‘You must know THIS song?’ is all he kept saying to me. After all I’m black; this is ‘our’ music from the 80s. Jazz funk or funk jazz or something. What can I tell you? I only really like R&B and dub.

‘Come on now, you must know this song,’ he says for the fourth time.

‘No I don’t,’ the indignation and frustrating expressed in my words do nothing to dampen his enthusiasm. I guess he just wants to reassure himself that he is actually dating a black woman.

The conversation becomes monotonous. The same question followed by the same answer. It’s a shame because up until that point we were happily sitting on the sofa listening to music. Now, I want to ask him if he knows the definition of insanity. Why is he expecting the result to be different? Another tune plays.

‘This one?’


He puts on another.

‘Come one man – this one?’


‘Listen to the tune and give yourself some time, maybe you just need to hear the chorus?’

‘Never heard of that one’ I reply straight after the chorus.

After song ten or maybe fourteen – I have lost count – I lose it.

‘I don’t know the names of these bloody tunes. OKAY!’

Disappointment flickers in his eyes and dances on his face. His last girlfriend knew music. She could name all the songs he played plus recommend some wicked tunes of her own, he tells me.

‘Well bully for her.’ Is all I could think of saying but I am annoyed and hurt that I can’t match up to her.

We spend the evening talking about something else other than music and he leaves the music on, still jazz funk despite me asking him to change it, in the hope that I might recognise one of them.

After he left I stopped calling and I let him go to voicemail until he stopped calling.

Micro-fiction: Tunes

Written December 2012

If flash fiction are stories with under 1,000 words, micro-fiction are stories with 200-350 words in them. This is actually a fictionalised memoir. I dated a guy who loved music and being a DJ I guess he wanted a woman who could ‘name that tune’ – turns out that woman was not me!

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