by RAIMUND WONG

Anthony

Once a week, I am lucky enough to work for an organisation called Ordinary Lifestyles. We support people with learning difficulties, to live. You will have your own ideas about what is implied, by the last word in that sentence, everyone does. Occasionally, though, for some of us, that implication can be altered, by the context of a sentence like that.

This week, I presented Anthony Marley with the master copy of his record. It can be quite a trying experience, hearing your completed work for the first time. Facing your own voice, your expression, the representation on this earth of the core of your soul.

First, he wouldn’t hear it. Anthony talks about himself, all the time. Especially to girls. He demands of people that they tell one-another other about him, and how good he is, at singing, drumming, dressing as a teddy-boy. Suddenly he was too busy to hear his own music.

The sound of the record, once it was finally playing, was drowned out by Anthony’s cries of delight and laughter. He was giddy, loud, and almost incredulous.

Immediately after the last bar, he ranted effusively and excitedly about the mistakes he’d made and how he wanted it to be entirely different.

He is not alone, in this propensity.

I write of him, now, and present you with his record, at his behest. He loves to be heard, to be known as much as possible to the world, to be admired, empowered, demanded, recognised, received.

He is not alone in that, either.

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Ordinary Lifestyles