I have danced my high heels flat on rough stones. Circled strong arms in a club curled around the roots of a towering tree,the only roof the streaming starlit black.
Death is in my mind, whispering secrets. It tells me to dance, to seize this, live this while I can. One day I will lie beneath other pounding feet. That just is, will be without fear.
I have danced past weary, danced past blisters, as the music writhed and wriggled through the sweating crowd like a pickpocket. Now there is nothing but here, this.
The smell of bodies, acid sharp in my nose. Moves like private sex made public but no one is looking. Everything is normal. All is on show.
Just one white face looks back at me in the crowd, my mirror. All the others, black, blacker, brown, blend spin and swap around that bright spot, the hand that reaches out. My face is just a moment’s novelty, a new look. The pair of us are a little curiosity, the new beasts at the zoo, but the music doesn’t care much for colour.
Take a breather, shake the hand of the ‘mazungos’, watch their steps and then find the way back to your own.
It is a Monday night but the women are dressed for the end of the world in sequins, satins, squeezed in curves and weaved in curls. I marvel and the ins and outs of dresses that look like they’d need scissors to emergency exit, the heels that need a safety ramp to slide off. It’s good to cover all eventualities on a night like this.
The ‘ladies’ is a room with one long low gutter which I have no clue how to use. The angles evaded me, but it didn’t really matter. The throngs around the mirror parted like the seas to let me through, bright parrots renewing their colours and shaking out their feathers. Curious eyes dipping into my pale powder.
I can’t stop smiling. I am dancing, dancing, dancing, lost, found. Raising my arms to embrace what falls, how it feels.
I am in love again. In love with this moment, with where I am right now, with life under an open sky. Life is full and fat, pounding pulse, a windswept slope. There are no questions, no answers, just this, all of this, expansive wild beautiful this.