I remember taking refuge in my naive romantic dreams coming from my childlike poetic heart. This is how life should be. Living from what nature gives me. Seeing the sun set, while listening to songs telling my own story, singing along.
The songs in the tape, they were old. They were the stuff my parents would play. But I played the tape anyway. It was the only tape I had. And there were three songs in particular that spoke to me. They were about me. I cried when they played. I needed the self-pity at moments. Sometimes I would rewind and play one of those songs again. And again. On one side of the tape those were ‘The Boxer’ by Simon and Garfunkel. I could so relate to the first two verses. I knew the song from records my mum used to play, but not like I got to know it now. The other song was ‘Streets of London’. I did not know the performing artists, but the song definitely made me cry. Those people in it, I knew them. I did not want to become the old girl with the two carrier bags. No way.
On the other side of the tape there was this song, ‘Sitting on the dock of the bay’. That was a new one for me. Foolishly, romantically, I would love to play that song at the end of the day, sitting at the dock of the bay, seeing the sun set and seeing the tide roll away. It made me feel utterly one with all and very blue and all grown up and such. After a day I could sing every word of the song and whistle every note. It cheered me up, just about when it was time to retreat to the bunker in the dunes and get some sleep. It cheered me up just as much as it got me down at other moments.
This was absolutely how life was supposed to be like. I could really believe that. No hard work. No fuss. No one on my case. Just me and the wind and the surf. The music. Taking care of my own business. Taking care of just enough food. Eating when hungry. Sleeping when sleepy. Letting the tide do its thing while watching.
The sun had set. I was sleepy and ready to get up and walk back to the bunkers. And then the tape stopped playing. I took the WalkMan in my hands and studied it a bit. I took the tape out. It looked okay. I put it back in again and got up and started to walk down to the Boulevard. I played a little with the machine, all the buttons on it. It did not respond to anything I did with it. There was no life to it any more. I figured the batteries were dead. What a pity. I did not want to spend money on batteries. Not even if I had had any money.
Well, it was good while it lasted. I took the headphones off and just dropped the thing where I was while walking. It crashed to the pavement and broke open. “What the.. Hey, you! Stop!” Someone yelled at me. From a quick glance I learned it was a police officer. Fuck! I had been too careless just now. I ran off immediately. “No!” He yelled. “No way! Don’t make me run after you! Get back here!” Yeah, right. I ran as fast as I could. He came after me. I could hear his footsteps. They were advancing. He gained on me.
I ran up some steps. Damn, I was never good at running up steps. I almost tripped. I ran into the back alley and past all the back doors of restaurants and bars and then out in the open of a plaza in front of the entrance of a large and stately hotel. I quickly turned left and tried to make my way into a popular and crowded bar there. But I got bounced. The bouncer quickly got hold of me and tossed me back into the street, much to my surprise. I fell on my buttocks. As I was scrambling my way back up, the officer was just making the corner too. He saw me and jumped me. I could not get away fast enough. He had me.
“Like I said,” he gasped “do not make me run after you, little bugger.” He was getting his breath back. So was I. He got me up. He had a firm hold of my arm and neck. “But you had to make me run, didn’t you.” We started to make our way back to the Boulevard. Down the steps next to the stately hotel, right turn. The officer was practically carrying me by my neck and arm. It hurt. My shoulder felt like it would pop, but I did not dare say a word.