The city that never sleeps alone

A poem about a party


1. The City that never sleeps alone

The City that never sleeps alone

  I make it to the house party, late and not drunk  it's  grand house for student living  and it is owned not rented When I told the others I was getting  the night bus to Peckham  alone  they half worried for me, but only half because  we take these risks everyday   Inside, which is calmer and too safe I'm surrounded by posh medics No Smoking They have turned the basement into a dance floor where no one has music in common I watch the drunker men trying to  play the Chase and Status game and poor, poor women trying fuck ones who are still  Scouting For Girls     I am taken aside by That Old Chestnut headed boy there are pretty girls here and I'm  10 beers later still more sober than  The Shotters and The Tame Ones having snuck outside for cigarettes stolen drinks  my breath smells but he keeps trying to kiss me  getting closer with his hands on the wall by my head  I leave him to be with another man  who begs me to introduce him  to a girl I do not know telling me how  he fucked her but only once and never again.    At only half past two I am hidden outside,  whispering about The Bigger Things in life  with a friend when I get the call from That Old Chestnut headed boy  asking me to leave, and leave with him  I bring my friend with me His face showed disappointment, but only briefly and never again     I ask about Our Fourth whether he'll be okay on his own  "He's a big boy, anyway, he's pulled" oh You Old Chestnut I know that he doesn't know what he's pulled because in that dark corner of the room he grabbed my arse  instead of hers but we leave because we're tired of all the new and boring faces  that we may see on the bus but only once and never again   The conversation between The Lads slips  to chinese take away whilst I am lost in thoughts too sober for my body about what drink takes away I realise how partying pubbing and clubbing  is really just socially acceptable alcoholism how all those people at that party were trying to flush out some kind of sick fear  but the toilet was broken  so they were only getting dirtier not clean   We hardly speak in depth with words at least,  so when I asked him about The Other Woman  all I got was "I never said I wanted to be anyone's boyfriend" which was all I wanted to hear I felt much less anxious, and much less guilty So I gave him his head for room and board and slept  in arms too muscular to match my stomach  and thought of nothing successfully numbed   In the morning we reminisce  laughing in synchrony the way only two people who've swallowed one another whole  can do with such spontaneity He Laughed because of how awful the dancing was  I Laughed because in the second he finished his orgasm  He Laughed and said "Oh My God I went blind just then"  Have you ever had so much joy, on a night on your own   For one quick moment he squeezes me and says  "It can be lonely here" I look through the window see scaffolding and fog start talking about The City he says "Oh, yeah, I just meant the double bed." He doesn't even know what he's afraid of   It is the same as before he puts Come Dine With Me on his big TV though we both know I never will I wake up slowly because there is no rush to leave nothing has to Happen we are friends  I roll my first cigarette with my last rizla forgetting to ask for directions  I start to feel lost until  I saw Lord Nelson with his cheap pints  for Students and after some consideration  I left him alone and mapped my way back  using tube stations  puke points  kebab shops  flats I'd stayed in  cigarette butts  homeless men  and only one church i've never been in and never will   
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