haibun
A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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December 2005, vol 1 no 3

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Graham Nunn

A Heavy Rhythm

The door slides open and the neon hits. It's warm inside, like the room has a pulse. The empty dance floor, heat-shimmering in the distance. The support band is finishing up and the crowd has that glazed ozone feel. The hot sweat of end of night come-ons, pent up and lingering. My brother heads to the bar, where the ladies are cleaning up the plastic glasses, the cans, the debris ... takes his place behind the suburban Cinderella's in their next-to-nothing skirts and sluttish smiles. He gives me a wave and I wave back, breathing in the molecules of evaporated sweat and perfume.

The roadies are on stage giving each other that manic hurry up stare as the first of the punters takes their place on the dance floor. He's like a magnet, drawing the crowd into the near darkness, where they wait, playing it cool, skin touching skin. The drink being squeezed out of them. It's what we're all here for ... it's not the gig, the drugs, the booze or any of that shit. It's the thrill that crackles when the lights come up and you're leaving. Not thinking about the daily grind or the morning after. Grabbing some stray by the hand as the door slides open and closes like bad breath behind you.

walking home
our hearts beat
a heavy rhythm

 

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