“So, do you like Shane?” Fiona whispers to me the following morning. Well, mid-afternoon. Time to clean up. The fun is only just beginning . . .
I have one of those pounding headaches where you can actually hear the veins throbbing. I’m not in the mood to discuss Shane. “No,” I say curtly.
“OK,” Fiona says huffily.
Great. Just great. Exactly what I need, one of my friends being pissed off with me. Well, I knew I couldn’t hide my bitchiness forever. It had to emerge someday, and then they’d see me for what I really am and hate me.
Last night Shane and I were discussing the band. “I want us to be really original, you know?” he said earnestly.
“It’s hard to be original,” I said, thinking ‘And I don’t think you’re going to achieve that goal. For all your talk you’re still just a seventeen-year-old who thinks he can change the world with his music.’
And the truth is that although a lot of musicians think they can change the world with music, no one has ever succeeded. Sarah disagrees with me, citing John Lennon as an example. Great musician, sure, but there are still wars going on. There are famines, there are diseases that we can’t cure. And I’m not one of those deeply-concerned political-activist types, but even I know that there are still so many problems in the world and music isn’t the answer. Or films, or books, or whatever art form you choose.
Yeah, I’m a cynic. A poetic cynic, how about that?
Of course, we ended up talking about whether art could change the world or not. In response to my it’s-hard-to-be-original statement he said, “Yeah, it’s hard, but not impossible. You just have to be honest, and then anything’s possible” which naturally led to a heated debate.
“You don’t really believe that,” he said, smiling. “You just want to be different and argue with me.”
“No, I just think that you’re a little naïve, that’s all,” I replied.
“And I think you’re a little too caught up in the idea of thinking that you’re better than everyone else to accept the fact that you secretly agree with me.”
I had no answer to that. Mostly because he was a little bit – not completely, mind you – right. And even though it was all in good fun, and we kept being friendly for the rest of the night, I was mildly annoyed with him.
Caroline and Hugh were coming back from the kitchen with drinks, and rather than involve them in the discussion, I finished it with a simple, very mature gesture.
I stuck my tongue out at him.
It elicited a grin. I hated him for being patronising, and loved him for the way he smiled.
© Claire Hennessy 2003