From the end of Chapter 2…
It was a good jukebox, thought Simon, packed with well-chosen singles to please the clientele. As long as nobody used their last ten pence piece to play Hi Ho, Silver Lining again, and got half the pub singing drunkenly along, he would be happy. Simon thought he should put his last ten pence in the jukebox now, just to hear Suzi Quatro sing Devil Gate Drive and forestall for a while any re-occurrence of Jeff Beck. He walked to the jukebox, looking around him at the crowded tables as he went, and at the laughing, smiling faces that jostled around them.
Simon nodded at Danny, who was walking back to the Honeyhouse table. He’d probably been out to score some dope. Danny stuck two fingers up at Simon and laughed. Julie blew him a kiss. A pall of smoke hung across the room – illuminated by the dim wall-lights and a standard lamp that had not yet been broken in a brawl – a thick, blue, mist that moved slowly, forming waves, twisting and curling as people moved through it. Chrissie, the girl Mark loved, was kissing Jake, her boyfriend. Simon thought he could smell hash at one of the tables, but it might only have been the heady collision of ylang ylang, sandalwood and patchouli that wafted towards him as Imo wandered by, towards the toilets, touched his arm and smiled at him. Many of these people would be gone soon, he noted again. How would it be? If those leaving were moving into a new life, then they would leave behind them gaps, holes, spaces that would somehow have to be filled. By leaving, by creating their new worlds away from this town, they would force a recreation here.
He reached the jukebox and slipped his last, shining, ten-pence piece into the slot, dancing gently to the jerky, fading rhythm of Burlesque. He punched the remembered code, A9, for Devil Gate Drive on the thick plastic buttons. He now had to choose two more singles. As he did so, by some fate of jukebox programming, Suzi and the band started playing. He swung backwards and forwards to the chugging rhythm as he looked at the singles listed in white on the thin strips of black card he could see through the Perspex cover of the jukebox. He chose his singles, and punched in the codes. Just as he turned back towards the table where Nick, Gaz and Mark sat, he caught the eye of Danny at the Honeyhouse table, and Nick smiled. He knew what he had to do. It was revenge on all those who sang Hi Ho Silver Lining. “So come alive!” he sang. He heard Nick, Gaz, Mark and the rest of the Honeyhouse table join in. “Come alive! Down in Devil Gate Drive.”
Imo sang as she walked back past him. “So come alive!” She trailed sweet exotic scents along with her as she went.
Chrissie had stopped kissing Jake, and was looking over at Mark, smiling, singing along at the top of her voice. Simon laughed.