The Stylophone of the Secret Revolutionary


Here’s the story of the ‘60s, my bed, and loneliness.

A sight rather priceless is the look on an infant’s face when you give the infant a Stylophone. They have no idea what to do with it. If you’re having trouble keeping the little one quiet, a Stylophone works a treat. Infants just sit there, on the spot, and stare at the mad contraption with a bewildered look on their face. Stylophone’s are just about the only thing I miss from the ‘60s. If you haven’t seen one – erm, well, it’s – it’s a box. A musical instrument. There’s a speaker. Electronic noise. A stylus. Not that big. I found one under my bed this week, but my mind isn’t what it used to be, and I can’t remember how the Stylophone got there. I also found eight party poppers and a bright pink games console. And an old car badge. I mean, I live in the past, but even I was baffled by this haul…

I’m a hoarder, ladies and gentlemen. I keep things, but not big things, little things. Like party poppers. I’m sure there’s a reason I kept a bunch, but eight seems worryingly specific. I mean, what can one do with eight party poppers? It’s not much of a celebration. They’d be gone in seconds! “Happy New – oh, crud, we’re out of party poppers.”

I’m having fun with my Stylophone, though. Give me one of these over your fancy plastic block waving gizmos any day of the week. “I got a Wii because I like exercise but I don’t want to go outside for a walk – oh, and it’s raining and the dog is asleep on my poncho.” Excuses, excuses. “Oh, yes, the dog has woken up, but walking isn’t much fun.” Oh, aye, yes. Not really the point of walking though, is it? You’re meant to get in touch with nature. Like a hippy. But with better hygiene.

Suffice to say, I’ve never used a Wii. Or these Q-Box, Fun-Station, whatchamacallits doodah’s. But this Stylophone. I don’t work for them but I really can’t think of a better Christmas present. You know, for the type of kid who loves cardboard boxes. And banging a wooden spoon on a pan. Like we did in the good old days.

What? Not feeling very Christmassy, yet? Only 60 days to go, you know. Better start shopping. I’d quite like a new iPad, if that’s not too much to ask, readers.

I kid, of course.

I’d actually like a new laptop…

I’ve been rummaging around under my bed this week for a very special reason. The end is here. Not of the world. I haven’t turned crazy. Well, yet. Some might beg to differ, but I’ll show them. My bed. My poor, poor bed. It’s the mattress. It’s been giving me rashes, which is never a good sign. So it’s time to go. And I’m quite sad about that.

Oh, sure. All the springs have gone. Many have punched their way through the bottom half of the mattress. It smells a bit funny. It’s giving me rashes. And making me itchy. But you know what, guys, I love it. It’s not just a bed. I’ve had the mattress for just over 15 years, and the frame a touch longer. They’re a few of the only things I have left from my old house. Some of the last connections. It’s worthy of a sad Stylophone tune. But I can’t play it. Although I suppose one couldn’t really tell even if I could.

Honestly, it really does sound like someone is butchering the Star Trek tune. The good Star Trek. Not the new ones. Never the new ones. Eugh, they suck…

Mum and dad bought me my new bed. Arrives next week. I haven’t seen it yet, I was still poorly when they bought it. Soon, I’ll have drawers and no more springs. No more springs! I didn’t know they made mattresses without springs. All fancy foam, these days. I’m 25, by the way. Not having any friends or social media awareness does detach one slightly from the real world.

The new one will still be a single, though. I have no need for a double. A double is for two people. Gee, people can’t stand being near me, never mind sleeping with me. Ha! Never gonna happen. Unless our hospitals start to get a bit overcrowded in the event of some kind of apocalyptic event, and I get injured and end up in hospital, sharing a bed with Micky the Stabby Ex-Con. Meh, it might not be the way most people imagine their first night in bed with someone else, but being me, I expect this sort of weird shit.

With my old bed soon to depart, what do I have left from my old house? Literally, the only thing left is my alarm clock. It was bought in 1993. I’m not kidding. I’m really not. I have a 22-year-old alarm clock. Hey, if it aint broke, and so on.

Mum and dad wanted a fresh start in a new house. They made me throw most of my stuff out. What was left? Bed. Alarm clock. Goldfish. That was fun. We put her tank in the footwell of mum’s car and drove her to the new house. She looked traumatised. The goldfish. Mum couldn’t care less. Swinging around corners at 30 miles-per-hour. Poor Maggie. Her eyes were like saucers for a week. We only lost about 80% of the water.

Yes, I called my goldfish Maggie. It’s a very common goldfish name.

But even she died. 10 years I had her. We buried her in the back garden. Heck, if I knew I had a Stylophone, I would’ve performed Amazing Grace on it at the funeral…

I cried so hard. I didn’t even cry at my uncle’s funeral. Yes, my brain isn’t what it was, but one thing it never was, was wired properly.

I’ve found a lot under my bed. Not just a slice of ‘60s retro music or the unusually small number of party poppers. Not just the pink first generation Nintendo DS. Without a stylus. That was my mum’s, by the way. I also found lots of old schoolwork and schoolbooks of mine, full of drawings of stick figures with huge boobs. I found lots of my old toys and action figures, and I sure as hell aint letting go of them. My mum and dad gave away all my brother’s old toys and he’s still pissed. Original Star Wars, original packaging. My stuff aint as valuable, but I’m sure as hell not letting mum and dad have it. They’d probably burn it and dance around the flames. Whilst shaking maracas…

I loved our old house. I didn’t want to leave. 16 years of wonderful memories. I grew up there. I’ve never really let it go. My heart is still in that place. My first steps. My first words. My first sneeze. Apparently. It’s where my other goldfish is buried. Come to think of it, we never told the new owners that. My grandparents, who I never met, spent many hours in that house. It sounds silly, but they felt like a part of my life because they were in that building. Stupid, I know. I now don’t feel as close to them. And I’m angry that our neighbours, who were colossal dickheads, drove my mum and dad to sell the place because the police wouldn’t do anything about the noise and violence.

It’s not just a bed, readers. It’s been a part of my life for a very long time and it comes from a very special place. And I should be ready to let go of that old house and everything that came from it, but I just can’t. 10 years after I left and it still hurts to think about it.

It’s not important, is it? I’ve been frantically clearing away any childhood trinkets I have so when the bed people come to put up the new bed, they won’t think I’m an imbecile. “What kind of 25-year-old had children’s toys on his shelves?” They were gifts from relatives. “Ha, look – he has a furry dolphin toy, what a stupid child.” My granddad bought me that. He died two weeks before I was born. It shouldn’t matter, should it? It really shouldn’t.

But I make no apologies for who I am. For what I have. For what I think. And it’s easy when you’re alone to become attached to ‘meaningless’ things, like Maggie. The clock. The bed. But everything changes, doesn’t it? I suppose as long as you don’t forget what you lost and leave it behind as a memory, it doesn’t leave you.

It’s days like these you wish you had someone to talk to. I used to talk to Maggie, but then she died on me. She was a good listener, though. I mean, they don’t have ears, but you get my point.

But, you know what? Despite all this, I’m looking forward to my new bed. A new mattress. Something new. You have to let go. Rip the plaster off. It’s not just a bed. And I won’t be ashamed when the bed builders see my pink DS. Or my Stylophone. Or my stolen car badge, which, erm, someone – someone, else – stole. Or even my sock bag.

Yes, I have a sock bag. It’s a brown paper bag I keep my socks in. Most people keep their socks in drawers, but not me. I’m a secret revolutionary…

You know what? I think I’ll leave one ‘childish’ trinket on my shelves. Just one.

My rubber duck. I was given it as a free gift at a bathroom exhibition in London that I went to when I was 15.

Oh yeah, the fun never stops with me…

Canadian author, Lucy Montgomery OBE (1874-1942), once said: “Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”

Peace Out :|:

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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post

Hark Around the Words
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
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One comment

  1. I’m very much the same with getting attached to ‘meaningless’ things. The void that’s left when you have very few people in your life does tend to be filled up with such attachments. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. In my experience, there have been very few people worth truly having in my life. Outside of family. My best friend was my cat, much more loving and reliable than any person has ever been!

    Love your post and style of writing :)

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