Tuesday, 26 February 2008

A Party in Hell

 There's this French party, a party in hell, with hundreds of international kids speaking languages I can't understand. So I'm the Alien.

It's not an aggressive scene or even rowdy but it's loud and pushing through the narrow corridors in this fucking maze of a house—a slithering mass of inebriated students, smoking and drinking and spilling, from the back kitchen and smoke pit, through all these bodies lining the corridor and down the stairs, to the cellar-turned-electro-dancehall. Back and forth, back and forth we go.

The dancehall—dark and sweaty and low ceilings and pillars standing in the way like catatonia and I move my hips and beat my fist on the ceiling to the pulse, the restless rhythm with all the beautiful Spanish. And one, maybe French, pure erotic, the way she sways through her world and twirls around mine and his and hers, pure electric sex ‘n’ slender eyes ‘n’ long legs ‘n’ body ‘n’ hair black as the corner of the cavern and mmmmmmmmmmm

I move on upstairs with another round of exiles, always another end to the mass moving through the mob. Pushing through the smoke, the clanging bottles and all these accents and languages. Get caught up with someone I know along the way. And again. And again. And George the Canadian clangs my bottle, said: “Y’know, if a fire broke out no one would make it alive.” My God! No windows! Two exits! So I move to the back, to the kitchen, across to the smoke pit just for some air. Yet pure oxygen is hard to come by  with the billowing of carcinogenic clouds proliferating about and above the brick walls. Up, towards the row of apartments with lamp -light beaming through closed blinds. Patrick the Polish sees this, and in broken English, warns the pooolice arrh cahming but I brush it off because the English understand parties. Bless your soul, Patrick, but they’d never call the cops, forget it Patrick.

And I go back in to push and slither with the rest and try to talk, maybe converse, but no one understands because they’re French or German or whatever, it doesn’t matter, I’m the Alien. So I move on and on just to do it again because the pushing and the slithering is half the fun…

...until mid-journey and 3:30 am there are two lady officers in neon and silly hats, pigs sliding through the Spanish clogging the corridor. One asks me: “Whose house is this?” and she asks another, and another, and another but nobody knows, of course not! Who would? So the two pushed on, toward the stairs, all official and obtuse in their neon and the leader, the speaker, mumbles into her radio: “We’re in the party. We’re in the party.” She looks down the stairs at all these kids moving on up with matted hair and red eyes and that damned understanding that the neon’s arrived. An officer turns, asks no one in particular: “What’s down here?” “DANCING.” Of course!

The pigs move down and Michael the French—or maybe Spanish?—offers to show them someone who lives at the house. “But what’s the problem?” he asks. “The problem is I need to speak to the owner.” And someone yells “Fuck the police!” like someone always, always will in times like these and when every around goes sssshhhhhhhhhhhhh, shut the fuck up, shut UP! we have no one to thank but NWA.

And before very long I’m outside and eight other cops, men in their hats, are managing the party as it’s spilling outside. And back in, through the corridor, a tall one, a proper pig, is yelling: “Everybody out! Everybody out!” and maybe thinking exactly what I was thinking, maybe, that what a fire hazard this party had become! A windowless maze with cigarette ash mashed into the carpet, burns on the walls, smoke filling all empty space not occupied by human bodies. If ever a fire broke out…

“Everybody out!" 

And so here we are, hundreds out front, an international loitering mess chattering away in all these languages while the pigs search the house for drugs. We’ll all be charged if they find anything illegal, or so says Vlad the Russian. It's nonsense, of course, but I leave anyway before the house has been hollowed. I leave with some Estonians.

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