DEAR NEWCASTLE: What of the lunch break car wash?

Laura Kebby’s open letter to our fair city continues this week, and look out… She’s been listening to The Cure! 

Well here we are, actually more accurately here I am. Standing barefoot, lost in your midst bleary eyed and thinking exactly how to get home from here. We’ve spoken about our routines before, and shying away from the mundane has done us wonders. Once again I have begun to take comfort in your borders, and have allowed myself to be surprised by you again. But with summer coming, I want to be clear. I don’t want a fleeting summer romance. A mere fling that will fade away once again as the leaves turn orange. I’m here for the long haul. But I need to know you’re here with me.  Because at the moment I’m starting to question you a little bit. Where will you be when the house lights come on I wondered. When the beer’s run dry and all I’m left with is this splitting headache standing in last night’s clothes.

Sheryl Crow sang about two distinctively different types of people. I have been known to drink a beer or two at noon on Tuesday, and much to the disbelief of those around me, it does seem as though my only agenda currently is to simply have some fun. But.. what of those who wash their cars on their lunch breaks? Those who choose to spend their 9-5 so specifically and routinely, apparently happy with their chosen ladder. What do you offer them? Albeit, this is not the life that I choose for myself and I am lucky enough to remain spontaneous and have ample opportunity to break that routine. But what of those who can’t? How do they keep the spark alive? I was pondering this, just this morning, as I traced your contours after the glass had hit the table. “To us” I cheered so loudly and freely as the last and the ‘luckiest’ of pints disappeared. But now in the light of day, I’m dodging your regular commuters as I try to find my way home. I was eventually greeted by one of your true converts as he drove me back to my humble dwelling. “No work today mate? You’re bloody lucky… Go and soak up this beautiful day”. He’s been with you… “going on six years now… Why? Because there’s nothing more I could ever need, look around you, she’s a beauty”.

So maybe it really was me that was expecting too much from you. I’ve suddenly begun to note myself as the minority. The hard working masses take comfort in your days, relishing your company. Feeling safe, secure, and dare I say routinely happy in your arms. Yet here I was, expecting more from you than I probably ever deserved. I made my way to a place where your history is all over the walls. The Embassy cafe continues to serve as one of your longest confidants. As I sat devouring bacon, eggs and chips I called one of our neutral friends. She had moved away both for professional and personal reasons. I guess, like me, she had tried to fill the gaps which perhaps she thought you were lacking. As she moved towards a much more routine and specific lunch break car wash life I wondered if she would return to you. As it turned out, somehow, someway you coaxed her back to your arms. “Why?”. She told me that I was missing a key point. “There’s romance in dependability”. The words hung in the air.

I’ve been listening to The Cure a lot lately, in an attempt to scrounge up some lost brownie points. The more I listen, the more I start to think that maybe Robert Smith was right. Evidently I think he was actually commenting on this particular element of romance. Feeling safe and secure because you are so familiar. That no matter what your week was really like, you had a platform to push from. So as another week goes by on this journey of ours, I think i will look for comfort in the known, the steady… You. Maybe it really does come down to choice of words. Routine suddenly becomes ritual, mundane becomes familiar, surroundings become picturesque borders. And suddenly… Friday I’m in love.



I’m Laura, and writing about our wonderful city is something I am oh so passionate about. You can find me tucked away in the corner of your local open mic night, taking in the sights with a local artist flowing through my headphones, or hanging out in the front row of your first gig where you’re debating whether the staff count as crowd members. Built on coffee, live music and punk nostalgia, I write about talented people doing talented things.

Twitter: @laurakebby

Instagram @laurakebby

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.

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