(All text in italics by Jarvis Cocker, from the song ‘Sheffield: Sex City’)
my first autumn. tears on my cheeks.
it’s way past bedtime. the moon hung low.
the air sick and heavy with that end of summer feeling.
why is it so hot? on the cathedral green,
the three of us made great plans to grow up.
he wanted more so he said, “can I kiss you?
can I kiss you properly?” twirling
around my bedroom to ‘wuthering heights.’
ten o’clock on Tuesday evening. he has a drink
and tries to hold my hand,thinks he’s the one.
who needs this shit anyway? I leave and scatter
his heart across the east midlands railway line.
oh babe. oh I’m sorry. his words come to me
in the middle of the night, hazy and desperate.
I don’t know why you bother, really.
more than a year between us now
and he never stopped. get it together.
I wandered the streets the whole night crying, but
I did get over it. though the lights always remind me,
the sound of the train, the winter, the flats.
we got it together tonight. we made it. cheap vodka,
a sticky dance floor. and your eyes. your necklace.
your mouth around a cigarette. I kept thinking
of you and almost walking into lamp-posts.
the Sheffield rain piercing the puddles on the
pavement, when you said, “I think the bars
are all closed now.” my head spinning. you said,
“I live near here.” you said, “we should go back
to mine.” I started to cry.calling your name
in the rain. the lights waltzed across the ceiling.
you put your shirt on me. the world is going on
outside.on your record player Morrissey crooned:
“maybe in the next world.” when it was over
we went outside and I said, “the city’s out to get me.”
the rain had finally stopped. on a hilltop at 4am.
beneath the lights of the I love you bridge,
we sat, reading the words over and over
‘til the Sheffield sky painteditself grey with dawn.
we moved throughthere like ghosts in a place
filled with ghosts.hand in hand. we finally made it
up to the roof. a million twinkling yellow street-lights.
she never married him, you know, but I’m still
rubbing up against walls, making love to the idea
of a love that will last. the city knows all our secrets.
like when he first touched me and whispered,
“you can have it all”, but I am always
romanticising someone else’s tragedy, gliding,
like a sleepwalker, through a life I have never lived.
but it’s ok now, we got it togetherwe made it,
we really did this time.