The street shook with the wide reverberations of circuit-board
drums and pitch-perfect bass. Footsteps on the pavement were drops
in an all-encompassing ocean. For music meant to induce ecstasy
in a seething mass of people, it could make a man feel insignificant
like nothing else - the speakers towering above with an electronic
whip, the subwoofers roaring their commands designed to head straight
for the heart and crush it beneath pink furry boots.
quid poorer, a paper band around his wrist, and he sidles in, a
static, well-cut mannequin amongst the writhing bodies.
After an age at the bar, he sits down amongst the ones too tired or
embarrassed to dance. Nevertheless, they chatter in each other's ears
excitedly, muzzled by the jackhammer drums, and he still feels wildly
out of place.
After a while, an electric surge, a new kind of
cold, rainbow community
spirit forces the young to their feet, and they rush off with hands
entwined, no longer outsiders. All that is left is a man sitting rigid
in a suit, and a shapeless figure slumped on a table opposite.
Despite the noise, there is silence.
Curiosity stirs him to
investigate. Cautiously he approaches the table, and hails the
stranger. With a start, a face shining blue with tears appears, and
She never wanted to come
here, he deciphers from her hoarse yells and sluggish gestures. Empty
bottles of J20 stand testament to her enforced
sobriety. And though in the end it makes sense, his heart is filled
with sadness - that a social life is now just cogs spinning in
sporadic, colourful lights - just as his mind is filled with envy and
He checks his glinting pocketwatch, and they leave, an arm clinging to a shoulder.