A Head Full of Yesterday – Stu Hennigan

13, The Oval


There are baggies on the table

even at this early hour.

It’s noon, and we’ve got nothing to do

but sit here and shoot the breeze.

We’re free and easy;

the coffee’s got a kick to pick up

our mood, and soon our thoughts will turn

to the vodka in your room,

or the kitchen cabinet where 

your mom and dad keep the medicine.

Last night was good from what we recall,

and the grey September that marks the end

of this final summer is still

a long, strange trip away.

Soon, all this will be yesterday.





Cyprus, 1998. I’m wearing a white Levi’s t-shirt with a v-neck, a pair of faded jeans with a hole ripped in the right knee, black Docs and a pair of John Lennon shades, and I’m sitting on some rocks at the end of a  stone promontory that stretches out to sea. It’s thirty five degrees. The sky’s completely cloudless and so blue that it’s blinding, dazzling, the bluest blue you can imagine, the kind of blue sky that only seems to exist in movies or memories like this, but I swear that’s how it was that day. There’s a breeze blowing my hair around although it’s shorter than it is now, and the spray from the sea feels sweet on my skin as it sears in the sun. I’ve been drinking Jack Daniels with the owner of Othello’s, who calls himself Adamos; he keeps slipping me shots of the moonshine his dad makes back in their village in the mountains, and I’m smoking a Lucky Strike cos there’s no cigarette I like more.  I’ve got a mix tape playing through my headphones, loving the tunes even though half of them are songs I wouldn’t be caught dead listening to now, and I’m thinking in my teenage way, as I sit here, that this is very, very cool, painting my future, imagining all the books I’m going to write that will set the world on fire, the dizzy highs from all the drugs I’ve not yet tried, the whole mad world I’m going to see, the town back home I’m dying to leave, and most of all I’m thinking that I love this place, this island, this rock, this sun, this infinite sky, this precise moment in my life, this micromillisecond in space and time, and all of a sudden it’s like I’ve slipped out of my mind and I’m floating, watching myself sitting here watching the sea, knowing that I’ll never forget this, ever, and that somewhere in my mind I’ll always be here, this seventeen year old essence of me, sitting on this rock just feeling my music and watching the sea as the waves blur with the sky on the horizon and time rolls on forever, and I know that when you think about life like that then in some ways you never truly grow old.