We were floating in the water, watching the sun reflect off the ripples. It was like looking at the stars. We swam through space towards the towering rocks. Pulling ourselves out of the water, we laid our flesh against their pulsating warmth, readjusting our spines to fit the curvatures of stone. I covered my eyes and spread my fingers to filter the sunlight in. It reflected off my rings, making miniature circles of linear colour. Like sunlight fingerprints. Later, stuffing our faces with burgers and fries, we gawked at boys with long hair and high cheekbones. Slurped sorbet as the sun set, watching windows light up one by one. In the darkness, we sat across from the park bench where Tab had shared a first kiss, and listened to the gurgling of the fountain.
We slipped down a side ally, lured by the noises of drums and dancing. Hand in hand, fingers laced tight, we squeezed through the throng of people and into the front of the crowd. All of us were smiling and laughing and dancing like madmen to the beat. Well, looking at the strangers around me, jumping and clapping, there was this overwhelming sense of being a part of… Something. I will always remember it.
We picked pink icing off the cake and then spent hours curling our hair and applying purple lipstick. At the party I sipped on ciders and laughed with my nose wrinkled up and my eyes slammed shut. On the dance floor, all of the boys shirtless and rubbing against one another, I felt a part of something cinematic; heavy beats and coloured strobes. I made out with someone in an alleyway and woke up with a hickey.
Today I stood in the kitchen in my underwear and an old holey tee. Humming pop songs at 9pm, we made spaghetti and ate it on my fold-out couch while Em told me about her almost-escapades and dark skinned lovers. I relish in uncovering something about a person you never would have expected – or confirming something you totally would. There is something sunshiney about meeting someone new.
It’s good to be back home, in the sunshine, by the ocean. I forgot how good it feels to be surrounded by trees and nature and growth. I think I am going to go walk up and down the beach talking to myself like a madman, trying to sort out the weird bundle of emotions spinning around in my head. I am a muddle of obscure thoughts.
It felt good to be somewhere that didn’t feel like the city. We sat in the grass and watched the clouds go by, picking out shapes. It’s autumn here now, and the leaves fell around us like snowflakes while we mused about the lives of ants, favourite pastimes, losing loved ones. He built miniature sculptures from twigs and bottle caps, explaining them to me in his slippery Dutch accent and consequently melting my heart. Later, when the sun was setting, I pretended to read his palm. “What’s in my future?” he asked, and with a coy smile I whispered “A first kiss.”
We crammed 17 of us into the six-seater van and were driven to a house full of hippies by an unlicensed German. A British woman with a penchant for words like “saucy” and “lush” covered us in silver glitter and we danced around a fire in a backyard dotted with fairy lights. Inside, every room was a different colour. We played with kittens in a bright pink bedroom and played an old piano in a pastel purple one. Danced to experimental instrumentals in a green-blue garage. There was a room where mattresses were tessellated together like tiles, people sleeping and snuggling and spooning. In the kitchen I drank punch with a sparkly angel-boy who never wore shoes. At 8am we walked home watching the sun come up, smiling out heads off.
I sat on a barstool, swaying seasick to the beat of deep house music. Flashing blue and red splashed across my face, lighting my lashes, the bump in my nose. My thoughts were muffled by the heavy bass. I floated, disintegrating at the edges.
I painted her eyelids golden and all three of us got an Uber to the Croxton. Sipping shitty beer, we played the pokies, watching lights melt together and little pictures spin across the screens. Inside, Em and I squeezed our way to the mosh pit, letting ourselves be thrown around in toxic euphoria. Psychedelic red and green washed over us in this intense space and I accumulated stains on my new denim jacket – beer and sweat and glitter. Two boys took turns standing with their arms around us, like shields against the violent collisions. The crowd moved together as an organism; one giant cell bouncing to and fro. I pushed my way to the very front, a field of glass underfoot, hipbones bumping blue against the stage.