Diary of a Loony (3): (1974) The Kite

I was six when we made our twelfth move. My mother had decided that married life and honesty were not for her: she wanted her old life of parties, drugs and casual sex, though not a job.

We walked out, or I was dragged out, on my father, or the man I thought was my father; I still remember the sadness when we said goodbye: a good man.

After a brief sojourn in a caravan in a farmer's field, we landed at Lower Lodge in Binfield Heath, near Henley-on-Thames. This is now Millionaires' Row but then was still a pleasant place.

We lodged at the Lodge with Yoni, the local midwife, who had been one of my 'father's' girlfriends. What jolly japes the girls had there! Every night one or the other could stay out, returning shagged in the morn, and then the Lodge was filled with redolent fumes of herb.

I do not remember how I got the Kite. Perhaps my Grandpa, may he rest in peace, gave it to me. I do remember how beautiful it was, red, with a dragon's face and a sinuous tail.

Behind the Lodge was a hill, beyond that a wheatfield and wood and, one blus'try autumn day, I begged the ma to fly the Kite.
She wasn't keen: in front the fire, in hand the spliff, in the pot the stew, in her mind the night's stud. But I could keen too; in the end, she roused.

Up we went. God did it fly! I see it now, the dragon in the sky. I see it now, the writhing tail, gyring in the autumn gale. The joy I felt, all earthy cares, vanished in the airy fayres.

Then it was gone - my ma let go.
She yelled and made a step or so
Retrieving evil
But failing that
We returned to the Lodge
And the mind's weevil.

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