Love Bites: The Fuzzy, Liminal Spaces of a Night Out
This month's columnist reflects on the best, and most missed, part of a night out
I miss the edges of the night. The middle part, the part that the night actually revolves around – the DJ sets and headline acts and songs you’ve been dying to dance to for weeks – is all well and good. They have their place. But it’s the fuzzy, liminal spaces of the night that I love and that I have been aching for since the pandemic and lockdown and the Tories shut everything down.
They’re found in the smoking area where you finally talk to the boy you fancy, blood and vodka fizzing through your body. Or when you’re elbowing your way into the men’s bathroom because the women’s line is too long (because what is the gender binary anyway) laughing with people you’ve never met at the apoplectic confusion behind you. Or when you interlace your fingers through your friends’, pulling them through the crowds to sit on the pavement outside, the boundaries between the two of you collapsing in the smoke and stickiness. Once, a friend and I, bored of whatever remix the DJ was playing, sat talking in the corridor of The Mash House for so long that all the tipsy undergrads started showing us the stamps on their hands as they headed into the room. I don’t remember much else from that night. But I remember that.
A friend recently described these moments as the sensation of “static on your skin,” and it is exactly that. It’s the electric charge of potential, the rush of heady chemicals at the thought that anything could happen and maybe already has. That dizzying feeling of knowing you are living through something that is both so ephemeral and palpable, and that you will remember for years to come.