comes from. There I’m just an easy lay, that’s all. Some of the guys I went with expected me to buy their drinks for them and then be grateful when they took me back to their place. You weren’t like that. You treated me like a human being. That’s why I fell in love with you.
Man: You fell in love with me? What a load of rubbish.
Girl: I did. Honest.
Man: You just fell in love with the idea of me as a rock-star. That’s more like infatuation than love.
Girl: No. It wasn’t like that.
Man: Come off it. You’d seen pictures of me and maybe heard my records and thought it would be a good, easy life with a famous musician. You’re not pretty enough to get a footballer so you settled for me.
Girl: I could get a footballer if I wanted but I’m not interested in footballers. I was interested in you.
Man: You thought that if you were with someone famous then you would be famous too.
Girl: OK. Maybe in the beginning it was a bit like that. One of my mates dared me to come on to you and then I thought it would be cool to be your girlfriend but that was only at the beginning, things changed when I got to know you. I started to like you as a person, the way you were and not how I thought you were. That’s when I fell in love with you...when I saw that you were normal.
Man: Of course I’m normal. Music’s just a job. It’s a show you put on. It’s a role you play. Just like an actor. That’s why they call it a stage. You wouldn’t expect Lawrence Olivier to carry on playing the part of Hamlet when he went home. You don’t think he went around all the time saying ‘to be or not to be, that is the question.’ People would think he was a nutter or something. He leaves it all behind. It’s just a job.
Girl: I know that but I thought you would be more exciting when you wasn’t playing and, right at the beginning, you were but that didn’t last. You quickly got boring.
Man: I wasn’t going to entertain you for ever. I showed you around and introduced you to my mates. What more did you want?
Girl: You took me to your local pub. I don’t call that showing me around.
Man: It was up to you to find something to do.
Girl: I thought we would do stuff together, go places, visit people and things like that. I didn’t know that you were just going to sit in your armchair waiting for the time to go to bed. I can’t live like that.
Man: Well. It suits me.
Girl: It don’t suit me. I can’t live like that.
Man: I didn’t ask you to live like me. (pause). You know what? You’re boring. You say that I’m boring but really it’s you that is boring. You really are. You never do anything. You just follow me around and expect to be entertained. Sometimes I feel like a child-minder. You need to get a life.
Girl: That’s what I’m going to do. I deserve better than this.
Man: You don’t deserve anything. I worked hard to get where I am. What have you done? You worked in a factory for two weeks and then you found that it was easier to spread your legs than stand on your own two feet.
Girl: (Starts to cry). That’s a nasty thing to say. You don’t know what it’s like to be me.
Man: I don’t need to. I read about people like you in the newspaper every day.
Girl: What do you mean? People like me.
Man: Young people nowadays don’t think that they have to work their way up from the bottom. They all want to start at the top. Overnight success is waiting if only they could meet the right people. For the girls it’s sleep with the right people. That’s what matters.
Girl: It’s not like that.
Man: Oh yes it is. If a girl is pretty she can get anything she wants provided she leaves all her morals behind.
Girl: What on earth are you talking about?
Man: (mockingly.) Why bother to study? Who needs to read the books? I just got to find the right man. I thought feminism was supposed to stop all that but as far as I can see nothing has changed. Who you know is more important than what you know. Well, you can’t live my life...you’ll have to get your own.
Girl: That’s what I intend to do. From tomorrow you won’t see me again.
Man: Good. It’ll be a relief.
Girl: Don’t you worry. I got friends I can go to. I got lots of friends. I don’t need you.
Man: Good. I’m happy for you.
Girl: But if it turns out that you really are my granddad it might change things.
Man: I’m not your grandfather.
Man: You might be.
Man: Alright. You’ve said it enough times. How are you going to find out if I am?
Girl: We’ll have to do blood tests.
Man: What if I refuse?
Girl: I could take you to court and they could force you.
Man: Maybe you could but why do you want to know? What difference will it make?
Girl: It’s not for me. It’s for my mum. I know she always wanted to know who her real dad was.
Man: Well, it’s not me. Look. This is getting stupid and I don’t want to talk about it no more. I’m going to bed. You do whatever you want to do. I don’t care. You can sleep on the floor if you want.
Girl: You’d make your own granddaughter sleep on the floor? That’s nice. That’s really loving and kind. And anyway, you said earlier that I could have the bed and you would sleep on the floor. That’s what you said. (to be continued.)
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