Bush's Wuthering Heights playing on Radio. As I get older I realize
this song isn't about the classic book so much as a teenage girl's
discovery of literature and the endless caverns of magic therein.
It was 1984 for me, at the age of twelve. I went to Roundhill college,
as repressive a regime as any 80's British comprehensive. The usual
drill: sadistic sports teachers, snot-faced bullies, party-loyal
snitches and a culture so cold that to say another boy was your friend
was to leave yourself open to homophobic sneers, subtly encouraged by
the underpaid staff.
And then this funny little man with a
pencil mustache and tweed suit rises from his grave to tell me in
typeset ink: "It's alright young man, you are understood. This place
you're in is a lie, a spineless stupid lie, and it cannot hold you
forever. It cannot own your mind"
I can't identify with that
12 year old kid anymore (in many ways he was an arrogant little shit,
actually) but I can sympathize. Fiction is an escape, sure, but one that
leads into a fortress.