Monday, January 15, 2007

The Cradle of Love

Nothing really evokes the past as much as music. At least, that's how it is for me. Watching Billy Idol sing "Cradle of Love" on TV this evening reminded me of the wildest years of my life. The time when I really didn't give a damn about anything, except the next party. Having a good time was the best reason for existing.
In those years, the mid-80's, we listened to Bauhaus, Souxsie, Love and Rockets, Morrisey, the Smiths, Julian Cope, Billy Idol, The Cure, The Clash, Sex Pistols. We were part of an underground culture. My friend and I were "scarey girls". Which is pretty odd, considering that I thought we were pretty nice.

One New Years eve, we went into Hillbrow. It was traditional, back then. These days I wouldn't even go into Hillbrow during the day, let alone New Years eve. In the mid-80's, Hillbrow was the place to go to have fun. Not neccessarily safe, but always guarenteed to be exciting.
The police had closed a huge area off to traffic. About eight city blocks, maybe more. People flooded the streets, mostly young people, of all races. This was Africa, and it was a warm summer's night. We wandered around, taking everything in. The heat, the crowd, the smell of food, alcohol, the blast of music and the building excitement.
Yet it still seemed to lack something. An edge of danger, or daring. We always had to push those boundaries. So, we decided to have a kissing competition. Whoever kissed the most guys before we left, won.
I don't remember the exact score. I just remember having the time of my life. It was pure insanity, giddy and loud. We were neck-in-neck when we finally left.
I drove home through the deserted streets, and stopped at a light right next to an armoury. There were two unhappy soldiers on guard outside. We glanced over, but before I could even think to make a comment my friend had leaped out of my car and run over to them like a crazed woman. A second of arm-flapping and explanations, and she kissed them both.
I was outraged. She had beaten me! Sneaky! Unbelievable!
She laughed all the way home.

I may not remember all the details, but I remember her laughing. She is still my friend, and I still listen to Billy Idol.

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