The guy standing next to me at the bar is wearing Joop! Jump. That smell always makes me think of you and only you, every time. Luckily no one wears it nowadays but here I am, on Tottenham Court Road, out of the rain with a glass of Chardonnay, thinking about you.
Everyone was so frightened of you, your violent reputation, but I felt safe with you. Safer than I felt at home anyway.
Even when I was at the funfair wearing your famous green and white Adidas jacket and your pregnant girlfriend marched up to me and demanded to know if the jacket was yours. I said No it’s my brother’s. She didn’t believe me.
Of course it was yours. She wanted to smell it. It stank of Joop!. I called her a Weirdo and walked away, shaking, my face burning.
I called you and you promised me that you weren’t seeing her anymore and said you’d protect me from “that psycho.”
Yeah, I felt safe with you, walking around the big, bad council estate with your arm around my waist. So safe.
Until that night in E.B.O.Gs fields when you put your hands down my jeans and your fingers inside me, when I was too young to understand what you doing, too shocked to ask you to stop, too scared to push you off, the scary handsome dangerous older guy who everyone was afraid of.
You’d had your way with all of the girls, any girl you wanted. I was so worried that you’d tell everyone that I was “frigid” (a horrible term) that I just stayed, paralysed and ashamed. I didn’t touch you at all. I wouldn’t have known how to even if I’d wanted to. I was so young.
You got rid of me soon after that anyway: girlfriend’s orders (not the pregnant one, another one).
Sure enough, a short while later, everyone realised what a dickhead you were and you were banished from the town. You went to Spain, I think, or back to Ireland. No one saw or heard from you in years.
But oh, you’re rich and famous now. You always said you would be: you have the same initials as the son of God, J.H.C.
I saw you recently. Or rather, you saw me. You were frightened of me. Upon seeing me, you were completely terrified. You went pale and loosened your tie. I just smiled.
I know too much. I could ruin you.
Aww look at you! In your expensive suit with your fancy new pals who know nothing about you. Out of the estate. Sans Adidas. Sans Joop!
But don’t worry, J.H.C. I won’t. I won’t ruin you. It wouldn’t be fair because I didn’t let you ruin me (in any sense of the term). It’s just nice knowing that you’re scared of a little girl because, for once, SHE has the power not you, and she can destroy your whole fucking world with a few words.
I love the original Joop! (personal reasons) and once asked the price of it in the duty free at Schiphol Airport. The snotty and VERY tall shop assistant, looking down at me as if I’d just crawled out from under a stone, said “what? I don’t even know what THAT is”. So I repeated it trying not to show how angry I was at her rudeness and led her to a poster I’d seen on the other end of the store. “Ahhh”, she exclaimed, “you mean YOWWWP!?”. Yes…that’s exactly what I meant (biatch). #eyeroll
Ugh… humans! X
It’s fascinating to me that a smell or taste can illicit such vivid memories and emotions.
Same! It’s quite incredible really. The brain is a funny thing xx
Yes, it really is.