Tea Stained.

Perhaps I’m more intrigued with the ghost of John Simon Ritchie – useless musician, drug addict, spiteful bully, sneering poster boy – than I imagine? He returns to haunt me only ever once a year; I hear his rattling padlocked chain and the drag of those stolen engineer boots before I see him. Oh, but I see him now! Quite unmistakeable in his swastika tee, leaning, leering toward me out of the past. My, his satellite hair no longer points to the future, everywhere but.

Thankfully, he doesn’t see me; staggers right by, dims and fades and disappears into the night of space and time.

I was a fourteen year old Minuteman. I delivered the news to the village doormat. By the time I reached home, the bag was empty, but one. The headline, by this point I suppose, printed forever into my mind. Who can say what I felt? It was possibly the first death notice that I took notice of. I never really knew him, I never even really cared. He struck me, even the 1979 me, as the weakest link, the joker in the pack.

I can still see the teapot placed on his face at the kitchen table. In many ways his face is forever ringed with only tea stains!


12 thoughts on “Tea Stained.

      1. I do use a lot of sponges when cleaning ha-ha! I think of the strangest things when doing mindless activities. And for the record, I don’t think Sid Vicious was inadequate. Forty years later and some people are still thinking about him. Wherever he is now, I hope he’s doing it his way 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh, this is such a well-written reflection on past lives that haunt us still, both our own and other people’s.

    The lead for the news story is about as dismissive of another human being as you can get: “the inadequate youth who turned a tasteless pop gimmick into pathetic real life”?!

    I watched a TV interview of Johnny Rotten a couple of years ago, and he was pretty much just as dismissive, asserting that a hamster was more vicious than Sid Vicious. And he had zero talent for music. (Just as an aside, Johnny Rotten gives a hilarious TV interview.)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice piece Nick – I find myself thinking of him at times too – the poster on my brothers wall, Never Mind the Bollocks with a cigarette burn through pretty vacant and yes his version of My Way though I never liked the killed a cat line! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. funny what i also saw was the picture of Betty Ford on the sideline article, drug and drink at the white house, and she went on to establish a pretty helpful Center for addicts who want to go the abstinence route. maybe if Sid had lived he would have founded a retreat for heroin addicts?

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