Just Nathan

A musical offering, in parts
September 10, 2005
Shaking my li'l toosh

We don't go clubbing often. It's not snobbishness on my part, I'm quite happy to mix Parsifal with the X-Factor depending on my mood. Of course anybody who knows me would realise that I'm naturally happier with Mahler than on the dance floor, but it is very liberating to lose that inhibition of self-consciousness and just let the music take over.

My difficulty with clubs is somewat different. I find myself inadequate and all the good-looking topless guys quite intimidating as they gyrate and preen themselves with conscious artifice. The smoke and elbow to chest proximity with so many other people is a little claustrophobic. And there's an implied pressure to stay on until the party ends. But I overcome these qualms and join the short queue underneath the arches at Charing Cross.

We take a couple of beers and stand at the edge of the underground dance floor, Alfred by my side. The music carries its own energy, a positive force wells up in my body. I feel very physical - and I'm immediately aware of how alien this is to my normally cerebral self. It's primitive, the onset of a mating ritual perhaps, but my hips start swaying and my feet tap as I step out onto the dance floor, into the light. I don't mind how I look - I don't even think of 'music and movement' at primary school, but match my dancing to the music, to Alfred and to the flashing lights. My eyes are occasionally distracted by other people dancing by or bumping into me, but the music, the energy, the flow is infectious. As the mood shifts and hardens from track to track, my movements become more energetic and the cares of the week are washed away in a cloud of dry ice, green and purple lights.

But there's always a Zeitgeist moment - usually after an hour and a half or so, when the smoke becomes a suffocating miasma and I suddenly regain my self-consciousness. Why am I here? It's so smoky. I don't like this music. I'm so ugly in this sea of beautiful men and women. I want to go home.

We walk the London streets, along the Strand and through Covent Garden before reaching the hotel with its icy-cold air conditioning and brick-hard bed. As I fall asleep, the lyrics of the dance pulse faintly and flutter behind my eyelids. We hold hands.

Posted by nathan at September 10, 2005 05:09 PM

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