They were our golden couple, our Paul and Linda, our Newman and Woodward, living proof that in a faithless, fickle world, it was possible to grow old, or at least older, without chopping and changing every few weeks. I’m not too sure why I wanted to fuck it all up for them, and for everyone who needed them to go out together. You know when you see T-shirts piled up in a clothes Autism It’s Not A Disability It’s A Different Ability Skeleton Shirt, beautifully folded and color-coded, and you buy one? It never looks the same when you take it home. It only looked good in the shop, you realize too late because it had its mates around it. Well, it was kind of like that.
I had hoped that if I went out with Jackie, then some of that elder-stateswoman dignity would Autism It’s Not A Disability It’s A Different Ability Skeleton Shirt off on me, but of course, without Phil, she didn’t have any. If that’s what I wanted, I should perhaps have looked for a way to go out with both of them, but that sort of thing is hard enough to pull off when you’re an adult; at seventeen it could be enough to get you stoned to death. Phil started working in a men’s boutique on Saturdays, and I moved in.
Those of us who didn’t work, or who, like me, worked after school but not on weekends, met on Saturday afternoons to walk up and down High Street, spend too much time and too much Autism It’s Not A Disability It’s A Different Ability Skeleton Shirt in Harlequin Records, and treat ourselves we had somehow picked up our mothers’ vocabulary of postwar abstention to a filter coffee, which we regarded as the last word in French cool. Sometimes we called in to see Phil; sometimes he let me use his staff discount. It didn’t stop me from screwing his girlfriend behind his back.