I walk in.
My eyes take a second to readjust from the warm, lambent sunlight
to the velvety darkness inside.
My feet find that they don’t stick
to the floor like they used to.
They used to cling for just a
second, like a love-struck couple, they wanted to stay together just
Everything is so much cleaner-
it’s like the younger brother,
but quick and easy to corrupt
ready and raring to go…
it’ll happen soon.
I’m not even at the table and I
can already smell that lingering cloud
of beer and spirits
on bars and breaths,
It’s still warm out and it’s definitely
mellow in here
but goosebumps rise up, defiantly
on my arms as I savour those
quiet few seconds
of sheer elation at the thought of the evening that stretches
into the night.
The first night re-lived.
The first first-night.
The thrill of almost tripping up the little stair to the bar,
the waft of trail-away cigarette smoke escaping from its keeper.
The garbled jokes.
The jangle of faraway
real bloody belly laughs.
A pool queue hits its target.
A porter’s brass bell chimes – order’s up.
Lipstick and life advice applied in the ladies’
I stop and try to absorb the absolute chaos,
the absolute joy
that we can afford to do this now,
A deep inhale
don’t let it all back out.
I round the corner and there they all are.
Here we all are.
Back together on the first first-night back.
cover image by the editorial team