The setting could have been awkward but felt completely natural. A bedroom, single bed against the wall, a small desk in the corner, no other furniture. In retrospect, the absence of furniture surprises me, but then again, that’s the way me and my friends were living. High school teenagers, still living with their parents, with a desk for home work and a bed for everything else. That afternoon we rushed back from school and ran up the stairs to my friend’s room, barely greeting his mother in the process.It was almost summer, sun beaming through the stained glass window of the room, creating a gentle pattern of shadows and dancing pieces of microscopic dust. We settled ourselves on the bed, back against the wall, and took the first record out of its sleeve.Time to study.

In a scene that retrospectively reminded me of The Virgin Suicides we debated the voices of Siouxsie Sioux and Toyah Willcox. Who was the better singer? Why? How do you even define better? We never found an answer, we just found solace in the activity, in listening, studying record sleeves, listening again to isolated snippets just to prove our respective points. Time passed, shadows slowly changed. We could smell food already. Soon my friend’s mother would come up and ask me if I wanted to stay for dinner. I felt like a regular.

In end we closed the examination and settled on a compromise. Siouxsie had the deeper and more sensual voice, but Toyah possessed a wider range and frequently reached pitches Siouxsie could only dream of. It was a battlefield, record sleeves and magazine articles all over the place. I don’t remember if we even differed in our opinions to begin with. Maybe we were just having conversation, maybe this was just friendship.

“So much has been said about the girls over the years. But we have never found an answer. It didn’t matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls… but only that we had loved them… and that they hadn’t heard us calling… still do not hear us calling them from out of those rooms… where they went to be alone for all time… and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together.” (from The Virgin Suicides movie, 1999)