Black & White & Red All Over

by Paul Brazill

When I think about it, my most vivid and powerful memories of childhood are in black and white. The monochrome of the Saturday morning Odeon’s Kidz-Klub, and the Hollywood films on afternoon television, seemed so much more vibrant than anything that real life could come up with. And, as you would expect of someone who grew up living more fully in his imagination than in the day-to-day, adulthood proved to be a series of disappointments and non-events. Nightclubs, for example, were, in my mind, bustling with tough guys in pinstriped suits, wise-cracking cigarettes girls and sultry Femme Fatales belting out torch songs on a Chiaroscuro lit stage. So, when I eventually stumbled into the grim reality of sticky carpets, overflowing toilets and beer bellied men with no necks and faces like blackcurrent crumbles staggering around a smokey, pokey dance floor with leathery, bottle blondes, while has-been DJs played has-been tunes, my heart sank like the Titanic. And now, every weekend, with Sisyphean resignation, I drag myself to work behind the bar in Astros Nite-Spot where only the splashes of blood that the regulars spill as casually as their watery lager brighten up an otherwise dreary and uniform night and no, the irony of this situation has not escaped me.


Paul Brazill is from Hartlepool, England and lives in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He blogs here.