Melanίa Damianou

near to everything

Does anyone even say “Let’s go out and paint the town red” anymore? The phrase is dying just as my desire to stay at home in my slippers thrives. When I was young there was one fall weekend when I decided to hop a bus from New Jersey to Massachusetts to go to a party. For some hours it was another loud party in a quiet town. Then after everyone else had passed out there was just me and this Englishman. We drank American beer, boiled some eggs and ate Marmite. He made me try to guess where he was from. I listed every single English county that I could remember. Then I listed every city, and every town. I probably listed some of them twice. We watched the sky grow lighter.

I couldn’t guess. Around sunrise he told me that he was from Lincolnshire. In fairness it is hard to remember Lincolnshire at 5am, from the far side of the Atlantic. He told me that Lincolnshire was the most drab, and flat, and boring place in the world, but did you know that it was a Lincolnshire town which was actually painted red? Some posh, rich, nutter in history got drunk and he and his mates went and painted Melton Mowbray red. My Englishman and I didn’t paint anything. He had to go to Boston Massachusetts later that day because he had a ticket for The Pixies. There’s an English Boston in Lincolnshire too, it just isn’t famous.

Apparently The Pixies are still touring. The Englishman ended up living in Brazil. I like to stay near home. I painted my walls gold. Nobody even says “let’s paint the town red” anymore.

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