anything but retiring

After dinner tonight Wallington put on a cassette. Google it.

Needless to say the wrong cassette was in the wrong case (for ten years; life is beautiful) and so we had a home-made compilation from some time back in our history. Any music could happen.

Sudden blazing trumpets. Hip. It was Nat King Cole with ‘Just One Of Those Things’, an old Cole Porter song. Before long Wallington was up dancing.

‘I want this as a funeral song,’ she shouted. It was a good choice.

It was just one of those things
Just one of those crazy flings
One of those bells that now and then rings
Just one of those things

‘As people are filing in, the coffin confronts them,’ I intoned, picturing it. Tears. Handkerchiefs.

If we’d thought of it ’bout the end of it
When we started painting that town
We’d have been aware that our love affair
Was too hot not to cool down

‘Maybe a Macarena of mourners down the aisle between the pews…’

So goodbye, dear, and Amen
Here’s hoping we’ll meet now and then
It was great fun
But it was just, just one of those things.

Just one of those extraordinary things. Wallington is about to retire from the mug’s game of working and everything is amplified. Every emotion is times ten; achievements, loss, opportunities taken and missed, friends close by and those left behind, family, each other, pets. Just several of those things.

‘That is definitely a funeral song,’ I said. ‘It’s suitably happy.’

Wallington swayed, wondering and waiting on what song might be next. It was a delightful mystery package from the past. To the future. A time bomb.

How can I put this in a way so as not to offend or unnerve?

Prince. Get off. Now we were both dancing. Time was roaring past us like stars. We were getting older. It was only a small consolation that we were getting wiser.

Wallington still dances like the twenty year old I met at university. At a pub in Hobart, years later, a young bloke sidled up to me at the bar after seeing us dance and said ‘I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t mind dancing with your Mrs.’ What an old-fashioned young man. I encouraged him to go and ask her. They danced. He was dancing in Blundstone boots.

Life is a lovely thing.

When Prince finished we could be going anywhere… here’s what happened.

Do Re Me: Under My Skin

Big Audio Dynamite: The Globe

The Reels: I Don’t Love you Any More

Wallington was dancing through all of this in her Tin Tin Explorers On The Moon t-shirt. Dance away the heartache, dance away the tears. Roxy Music, shit music in my view, but she went to the concert in Melbourne with our friend John in 1979 and loved it.

The cassette whirred.

Shirley Bassey: This Is My Life

Funny, how a lonely day
Can make a person say
What good is my life

You can’t dance to that. You can stand up and emote and Wallington did. Hilarious and dramatic. She’s hell good at that.

I was put on earth to be
A part of this great world is me
And my life

All of the coincidences that we met, the planet and its orbit, the luck and fuck of it all, the times we might have thrown it in, the times we leaned on each other.

Dancing in the sunroom. Kiss me you fool.


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