A hundred nights out and a hundred different dirty mirrors and us lined up there as usual. Ties adjusted, fringes and make up attended to. Paper towels applied to our slick wet necks and foreheads. Eyelids pulled down and the bloodshot sclera inspected with sighs of resignation.
‘It looks dead love, you ought to bury it…’
‘Jesus, I look like my dog…’
‘I look like I’m on Crimewatch …’
‘It puts the lotion on its skin, it does this whenever it’s asked …’
But secretly knowing, secretly, how good we all look. Photograph, photograph.
Toilets offer us temporary respite from music that’s loud enough to drown in, if you feel like drowning. Only the bass can push its way through the stubborn door and the blissfully cool tiles and the dirty glass and into your sternum, into the little fluctuating chambers of your heart.
Here we speak in our real voices instead of gesturing with our faces or hands or our dancing to tell each other: I love this song, I love that guy, I love you, I love the nightlife.
We love the nightlife.
Lean into the mirror, kohl tip turning into greasepaint in the heat of your fingers. Always the insides of your eyelashes, my sister says, otherwise you’ll look like a raccoon. And stop blinking.
Eyeliner, lager froth in your tache, a demented combination perfected. Ruined shoes and vintage T shirts shrunk and wrinkled with sweat and little point trying to dry off as the tiny glass beads congregate on your temples even in the chilled moon-like atmosphere of the bathroom.
I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together, runs through my mind.
A familiar bassline pushes its warm fuzzy arms into the loos’ cool air, beckoning us back to its frenetic embrace. Then comes the rush and the moment and the feeling.
‘Come on‘, somebody says , ‘Let’s get back out there. We don’t want to miss anything.’
Greg Thorpe is the author of manhattanchester.blogspot.com