You're just a memory of a love
That used to be
You're just a memory of a love
That used to mean so much to me
- The Rolling Stones, Memory Motel
That jumper. Mick hadn’t seen it in what, 50 years?
He was looking at one of the pictures they possibly would use for the Stones exhibition they currently were trying to put together. It was one from the very beginning in the early or mid- 60s, they all looked ridiculously young. He couldn’t even remember anymore when or where exactly it had been taken. Probably before or after a TV show performance from the looks of it. They used to do a lot of these photoshoots back then. Some of these pictures looked so horribly forced, that they made him cringe when looking at them by now. This one was pretty nice, though, it seemed natural. They all looked happy and were laughing as if someone had just cracked a pretty hilarious joke. Mick himself was standing in the middle, between Brian and Keith, leaning on the latter’s shoulder. Wearing that grey jumper with the black stripes that wasn’t actually his own. He’d totally forgotten about it, but now, looking at all these old pictures, stirring up all these long-lost memories, it all came back to him again. All the memories that lay hidden somewhere in the very back of his mind, all the feelings that he’d learned to control decades ago. These feelings he usually never was thinking about anymore, because he was long over it and had sealed them away for good. But seeing this old jumper now, brought a lot of it back into his memory. It wasn’t his sweater he was wearing in this picture. It had been Keith’s.
Of course he had enough clothes of his own. It wasn’t like he had to borrow some from his friends (and never give them back). He just really liked that jumper. He liked it on Keith, who looked handsome in it. When he first saw Keith wearing it, they were still living together in Edith Grove with Brian and their fourth flatmate, James. However, Mick was looking for his own flat already at the time because they finally made enough money with the band so he could afford it. He’d have much more space for himself, and Chrissie, when she’d come over. Obviously her parents wouldn’t tolerate her living with him while they were not married, so she’d have to pretend to still live in her nearby flatshare with a friend. But Mick didn’t care as long as he’d get out of that way too small Chelsea flat. They’d had some great times there, had hosted some wild parties and they’d always jammed together. That probably was the thing he’d most miss when moving out, just jamming with Keith and Brian whenever they were up to it, which pretty much was always, because they were seriously becoming more and more popular and had to practice a lot. Bill and Charlie would come over too and they’d just play some acoustic songs, drink beer and smoke. It were really good times, but as long as Keith and Brian were still living there, he could always come round too for some jamming sessions.
In the end it had turned out quite like that. He’d still be hanging around Edith Grove a lot when they didn’t have other dates with the band, when there wasn’t a photo shoot, an interview, or a show to play. But instead of being up half of the night with the other lads, making music, smoking, laughing, and talking about everything and nothing, he’d eventually leave and go home to his own flat, where a lot of the time he’d meet up with Chrissie.
Somewhen in the process of moving his belongings to his new place, he must have messed up his own clothes with Keith’s; at least one day, when looking into his closet, trying to decide what to wear, he stumbled across that grey jumper with the black stripes that clearly didn’t belong to him. It felt really nice and soft and for some reason Mick wanted to try it on to check out how he’d look like in it. So he just did, because nobody was there to stop him from it and even if so, they probably wouldn’t have cared. Keith and him were pretty much the same size, so it fit him neatly.
The next time he saw Keith, they all were at the flat of a friend of Brian’s, who was throwing a party. Because it was the only normal thing to do, Mick told his best friend that he’d accidentally taken his sweater, but Keith already was so drunk that he couldn’t even remember which one Mick was talking about.
“I really don’t have a clue which one you mean”, Keith replied and Mick could see in his eyes that alcohol wasn’t the only thing he’d been consuming this evening.
“Don’t you want it back?”, Mick asked again.
“Nah, just keep it, mate”, Keith meant, taking another sip from whatever he was getting pissed on.
“If you say so”, he finally gave in, because it seemed pointless anyway and he didn’t want to spend any more time discussing about some stupid jumper, while they were at a party.
When Mick decided to wear that jumper for a photoshoot with the Stones some days later, Keith gave him a funny look at first, probably realisation dawning on him. But he didn’t say anything about it, never brought that topic even up again. And that’s how Mick ultimately ended up in the possession of that grey and black striped jumper that had been Keith’s in the first place.
Mick wasn’t quite sure anymore, whether he already felt it back then. During this time when the picture had been taken. A lot had gotten blurry over all these years. And some things he’d even banished from his thoughts. It had cost him so much. It had almost ruined everything. He urgently shook his head in order to keep these thoughts away. But having all these old pictures here, spread out on the table before him, didn’t do any good. Especially not when his gaze next landed on a photo that had been taken almost a decade after the sweater incident.