Towards the Flame – Always

If you choose to dance with the devil do you ever win?

I’ve always stepped towards the flame – not away. Been fascinated by the insanity of others, the threat of danger, taunting others to do their worst and throwing their attempts in their face. Believing I deserved the slashes of deep pain. I’m still standing. Hurt me some more – I dare you.

Speed , scotch and shots.

Speed, scotch and shots on a Sunday afternoon after party in St Kilda. Nothing new or different about the day – I was bone weary, months of sleepless nights and days blending into one. A spinning top – when I’ll stop I didn’t know – yet I wasn’t done.  Falling into bed on Monday nights, sometimes Tuesday nights only to restart the party on Thursday night and the madness starts again.

Matchboxes full of speed – my standard weekend – I was beyond grams, ounces and lines. No measurements required – how much speed does a matchbox hold? I didn’t know and didn’t care. Spilled one in the car? Doesn’t matter – here’s another box. By the way – hold my gun before I hold it to your head – again. I laughed and told you off – as I did the first time you pointed a gun at me. Your name sealed the deal – Ian’s were to always be trouble – and sugar daddies. I always knew I’d be a better friend than a lover – every man and boy I’ve said that to took it as a challenge. They thought they could capture me, that I had a heart under the cold ice exterior. I don’t. I have razors they would slash themselves on trying to prove their worth.

This weekend the Little Ray of Sunshine, her boyfriend and I were at a bar – shots not even touching the sides. We were dancing with eccys flowing through our body – feeling the love and peace. When he first ran through to the back of the club, stark naked, everyone turned to see the spectacle and laugh. Laughter soon turned to horror as the black clothed goons chased him behind the dark, black stage curtains at the back of the club. There was only darkness in the back – his skinny white body emanciated – his ribs stark against the black and red velvet drapes. His  body falling to the dirty sticky floor, the goons laying into him with their boots against his defenceless white body. His cries turned to screams. The goons started wrestling him through the club towards the light of the doorway. Everyone looking on in horror. Stepping away. Away from the naked, bleeding body of the now screaming man – in a headlock – trying to get away from the thugs. I find myself stepping forward – hands outstretched towards him – the horror on his face – the blood on his hands and in his hair. Transferred to my hands.

I’m yanked back by my friends – away from the danger – not fast enough to stop the splash of blood onto my face. The music has stopped. There is a stunned silence. Then the music flares once again and the club starts dancing, rhythms and waves willing the horror out of our minds. Yet I cannot lose myself in the music or the drugs. I must leave.

I stumble out of the club. Into the street. Stark sunshine blinding me. The goons black clothing disorientating me further – where is the way out? What is real?  I see glass shards sparkling on the pavement in the harsh hot sunshine. My gaze follows the glass trail to the gutter – there’s more glass, surrounding a rubbish bin. A street sign. Splashes of red amongst the shards. I look at my hands – the red blood mimics the red splashed on the glass. The red on the pavement. The red on the whiteness of vulnerable buttocks. I realise with horror it’s the man from the club. Tossed into the gutter by the goons. It’s clear he’s unconscious, covered in blood. The goons are looking the other way. Men – boys – hover over the inert body – arguing over whether to call the cops or an ambulance. They’re told be the goons to move on – they argue with them – they aren’t responsible for their friends behaviour – they want back in to the after party club. All the while their friend is bleeding on the footpath at their feet.

With horror I realise that half an hour had passed since the assault and no ambulance had been called. I abuse the goons, the spectators, the friends of the man until I’m dragged away by my friends – it’s not safe to lose your shit in St Kilda.

We leave the scene – never knowing what was to become of the man. That’s when we started seeing blood everywhere we went to party – the times had changed. The drunks had infiltrated the rave scene and the violence had escalated – the crazies were making lots of money. And I was hanging out with one of them – as a friend only until he realised I would never become his lover. No matter how much money, drugs or gifts he gave me – I was not ready to stop partying. He was tired of the drugs. I was sad to see the drugs go, yet knew that the time had come for me to move on.

Away from that flame that had dwindled – towards another fire. My self harming was not finished.

I was not yet ready to stop stoking the fire.

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