the best chillout room in the world
©Copyright Rob Eveleigh 1997.
I am leaving the party behind me.
Does it rock, or is it me cock? It rocks, and I'm almost at that somewhere we call 'the peak'. I know I am made of flesh, I can feel the blood in my veins, I can hear a wind in my brain that is sweeping down from the inky outdoor sky, lifting me out of my body and pressing me back into it with firm, kind, reassuring fingers.
I duck out of the marquee that Mart has put up in his dad's field. His dad, who likes a fag but is deterred from smoking in the house, has been popping out from time to time to have sly one. It bothered us at first, in case he spotted our pupils misbehaving, but it's too dark now for his old eyes to spot our dilated ones, and it's too open here for his nose to pick out the smell of burning cannabis over country odours and the sweet calm of a still night air.
I swish through the thick, damp grass and the tunes fade behind me, the bass disappearing first, sinking heavily into the earth. We are six miles from Martin's nearest neighbours. I hope they've heard the music, even if it's only the tinny bits, and that we've given them something to wonder about, to imagine, maybe even to lust after in a quiet, ashamed sort of way that they will never admit to friends or even partners in case they give away fears of old age. It shouldn't, but our own youthfullness only gives that fear more credibility - the knowledge that age has youth to take away.
That's a silly thought and I banish it for now, knowing I will return to it later, or tomorrow and next week, because the grass feels so good and vital and I could eat it, it smells so fresh. My pace quickens and I pound on deeper into the field as the sound of my feet cutting through the grass almost drowns out the music. I stop momentarily to catch the tune and then I'm off again, deep, deeper into the field where it is black and a pale mist hangs about a foot above the ground, like a flimsy net shielding it from the mysterious sky.
I'm still striding when I look up that mysterious sky, and I wonder if I've ever seen so many stars. So many, many millions of stars. I feel like the only person in the whole world to see them just like that, ever. And in truth, I am.
The ground is flat but I have reached the peak and even though I'm on top of it, it wants to crush me. I am strong though, and clean, and whole and can withstand its mutinous attack. I welcome it as my co-conspirator and together, silently, we hatch fresh plans for our journey, one that I am starting to feel will last beyond daybreak and into tomorrow before we both get sick and my companion leaves me, heartbroken and hungry with nowhere to find comfort.
I know I will feel sharp, rough edged and broken. Now, though, I am smooth and healthy. I detect a darkness gathering inside that I will want to succumb to, that I should succumb to, and that I probably will, later.
Right now, there is a different darkness that I want to make my own. It lies above me and it is that mysterious sky again.
For a moment, I believe I cannot move as I stare at the stars. Their tiny lightbeams, shrivelled by the vastness of space, have set out to reach me eons before my kind had dragged itself, in the painful process of evolution, from the primordial porridge of bacteria-rich, radioactive oceans. Now those stars, faint but awesomely powerful, hold me, paralysed, for what might be eons more.
I break the stalemate by unbuttoning my shirt, slipping the cloth from my back and my arms to expose perfect flesh to the cool of the night. I let the garment fall to the floor beside me and smile inside and out as silken air touches my skin. I shudder and smile some more, shudder again and suppress a squeal with a calm exhale of pure breath.
I sink to my knees, arms stretched below me to steady my descent into the lush black that should be green of the grass below. Its blades are chilled to my touch, and I shudder again anticipating that same cold against my back. I rock back onto my arse, fall softly onto it, extend my legs and brace myself, exhaling again, for the sensation of unknowns that I must give to myself, because I am deserving of it.
Laying back, my body settles into the turf, and I am aware of each icy sliver of green sighing as it yields to my weight. Stretched lids close tightly over my eyes and I gasp as some power, as old as the hills and as new as the labs that made my pill, courses through liquid muscles and chromium limbs.
When my eyes open, the sky is darker, the stars brighter, and I close off my sight to include only the diamond-crusted blanket above. The lights sway, restate their position, sway and restate again, shifting in and out of focus, filling me with the same primeval wonder I find when I do the dance, succumb to the dark inside me and revel in the light that flows about.
I stay that way for ten minutes, may be a little more, cleansing, questioning and happy that I still don't know the answers to the puzzle above me, and no doubt never will.
Then I rise effortlessly, the motion imperceptible so that my upright position now comes as a surprise, and realise I don't really know how I have arrived here, and no dount never will.
Calmed, I stop once more to collect my shirt and dress as I sweep back to the party, eager to share my secret and the answers I haven't found.
© copyright rob eveleigh 1997
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