When I was younger, I was in a band called "The Piraten". It's one of the bands I started and a lot of the bands I've participated in since then have had their roots in what we did back then, over ten years ago; I'm still playing some of the songs now. Okay, so the name may be confusing - we weren't a pirate band (we had one song about pirates, but we never got it finished); we were named after the Edelweiss Pirates (Edelweißpiraten), on account of the fact that the first song we learned how to play as a group (and I use the term loosely) was their anthem. I later on re-did the song in the original German, but that's not too important.
Lightsinthesky will always claim that the ensemble consisted merely of the two of us (he plays the bass, which he thinks makes him cool), but he's not entirely right about that. We had another friend, Einstein, who'd gotten an electric guitar from his parents after passing his GCSEs (all I got was a VHS of Pokémon 2000); he couldn't play, but looked very earnest strumming one chord. We also had a drummer whose job it was to hit "go" on the drum track I'd programmed and a backing vocalist who never turned up. Despite all this, we managed to record a couple of tracks in semi-decent quality and almost made an album - Einstein even drew cover art, featuring pirates - but still, it never happened.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, on this day we think about pirates, and as a result, every September 19 I sing the Edelweiss Pirates song to myself at some point. Humming it softly as I got on the train from work this morning got me thinking about that time in the sixth from with guitars and grit, and accordingly Lightsinthesky popped into my head (I travelled into work with Einstein, but I haven't seen Lightsinthesky for a while). He was a very... interesting person.
Although we were friends, he had some odd habits. I remember him printing out a picture of Louise and carrying it around in his pocket, periodically taking it out to have a stare. I remember him making a list of all the girls in our year and then crossing them out as they all either started going out with someone or rejected him. I also remember us both having a crush on the same girl at one point - only he was more overt about it; I didn't tell anyone. Apart from her best friend, but that's another story. He asked her out, and was rejected, of course. I didn't.
The reason girls didn't seem to like him much was that he was quite desperate for attention, sex, or both. He used to yell about casual sex in the corridor, act out sex with his beanbag (yes, he really did this, in front of me for some reason), go on about topless babes for an unreasonably long period of time, and assume that, as he liked metal, that anyone else who did would be an automatic lay for him - "Yay! She's a metalhead! We can have sex!" However, to everyone's surprise (himself included, I'd wager!), when we got to the sixth form - around the time The Piraten started - he managed to have sex once ("You bastard!" he shouted to me once as I entered Einstein's garage to find them playing pool. "Guess who lost it on holiday?"), and after he started playing bass, indulged in a little Dutch courage every now and again and wantonly started sleeping with random girls - all of whom were nice-looking, but also probably quite desperate.
The last time I really saw him properly was when we went to feed ducks in a local park and he rhapsodised to me about someone he was having sex with - she had a boyfriend, but was using him for sex - and asked how to get into one of my friends' pants (my hairy friend's older sister. In her words, "it was never going to happen."). He seemed happy with his sexual lot - he was, after all, having more sex than me, and that had always been his aim since we were both 12 - and I had no indication as to how he was doing for the years immediately following that.
Until I saw him join a group for "NSA encounters in Greater London" on Facebook.
Nice to know he's still the same old pirate.