All characters in this book are genuine and any similarities to persons living or dead are entirely intentional.
Lorsque j'ai entendu pour la première fois quelques notes d'Arab Strap (c'était une fin de black session, en 1998), j'ai su immédiatement que ça me plairait durablement. Lorsque j'ai tenu pour la première fois leur album Philophobia entre les mains, et parcouru le livret, la première chose qui m'a frappée, c'est que les paroles étaient écrites d'un seul tenant, les unes à la suite des autres, sans qu'il soit fait référence aux titres des chansons. La mise en page aidant, je croyais tenir entre mes mains un livre, dont Aidan Moffat allait me faire la lecture.
La phrase mise en exergue plus haut ouvre le livret.
Et puis cette première phrase:
It was the biggest cock you'd ever seen...
à laquelle répondra
She was the best shag I'd ever had.
Si l'on passe outre la vulgarité, j'y vois le choix pensé d'une première phrase, comme pour un roman ("Aujourd'hui, maman est morte"). Le ton est donné, il sera cru, argotique, l'écriture "réaliste" (et l'accent prononcé)
You just have to be sure you're doing the right thing. I mean it's very easy to forget - she's was just sitting there in the pub with her new friends and her new life and her new hair and it might been five years but you'd know just to look at her.
I wasn't even sure it was her at first, I was ready to walk away but she smiled and called me over and we said hello for a bit. When we went back to our tables we were tried not to look over at each other and told our friends to stop staring.
I didn't see her for the rest of the night, but by closing time the beer's kicked in so I go up and speak to her and we end up going for a walk and talking about our new homes, our new jobs, our new friends and our new birds.
She says she's been going out with him now for about two and a half years, but they don't live together so he'd never find out. And you think about chasing her about school when you were wee and lying in your bed and listening to love songs and pretending they were about you. And the first time you asked her out she said no but one night you went to a wedding and when you came back to the pub she'd changed her mind and you went out. You remember the way she swung her arms when she held your hand but you can't remember how she kissed and now you've got the chance to find out.
But you have to remember there's this other kiss. And she's sitting at home, wondering where you are and what you're doing. And you work hard on this kiss and you know it inside out, it's as much yours as it is hers, and it took a long time to get right, it took months of practice and months of embarassment but now you've got it perfected and you've been looking forward to that kiss all week.
You can see her breath in the air between your faces as you stand in the leaves and she just asks you straight out if you want to come and stay at her flat. But you make sure you get separate taxis and you go home and there might be a slight regret and maybe you'll wonder what you missed but you have to remember the kiss that you worked so hard on - and you'll know you've done the right thing.
Arab Strap, New Birds
Philophobia (Chemikal Underground, 1998)