Heidelberg, Melbourne. 1989

Starlight, star bright
First star I see tonight

The dust had truly settled on our family’s Patsy Biscoe cassette tapes. Mum conceded defeat and laid to rest the melancholy sounds of nursery rhymes mixed with folksy guitar, understanding that time had passed; we were pre-tweens now after all, my sister and me.

As sad as she was at the end of our toddlerdom, I am confident she was secretly thrilled in our new-found interest in pop music, particularly by the prospect of collectively enjoying the radio on our eight-hour family road trip to Melbourne.

Visiting Auntie Di was always a treat, Mum’s younger sister was loud and silly and just plain old fun, and the bustle of Melbourne offered a jolt of energy to our usual pace of Adelaide Hills sleepiness. The electricity crackled when Auntie Di introduced my then nine-year-old self to her best friend Sue. Sue was 1980s confidence personified, with the sweetness of Kylie and the style of Cyndi. “I always wanted a daughter,” she would say, “want to hear some Madonna?”. She would play Madonna’s self-titled album to me that whole week, with Lucky Star being my relentless request.

You must be my lucky star.
‘Cause you shine on me
Wherever you are.

Perhaps I was looking for a cool girl Patsy Biscoe substitute; to dip my toe in the world of pop music but with an umbilical cord safely linked to the familiarity of a nursery rhyme. Perhaps I connected the song to the way Sue made me feel, special and surprised that an adult would treat me as an equal, I had only ever been someone’s daughter or student or niece.

Sue farewelled me with a long hug and a copy of Madonna’s album; that double-sided tape was my coming of age.

In the dark quiet of night, with my head rested on the synthetic cloud of my Adelaide Hills pillow, I would drift off to sleep to Lucky Star, comforted by the thought that someone thought me cool enough to let me into their big adult world and allowed me to befriend them, and Madonna.

I just think of you
And I start to glow
.

Stereo Story #621

 

Monique Holton resides in Adelaide, South Australia. She is an upcoming contributor to Poets Corner at InReview and is working on her first young adult novel.