One Day by Wayne Dean-Richards
One day she decided to focus on the punk band
X-Ray Spex. This was some years after Poly Styrene
had died. When the band broke through in the late
Seventies she didn’t register it, or registered it but
dismissed it, told herself it didn’t matter which it was,
what mattered was now, and now the punk band
X-Ray Spex was a focal point for her.
She acquired their music on vinyl, on tapes, on
CDs; acquired DVDs, books, articles and posters;
acquired, really, anything to do with X-Ray Spex
that she could get her hands on. One or two of the
pieces she acquired were rarities and quite valuable,
though that wasn’t what drove her: certainly those
rarities meant no more to her than her other X-Ray
Spex acquisitions; simply, she wanted anything to do
with X-Ray Spex, and immersed herself in acquiring it:
everything else secondary.
It’s a fad, she told herself.
It’s a fad, she insisted four years later in order to stop it.
Following this decision, for two days she avoided any sort of focus on X-Ray Spex: didn’t look at what she’d already acquired and didn’t search for more acquisitions.
On the night of that second no X-Ray Spex day she was jolted awake at 2am.
“What’re you doing!?”
The darkness seemed to pulse around her. She was
sure it was Poly Styrene’s voice and she sounded angry,
which was understandable because she’d abandoned
X-Ray Spex! At least, that is, she’d tried to.
When the same thing happened on five subsequent
nights it was clear to her that if she was ever again to
sleep without being jolted awake she’d have to re-focus
on X-Ray Spex. What did it all mean? She didn’t know,
but on that sixth night told herself that from tomorrow,
once again, anything to do with X-Ray Spex, she had
to have. Where would it end? She didn’t know that either but, not knowing what it meant or where it would end,
nonetheless closed her eyes and, as ever, didn’t feel calm, but definitely felt calmer now that she’d made up her mind to resume her focus. Maybe, she thought... and waited.