Golden Brownpublished: 2009-08-07
Golden Brown, texture like sun. Lays me down, with my mind she runs. Throughout the night, no need to fight. Never a frown, with Golden Brown.
At the age of 10, I was an unhappy girl. We lived in London. It was my deepest wish to celebrate my 11th birthday in Canada. This is where my godparents lived. As a child you’re told that if your parents die, your godparents become your new parents. Or something like that. Clearly, it must have influenced my wanting to go there. I suppose I was running away.
My parents put me on a plane to Canada. Alone. They must have thought or hoped it would make me happy. Like I said, I was an unhappy child. Perhaps they were thinking “it’s worth a try.” I never wanted to go to school so I pretended to be sick all the time, then stayed in all day watching Astaire and cold-war films. I knew exactly what we needed to do if the Russians were to drop a nuclear bomb on us. I also sucked my thumb, refused to take baths and picked my eyelashes out.
Canada is a blur in my memory. I think I was in shock most of the time. But there’s one thing I vividly remember. My godfather knew The Stranglers. I can’t remember why exactly or how. It had something to do with ice-hockey. Anyway, he went and had dinner with them. When he came back he gave me their album. The one that is entirely black and has a cat’s eye on it. They had autographed it for me using a silver marker pen. ‘Happy Birthday,’ it said. And so at the age of 11 I played the song Golden Brown over and over and over again. I knew the above lyrics off by heart and never forgot them. It was exactly what I needed.