Every Tuesday, right before my longest day of lectures, I would drink myself into a gyroscopic oblivion. If I hadn’t started drinking before my last seminar then my first would be in the Lyceum, followed by a bus ride or walk to my flat and a few shots of vodka (you can place these years with pinpoint precision, recent as they are, because I start to do this in 2005 and start having allergic reactions to vodka in 2007) while I crashed on my mattress and stared at the ceiling.
There would be a moment, just before the sun went down, when I’d stop gripping my mobile, scrabbling together another night out, and start to change. Trousers first, tighter than I’d like to admit, before jamming a shirt down the waistband and flipping the collar up. With achingly slow movements I would tie a skinny tie around my neck and tug it tight, as the final clashed chord of this song’s introduction rang through my room.
Right arm pumping, followed by left, feet jabbing up and down, slapping Converse laces onto worn thin carpet. Glass on side, never knocked, sound bouncing off lurid orange walls, futon near tripping me, drunk haze keeping me unruly but steady in a room that could barely contain me. Arms stretched – snap close – stretch again – thinking of girls that won’t be out, thinking of girls I won’t talk to, thinking of girls, mostly, and dancing.
I would later show up at Panic! There would be dancing.
Those nights I made it to the end, past songs that will – doubtless – appear on these notes later on, I would hear that klang spark up. Precious few left on the dancefloor now, just the ones who had drunk their way to sobriety or weren’t dancing close. A weekly ritual where, in the moments before the lights went up, the lurid red walls would bounce the sound around and prompt me, wild eyed, to pump right arm followed by left arm throwing head back, gutturally yelling that love, love would tear us apart and sure enough it did. Jabbing Converse lace slap down on stone floor ringing up my leg hollow spine connecting brain to nothing but rolling cymbals, synths and squeals, bass moving my hips like the girls who’d long since left me.
Live version above because, you know, I’d have danced to that too.