Standing in platform shoes (Prose challenge)
Intro: 70’s fashion and first ever dates.
Metal Guru was deafening the neighbors from my brothers bedroom as I splashed on some of dads Old Spice and wriggled a skinny bum if front of my box-room mirror, I say box-room because there was a pecking order and I sat at the bottom of the food chain. The music suddenly sounded off kilter as mum added to the drum beat by banging on the down stairs wall, “Your tea’s out” both me and my brother always waited for the “I wont tell you again” before we made a dash for the stairs.
I wasn’t old enough to be penitent but the fashion of the day was a woolen v-neck jumper, green with white stars across the chest and nothing underneath. My trousers were bottle green Birmingham bags, high wasted with pockets at the side that your hands could reach if you walked like a chimpanzee, they also had the widest flares you could imagine. After months of begging, tonnes of delivered news papers and endurance of the wet freezing cold streets of a 5:00am milk round, Clarks had finally caught up with the trend and I had purchased the only pair of E fitting platform shoes in the whole of Warrington.
” He’s got really narrow feet hasn’t he, wiggle your toe, yes he’s got enough room to grow in them. Do you want the care cream? its only £4.99, no?”
We both charged into the dining room at the same time asking only to be denied, if we could watch Captain Pugwash and eat our tea on our knees. It was always the same lecture about how its the only time we sit down together, I guess I get it now but then it was just another rule I wanted to break. I stood in the dinning room door way ready for the school christmas disco feeling like a glam rock star for the very first time. Dad peered over his readers.
“Bloody hell, were’s thy guwin? its Bilbo bloody baggins whats tha weather like up there lad, and whats that smell? as thy bin after me Brut again?
No said mum ” Its Old Spice” as she trailed a hand around my cheek then ruffled my hair.
“Can I make a butty mam I’m gonna be late?”
“Aye go on then but mind your back at half nine”
I slammed the back door, butty in hand listening to the, ooo kissy kissy chants of my brother, piss off I said under my breath and punched the wing of dads white Ford Zephyr, it didn’t even flinch. I walked up the street into the wind that was causing my flares to flap like sails around my skinny legs, I was so distracted I forgot about the Yorkshire Terrier called Rusty that guarded the gates at No 1 with a bark like rapid machine gun fire and I nearly fell over, still learning to walk in my new shoes.
All the lights were on in the disco, girls on one side, boys the other and teachers patrolled the gap in between like prison warders without the spot lights. The room smelled of dusty floors, orange juice and jelly, with a hint of Brut. Quite a strange combination really but one I would recognise in an instant. None of us could dance but we threw our bodies around like we knew what we were doing, Mud, Sweet and Slade all filled the herring bone floor. I was breathless after Tiger Feet, hair stuck with sweat to my forehead, cheeks burning bright red and I was glugging down orange juice like I had been lost in a desert for a week. I felt a tap on my arm, turning round to see the smallest girl in my class smiling up at me in her best party dress.
“Do you want to dance?”
I swear at that moment time stood still and a quartet in the corner played three notes, dun dun derrrrrr.
“Err sure why not”
If I could have squeezed more red into my cheeks I’m sure I would have but the fact that she had hold of my hand and was dragging me to the middle of the room was completely draining me of any colour. We faced each other looking in different directions but moving somehow together and seemingly in time. Even the teachers felt awkward and started to move back towards the cake table. I eventually began to relax and and a few other kids started to join in.
“Do you want to go out with me?” I blurted out mid movement, leaning in over the music.
“No, she said, your too tall for me” and carried on dancing.
I thought about it for a bit then slipped off my platforms, “what about now?”
“Yea, that’s better” she said without looking up.
We had one date at the swimming baths were she dumped me for someone much taller and I got over her, drinking hot chocolate and eating salt and vinegar crisps with wrinkled fingers. The platform shoes? well, Glam turned into Heavy Metal and I had to have a pair of suede boots, that time though, I bought the cream.