Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Dim rippling light rolls up from wall to ceiling, then back. The bouncer roves menacingly and single minded, like a fat headed shark, heralded by a blue orb which, upon contact with quids, or bodies quivering and rigid, struck mute by agonising biblical visions informs its master who duly devours currency or casualty. Each task is preceded by the vaguest of emotions, the face rolling from neck area practiced in betraying little. Close observation is necessary to establish even a glimpse of humanity. The leer forming on the corner of the mouth perhaps, when crudely acknowledging a familiar pair of thighs, or the hunger in the pupils, just before full dilation, in anticipation of the exertions soon to be inflicted upon the kid, silhouetted in their peripheral vision, grinning and flailing on the bar. These human subtleties are vastly overshadowed by blunt animal instinct. A circle forms in the enraptured crowd. And before even the first futile blow is struck, dense black ghosts and wraiths descend, slicing through bodies like water. Rapidly advancing in perfectly straight lines upon the unfortunates, about to pay terrible prices for vainly leaving the hot certainties of the collective. The venue lights flicker on and these wild, predatory men seem tamed, still alert, but glazed and sated. It is over. The frigid night air seems strangely comforting to the flock spilling out the double doors from the furnace within.

It is a popular misconception that the exits are flung wide when there is no more music left, when the bars must stop serving or when the tired patrons concur that fear and night have closed in too far, and they must hurry back and huddle in half-lit rooms. In fact, no DJ, worker or patron holds sway here. They have no say, they are drawn in by shiny lures, flashes and beats deep in the dark recesses. In turn, on gantrys, stairwells and balconies, aroused by the blood and smell of sweat, dark shadows circle, twitch and wait. The sharks are in control here. It is only when each has gorged that anyone can leave.

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