So it was late and we were dancing, like you do when you’re young and drunk and too beautiful to be still for long, and there was a breathy summer air moving amongst our legs, tangling in our hair, carrying our voices off into the night; we were laughing. Then somebody said we should have an adventure (although now I forget what kind) so, like music out of a singers lips, we tumbled off the deck and over the grass, past the fountain falling noisily into itself, our feet, bare by now, dewy with the dark, into the trees and over the road, under the city sky batting its lashes, up.
Up a fire escape, rusting to the side of the buildings, hands trailing along the bricks, toes gripping the iron, our hearts – or maybe just mine – thrashing around in our chests. (Or maybe just mine.) And somewhere between the high street and the harbor we lost the others, we lost them, and found each other, but that bit comes after the giggling and tripping, the pressing of bodies into doorways as cars drove past and the racing, with skirt swirling and pant-bottoms muddied, chasing down empty streets, up seven steps, then we paused.
Outside a door, so flat and glassy, reflecting the night, refracting our tiny mayhems back at us; it stole open and we stole in. To the still air. To the cool tiles. To the hotel smells. We stole through the foyer with tiny touches, and a fractious hysteria waxed in my lungs, swelling with every step closer to the far wall and I knew the same thing was filling up you; so I went ahead, quiet and curious, to the gilt door calling our names, while you followed, full of who-knows-what going who-knew-where.
And out the door was a courtyard, with trees in huge pots and twelve thousand white pebbles, glowing like twelve thousand tiny white moons; they flowed away from our feet in a maze, folding in on itself in a hypnotic twirl that I gazed at ‘til I finally drew my eyes away, by which time you were gone, hiding, pretending to be a tree and doing such a good job that it took me forever to find you, but when I did we sat down on a perfectly edged square of grass – breathing – two knees touching – eyes – eyes not quite meeting – and we spoke about how little time there was left, ‘til the world got it’s chains round our wrists and ‘til we forgot to notice, well, we decided there was not much time so the nights that there were should be tossed – up and away with the wind – like confetti. We decided that everyone ought to have a chance to collide, nobody should ever have nothing to cry over, that everyone should fall, not the way of the world but the way they most want to.
That was exactly what we did, then.