Friday, December 26, 2008

At the Apple Christmas Party, 1970

by Carol Bedford

"I'm drunk, so I need to prop myself up," George explained. "If I don't lean on the wall, I think I'll fall over. I haven't been this drunk since I was fourteen." George started giggling.

"I'm sorry my letter was so strong, but you really pissed me off that night."

"Yeah. I was confused by your letter," he said. "What did you think I said?"

"You said 'it's warm in there' - the studio. It was like you were putting us down for waiting out in the cold for you. I mean, I know you don't encourage us to wait out for you, but I thought you didn't mind. It really hurt our feelings that you were putting us down for it."

I was breathless from my long speech. The anger was rising again, and I didn't want it to. He was really being very nice.

"That's not what I said, and that's certainly not what I meant," he smiled in a conciliatory way. "The heat had been turned off in the studio. The thermostat was broken or something. We were freezing! When I came outside, it seemed warmer out than in. I looked into the studio and the orange lights made it look so warm and cosy. What I said was 'It looks so warm in there.' I was making a statement. It looked warm, but wasn't. Of course, you weren't to know that. But I'd never put you down. What you do is your choice, not mine. But since you brought it up, I think you should quit waiting out. I mean you can't get anywhere with it, can you?"

He smiled, putting his face close to mine. His right hand, index finger only, stroked my left breast, hesitated on the nipple. Somehow it seemed innocent, like he was offering comfort and no more.

"How could I stop waiting out? I'd never see you again," I said.

"Just Walk Away, like the song says," he laughed. (Margo later gave me the Matt Munro single.) "Anyway," he added seriously, "if you think of me, I'll be there. I'm with you always, in here," he tapped my breast gently and removed his hand.

"I'm not sure what you mean by that. It would be impossible to 'get over' you. Every time I turn on the radio, I'll hear your voice. How can I forget someone I hear all the time or see in the papers?" I looked at him. He was listening intently, staring deep into my eyes. Was he just trying to focus or was he trying to read something in my eyes that was not in my words?

"I'll always be with you. We're part of each other. I wrote a song about us the other day. It goes like this: 'I, I, I love you: You, You, You love me.' We're together always. We're in each other. You don't need to see me walk out of a building, do you?"

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