Last night I ended up with Tori and her husband Ricardo in the vodka bar Revolution on Chambers Street. Tori and Ricardo were celebrating their anniversary, and they foamed with enthusiasm for the night ahead. I felt awkward and faintly guilty because I did not share their gusto. My heart was moaning like a small child who is made to climb a hill by the adults, and the sight of the packed dance floor in the basement of Revolution made me feel twenty years older than I actually was. Everybody looked very young and silly and out of control. We were on the dance floor for a bit, although my dancing was weary and strained, as if I needed to keep moving or I would not start again. When it was Ricardo’s turn to go to the bar, Tori took the opportunity to give me a good telling off.
“Stop yawning!” she snapped. “You’re embarrassing me.”
“I suddenly know why I don’t like this place,” I said. “Almost everybody here is English.”
“These are nice girls,” Tori said brightly. “Let’s dance with them.”
The girls looked like a collection of monsters, gruesomely sprinkled with glitter and sporting the gargoyle embellishments of pink angel wings. I sidestepped their ungainly throws and stopped dancing, suddenly looking around the dance floor. “I want to start a fight with somebody and break their nose,” I decided.
“Oh Zbigniew,” Tori despaired.
“You stay here and dance with Ricardo,” I said. “I am the piece that will not fit into this jigsaw. I’m going outside to smoke.” Upstairs the bouncer was frisking me, poking about in my pockets, and I called him a cunt and he pretended not to hear me.
I was last at Revolution in the June of 2006, on the night of a fierce estrangement with my brother which would last until our father died. I had met my brother at the door and he had two girls with him. One was very pretty and he had his arm around her waist. He nodded me towards the plain one. We all danced for a while, and then I went to the bar and the others sat down at a table. When I came back from the bar, I put our pints down on the table and as I turned to find a chair, my brother shot forward and quickly whipped down my trousers and pants, so that I mooned the two girls. They exploded with laughter. Pulling up my pants, I tried to laugh but I was speechless with fury, and my jaws silently smacked the air.
Back at my brother’s apartment, we all ended up on his bed. The girls were screaming and laughing at the same time, in shrill crazy bellows. We all rolled together amongst the sheets, hot and giggling, but, suddenly, I did not quite fit. My brother was making love to the plain one whilst the pretty one was sitting on his face. I sat back, excluded from this tableau, my face burning like a bloody full moon.
I coughed slightly, to try and attract their attention.
I attempted to climb on top, not quite sure what I was doing. My brother grunted disapprovingly and he made a slight movement with his hand, as if brushing away a fly.
The room was suddenly filled with my fury, as if a lid had been kicked off hell, and the world was drowned in its continual deafening note. I pushed over the pretty girl and she toppled off the bed. There was an almighty thump and a squeak as she hit the floor. I kicked my brother viciously in the face and broke his jaw. There was an awful snort and blood was sprayed over the bed sheets. My brother was fighting to get to his feet, making odd, animal noises. I swept all of the books off his shelves and I overturned his television. I broke one of the bedroom windows with my fist.
I went into the bathroom and threw up in the hand basin. Outside the girls were screaming for help. I started to cry.