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In The Midnight Lands

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38. And I hadn't slept for forty hours.





"COUCH DANCING," I mumbled happily, slinging my inflatable couch off my back where it landed with a plop in the mud. I grinned at my fellow trancers who all grinned back at me, evidently appreciating the sheer brilliance of my idea.

It was two in the morning and I hadn’t slept for forty hours, the afternoon a disconnected set of joyous fragments I can’t put to any chronology. Flashes of Kathy with laughter in her eyes telling me Darius had gone la-la-land: being mandated to grab him, ground him: riding out with a posse in response;

of sympathising with Joseph, who’d twisted his ankle and couldn't dance and didn't seem too upset, blazing spliff after spliff with Cam; and of conspiring in the Food Tent with Gary: we would storm Ibiza in July, and he would make the track: I see you baby shaking that ass, shaking that ass, his own.

And flashes of coming around a curl in the trees to see Jackie in the distance in the Trance Zone - she who we knew as dirty old Jack because she kept up with the lads - but stunning at this moment, an outline on an elevation, with wide beatific smile, dreamy closed eyes, rapturous upraised hands, clouds and crowd and DJ behind. Jackie, who later would lose a pill in a haystack and utter the immortal words, “That's going to be one fucking happy cow.”

It was two in the morning and I was on my way up for the third time and I’d just humped my inflatable couch halfway across the Downs - one mention by Darius of our long-running joke to couch dance in the Trance Zone enough to set me off on a spangled mission . . .

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