by Lauretta Salvini


The dance floor hovers like a flying carpet. Bass makes my heels pound as I squeeze myself into the bunch. The DJ’s wafer-thin fingers brush the vinyl on one of the turntables, slowing down the tempo to introduce syncopation.

As the lights turn blue, two crews of break-dancers face each other. One girl glides forward, popping her hips to freeze in a mannequin pose. The DJ changes the beat, remixing Grandmaster Flash’s “White Lines”.

(Ahhh…) Get higher, baby! C’mon! Raah!

I love hip-hop archaeo-parties. I love drowning my sorrows in the rhythm. I love dancing the way people did two hundred years ago. Get higher, baby… get higher… Somebody grabs me from behind. More hands push me upward.

Glad I wear leggings, I think while I find myself crowd surfing. I stare at the metallic ceiling. Its colours fade one into the other with smooth grace. Forgiving some insolent hands that indulge too long around my breasts and thighs, I let my body relax; gulped in by the music orgy.

My mentor was right. You deserve a rite of trust after a break-up, he told me before the starship set out. Get higher baby… get higher… And don’t ever come down.

People let me land on my feet. I open my eyes and I found myself standing in front of a white smile and a pair of caramel-coloured eyes.

‘What’s your name?’ I ask.

‘No names,’ he says.

He pulls me away from the crowd, leading me towards a dark corner.

Falling in love has never been so easy.

We roll against the wall. He holds my wrists up, as if nailed. My silk blouse is unbuttoned, his T-shirt ripped.

He tastes like clove brewed in red wine. His lips nibble at my earlobe; my fingertips caress his neck, trace the line of his shoulder-blades.

‘I want you,’ he whispers.

I’m startled. Possession isn’t my thing, but my mentor said I must shake off my fears.

As my eyes meet his eyes once more, I wonder whether the scales under his chin are make-up.

Space travel is primitive and liberating. I’ll come back to Earth a different woman.

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