St. James’s street. Darkness pocked with electric yellow. A narrow road, crowded in by three storey brick buildings.Every other shop front blasts music and sells drinks. From the hair salon to the ice cream parlour.
The street is filled with tattoos and tight white t-shirts, boys in sailor suits with their arms in the air, and girls in loose vests, short hair curling in the nape of their neck. I am crushed by sweaty, friendly flesh, pressing into me.
Bodies and rainbows everywhere. Rainbows in garlands and face paint and striped hair, and enormous billowing flags worn as capes and dresses and tucked into handbags. All of the faces smiling, bodies thrusting and a thousand voices shouting along to the music. It bounces off the windows and the walls and wraps you up in a safe place. Everywhere you look, mouths make the same shape, speaking with one voice. Whatever the words they sing, what I hear is, ‘I belong’.