Thursday 6 November 2008


It's a well hidden secret, that there's a star in the firmament for every happy family in London. When the smog doesn't hide them, the street lights do their best to blind the eyes of most Londoners. But one frosty night in December, six young friends lay on their backs on the roof of a private home in North Kensington.

'What sign are you?' asked the only girl.

'Gemini,' someone answered.

'That's fuckin' feminine,' another said. He grinned and showed the sky his bad teeth.

'No it's not,' the Gemini said.

'Yes it is, man,' said the girl.

A boy with ragged jeans pushed himself up on his elbows. He searched his pockets for his hash, tobacco, skins and a lighter. 'It's not feminine,' he said, 'it's gay.'

They all laughed, except for the Gemini. 'Why is that?' he asked.

''Cause they're holding hands, and they're naked.' He now sat cross-legged and put a paper on his inner ankle without looking up.

'No man, we're just nature people. And we're too fuckin' cool for clothin' anyway. So what are you?'

'Apparently I'm a virgin,' someone laughed.

'I don't believe in that shit,' said a boy with a massive amount of red curly hair, only half hidden under his woollen hat. 'It's way too commercial, man.'

'I think there's a star up there for every happy family in London,' said the girl.

'That's me and my folks,' the curly guy said, and he pointed at Venus.

'Bollocks,' the Gemini said. 'There's only stars for happy families.'

'A star in the firmament for every happy family in London,' repeated the Virgo. 'I wonder if there's one set aside for my future wife and children already.'

'Or if they are recycled after divorce,' the Gemini added.

'Happy families don't do divorce.' The girl sat up, reached for the tobacco and started rolling herself a cigarette.

'And queers don't have families,' added the cross-legged guy. He rolled a thin cone, licked the gum strip, took this lighter and stretched his legs in front of him. With the spliff between his lips he leaned on one elbow. The girl watched his lighter spark when he lit it.

'I wonder what those were,' he said, when he caught her eye.

'Happy one night stands,' she said. 'Happy that it happened, happy that 't was only once.'

He took a long drag without breaking eye contact.

'Do you think I can still have a star up there?' Smoke danced to his words. 'I mean, after so many sparks in my face?'

'Who knows?' The spotted sky reflected in her eyes. 'Could you hand me that lighter, please?'

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