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The Drugs Don't Work Anymore

A story about a song.

By John GilroyPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
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I was walking through Hyde Park in Leeds listening to a song that reminds me of many things and yesterday added more memories to it, more than what I thought could be added to a song that I'd previously assossiated with boredom. Smoking cigarettes on my mums balcony or through the kitchen window, with the extractor fan whizzing behind my head worrying that it will wake the others up as I puff on the cigarette taking in the words. These moments already remind me of the past, The Verves album and Bitter Sweet Symphony in particular. It reminds me of my art foundation and a tutor talking in a lecture about how he had wanted to mimic Richard Ashcroft in every manner. I had no clue who the bloke was at first I recognised the song and the area the video had been filmed in that too had memories linked to it; greasy spoon cafes and leather jacket clad thugs. Walking over the car as it pulls to a stop at the junction in Hoxton the era of the early 2000's it makes me smile in a bitter sweet symphony through the bitter sweet simplicity of it all.

I played the song to myself last night I had recently got a free music streaming trial and was playing the music to myself as I was relaxing in bed we had just seen a mate to celebrate his birthday smoked a spliff with him and laughed our way home staggering past bins that line the streets of the students part of Leeds. I was in my room playing the music to myself when I had wanted a cig I guess its a habbit formed from the sound of the song, like information with chewing gum. I went downstairs and asked a housemate for one.

We smoked in the garden, the smoke tasting more toxic than normal. I got halfway through it and thought about chucking the rest of it but that felt like a waste especially as my mate was stood next to me, so I inhaled the rest flung the butt at the ashtray that sits on our rotting garden table and began to make some belated dinner, spaghetti and pasta. I've replayed the song about three times by this point and theres now three of us singing along to it in the kitchen. My other housemate who's not in the house at this point in time grew up in the same area as Ashcroft, so I brought that up in conversation. I began talking about everything that the song reminds me of; cigarettes on the balcony at my mums, being bored, missing Leeds and my mates there.

Suddenly I begin missing those moments. We all start missing home. Missing the feeling of missing Leeds.

It makes me wonder whats going to happen after university, what the song will remind me of then. The boys leave the kitchen for a moment and my girlfriend calls me. She's just been having dinner around hers with a girl that one of my housemates has been seeing we've somewhat adopted her as our own mate and he said that she would be coming over soon so the phone call was half expeted, she asks me to come over for the evening she asks me what I'm up to. I tell her about my meal at what I then realised was quater to twelve at night. I realised that I might still be stoned.

I finish cooking the meal and head upstairs as the boys play FIFA. The front door goes and my housemate goes downstairs to answer as I sit down. I open the widnow of the upstairs living room, a tiny one that was meant to be the residance of whoever pulled the short straw of bedrooms a law ignored in the name of comfort, swapping the bedroom that was in its place for that of the larger one that now takes its place downstairs. It's something of an abstarct painting. Cubism at it's finest or something like that. Anyway, I go to shout down from the window something stupid but the front door had already been opened and closed by this point and I could hear the footsteps approaching up the stairs. I change sofas sat on the arm rest and the food on my knees as me and the visitor watch the two other boys play FIFA. She starts telling us about the evening and makes a joke about how we're now swapping places.

"You've got a big space to fill" she says.

"Yeah... right" I reply with intended dry sarcasm.

The conversation follows of what I'm eating and so forth, plans for Christmas and drips of conversation from the evening.

I have a shower and leave.

Hair still wet as I confront the cold air of Leeds.

Earphones in.

The Drugs Don't Work Anymore plays to soothe me sweetly.

I get to my partner's flat and knock on the ground floor window. Balancing on a ledge that feels even more dangerous in the damp conditions on this December evening.

She smiles from her bed and comes to let me in.

We go inside and I say, "I've got a song that I want to show you".

Humanity
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About the Creator

John Gilroy

I'm a writer from London, now based in Leeds. Annecotes, trians of thought and poems are what I write.

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