He works the dodgems at the fair
and she is sure he slicks his hair
with the same machine grease
that speeds the dizzy cars
with such an electric relish.

To the strains of Connie Francis
– or was it Alma Cogan? –
he jumps onto the back of her car
to take her 1/6d;
but she knows she would give anything
to feel those mechanical hands on her waist,
embraced in a moment of suspended stillness,
stolen from the brashness of it all.

It is in his honour that she wins
two goldfish and takes them home
in a plastic bag.

Of that time, the goldfish -
blessed with a memory span of seconds -
would have remembered nothing;
she, cursed with memories spanning
all the empty, teddy boy years,
remembers every last, sweet, greasy moment
as if it really happened.

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