11, EVERYBODY'S eyes on high beam, a bit rushy, a bit giggly,
and we all agreed it was time to set out and begin our countdown to midnight.
Into the plunging, drumming rain we went, heading for the whump, whump, whump of the Zone lighting up the dark in the distance, all oranges and purples, and looking like some sort of fantastical castle.
Past the red roofed structure of the DnB Zone, past the Happy Hardcore and House tents, past the car-park-sized crater of the fire pit, a weak bonfire at its bottom, spitting, forging on,
through the snarls of other wet wayfarers and into the growing roar, the slop and suck of our footsteps, our heads bent, our hands pocketed, until, just as a breakdown was beginning, as the bass was stripped and all was lulled and left strangely still, we reached the breathing, battered edge of the Zone.
In until the crowd constricted, stopped and didn’t try to go further. I felt my feet sink. I wiped water from my face. I inhaled deep and deeper again.
I got ready to let go.
In the wild night, vast and violent, I could see Joseph and Darius in front, big Dan and Sam either side. Beyond, a dark carpet phosphorescent with lights and lasers, surging with excitement, brawling with desire, and unspooling to a remote robotic head glistening blue against black. In the yellow of its gaping mouth Baitercell was hard at work, deep in the mix; TV screens to either side swirled with visuals.
There was a distinctive psssssshhhhhht.
Darius also hard at work. Nitrous Oxide. He passed back a balloon round and full. I took it and widened my stance, gulped half its cold contents, held it for a second, blew it back, gulped it all. The world fell away. Sound pulsed: Whaaaa-Whaaaa-Whaaaa-Whaaaa-Whaaaa-Whaaaa. Big Dan propped me up.
I was gone for a minute; I came back with a silly grin.
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