They were more fuchsia, actually
Music. I think. Something is making the balcony vibrate. Is it an earthquake? No, I’m pretty sure it’s the music. It was pretty loud inside.
I’m standing in a circle with three guys. We’re huddled close together, but we needn’t be. No one cares. Hell, you can sit right at the bar and light up this side of town and the bartender won’t even look at you.
Bic lighters are so hard to keep alight if you haven’t taken the metal bit off. Hot, too. What I need is a Cricket with a button, but the uni bar doesn’t sell those. The flame dances in the night air. Like any dried grass, it crackles and pops as it burns. I inhale. I exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Pass.
I can see the river from here. There are people kissing in the lamp light. I can hear them whispering. They’re talking about how they want to live in Paris.
Inhale. Exhale. Pass.
The other guys are closing in on me. They’re so close. I can feel their hearts beating. When they laugh it sounds like cannons firing in my eye sockets. Why are they so close? Why are they –
Inhale. Exhale. Pass.
Maybe we’re just cold. Isn’t it August? It sounds like the first band has finished. I should go back inside. My friends are in there. I don’t even know these guys. Whose weed was it? I should thank him. God, I want some chips and gravy.
I tap the silver pipe on the corner of the balustrade.
Inside, the uni bar is dark and smoky like a brothel. My friends are building a tower out of plastic cups. “Where’s my drink?” They tell me someone else drank it. I head to the bar to flash my cleavage at someone and get a new one. There’s another band on stage.
“Who wants to come up here!” The frontman has dirty blonde locks and a white coat. My drink is taking forever. I make my way toward the stage. “We have a taker!” I trip over a bag. I step on someone’s hand.
The stage is so far up. Where are my friends? I can hear them cheering. Who is this idiot?
“What’s your name?” I know this. It starts with A.
“Anna!” I bleat.
“Pretty name. Okay Anna, I want you to hold this microphone for me.” The coat falls to the floor. He’s wearing hot pants. Pink ones. “Now talk dirty to me.” I don’t know how. Where are my friends? Where did those other guys go with the weed? Where are my chips? “Come on.” He grabs my hand and shoves it into the shorts. His dick feels like a decaying snake. What was I supposed to do again? My brain is sago. A guy I went to kindergarten with pulls me from the stage.
The next week, my name is in the uni paper. The headline says “What not to do at Battle of the Bands”. What a gas. I pack a cone with my new friends.