Angel 3 (disco)
Kimmie hooked up with the ginger-haired boy. The blast of Temptation - Higher and Higher- Temptation blasted from the speakers. On the dance floor Angel skated on sweat and adrenaline, feeling high and that her body had a repertoire of 5000 words for every note, but when the music segued into the slop, end-of-the-night music of Elton John’s heartfelt Your Song, her feet slowed and buckled. She slipped past women soft-shoe shuffling, marking time, past courting couples hurrying down from the seats to find space on the dance floor, and into the dim smog of dried ice, which left a chemical taste on Angel’s tongue. Your Song wasn’t her song, not dancing, simply moving your legs and putting high-school blinkers on. The guy with the moustache put his hand out and tapped her on the shoulder and smiled.
‘You want to dance?’ he asked and moved in, pawing and standing on her toes.
She leaned on his shoulder and let herself be dragged about. His neck smelled sour and she looked through his, curly, swept-back hair at Kimmie.
Kimmie's neck was stretched like a pygmy swan’s and she was eating his face, while her beaux was performing a tongue-o-lectomy on her. The glitter ball above their head turned throwing sparks of light on the other dancers, but the spotlight of eyes was on them. She had her arm half-way up his white Littlewoods T-shirt and he was pawing at her bum and breasts, like an octopus trying to find its way out of a box.
The guy with the moustache had the centre of gravity of a compass and rather than dance turned robotic circles. She was grateful he’d need to turn a full three-hundred and sixty degrees before she’d need to face Kimmie again.
A pretty girl, treacle-brown curls falling down the back of her pink-spotted dress, caught Angel’s eye, made a face, and shook her head, the white of her teeth showing over-bright in the lights. She too was stuck, her dance partner a foot shorter than her with greasy hair covering over a bald patch. He had ghosted in and his head was nestling plumped up on her breasts, his hands clutching her back like a boy hanging on to his favourite Spitfire aircraft model.
Angel had gotten off lightly in comparison. For a brief moment he gripped her hands so hard they hurt and pulled her in close enough to smell his boozy breath as he tried to kiss her and their cheeks shuffled like playing cards. They came out facing each other. She felt his cock rubbing and grinding through his demins against her. And she didn’t need Kimmie to tell her that it was hard and he wanted to fuck her.
Although she’d never tell, she knew better than Kimmie what men were like. She shook him off, not bothering to wait for the moonie to finish, bolting from the dance floor and sitting at her table and quickly lighting a cigarette and finishing her coke as another moonie, Styx’s Babe, ‘I must be on my way’ came on.
That was reason enough to negotiate the cloakroom and for a last visit to the loo and leaving flashing disco lights and the grasping, flailing, desperate, lunges of drunken men behind. She didn’t bother waiting for Kimmie because it was obvious she had a lumber.
Elbowing her way past a gaggle of young girls and their would-be partners standing adrift on the steps outside, she pulled the false fur around her jacket tighter around her neck. As the rain lashed down she held her bag over her head. Taxis pulled away from the kerb. Women in shiny patterned jackets and boys in thin jumpers leaned forward in the passenger seat looking through the window as if staring through an aquarium at those left behind and picked out by the beam of the cars on the curve of the hill.
‘Fucking wanker,’ rang out. Two or three boys in brown bomber jackets ran at each other, scuffling.
‘Don’t even fucking thing about it!’ Pizza Face brushed past Angel on the bottom step, almost knocking her over. ‘If you’re fucking gonnae fight then fucking come on then.’ He waded into them and they scattered like leaves, running over the grass and down onto the Boulevard.
His birthmark shone and it made him look as if he’d put on a mask. A white work shirt was soaked through with rain. His black bow tie hung squinty on his thick neck and he snorted like a bull as he walked back towards the entrance. He noticed Angela gawking at him.
‘How you getting on, stranger?’ he laughed.
And she laughed with him, sharing the passing of time with a devilish glint in her eyes. ‘I’m great,’ she replied. ‘And I’ve got a wee job, working in Boots now.’ Her blonde hair was losing its hairspray bounce. Punters gave Pizza Face a wide berth, stepping around him, girls looking at his face and men shuffling, grudgingly to the side. But he made no move to protect himself from the rain, or even people staring at him, which would have thrown him into a berky, when he was younger.
‘Modelling?’ he said, folding his arms and his grin taking up much of his face as the puce colour of his brithmark dissipated into more neutral reds and purples.
‘Aye, that’ll be chocolate.’
‘Well, you look great.’
She shook her head. ‘Well, I better be goin. You look like a penguin in that suit.’
‘That takes the biscuit.’ His eyes never left her face and he laughed when she laughed. ‘If you gie me a half-an-hour I’ll get rid of all these muppets. I’ll gie you a lift up the road. Come inside and I’ll get you a drink while you’re waiting.’
‘Nah, I’ve got work in the morning. Maybe another time?’ She leaned across and kissed the stubble on his cheek and squeezed his hand. He stood their gormless, but when she pulled away he made a grab for her fingers.
‘See yah,’ she stumbled away her high heels slipping and sliding in the cobbled stone of the lane. She didn’t need to turn back to know he’d be watching her.