Tightening the tape with the end of a biro. Remembering just how to put the cassette in. Rewind and fast forward. Old friends.

I put the earphones in and realise I’ve been smiling the whole time. Shiver up my spine.

I press play. Press a little harder than I remember I use to have to. Lock it in. It scratches, screeches a little. Just warming up. And then it comes.

Gritty, raw. Brilliant.

Pure, unadulterated fucking Nirvana.

I lie back on my bed and close my eyes, only to find myself standing in ‘The Shed’, this time a ghost looking back.


We sit around an old plastic table on a mish mash of chairs and crates for seats. Pillows that slide out from under your ass when you reach over to take a ciggie from the communal pack resting in front of the guy that steals everyone’s lighter.

The same guy who will ash in your drink. Cunt.

Smoke fills the air in little puffs as breathes are held in and THC rushes through the body. Laughter mixes with the cough, everytime. ‘Cough to get off’ someone says. You chuckle. It’s still funny.

But to be fair, right now, everything’s funny.

Then someone gets nailed in the head with a beer cap. It sets them off again. Another punch on, tackled to the ground, as boys do. It’s all part of the fun. They’ll hug it out later, even if one loses a tooth.

The girls and their crop tops, short shorts or Alines and docs mostly. Velvet and lace. The new wave fringe and smiley face hoody. Skulling drinks because you always have to keep up with the boys. Be one of the boys.

And sometimes you surpass. Fraud. Graceful spewer no one ever notices.

The music crackles on the old cassette player. But it’s how we like it. Fuck Cd’s, at least for now. Someone always gets up to rewind a song. Knows the timing just right. The tapes never go back in their cases, but fuck who cares.

Piss outside. Damn bushes. Talk quietly, whisper your preference. We’ll pair off later.

Back inside we down another shot. Take another hit. It comes up. Our favourite song. The shed erupts. The neighbours dial the cops. Fuck them.

The tape clicks to signal the end of the side. I jump. Refocus.

Come back to.

This. Is. Happiness.

Back in my room it’s 2000 and something, but I will always and 4EVA be a 90’s  Garage Band Girl.