'Mosh Pit' by Marie Gethins

You remember me. Maybe we’ve met, maybe we haven’t, but you remember me.

I’m that girl, the one that stood in isolated corners at school dances, swaying to the beat. Everyone else paired off and filled the floor. Preened prefect, you played tongue hockey with jocks during the slow sets. Did you toss me a sympathy smile at the night’s end? Or laughed about me: the communal joke?

Much older now, in hazy clubs, I’m that girl. The one who still dances alone. You watch from the side-lines, in the circle of your boyfriend’s arms. When the band hits the first cord, my body electrifies: spinning, bouncing, hips swivelling. Who does she think she is, acting like that? You shout over the music to the other narrowed eyes, but you don’t look away.

Tonight I’m that girl near the stage: tossed and smacked between slam-dancing college boys. You see them grab my T-shirt, cop a feel. During the break you join the other paper dolls--pose for the bathroom mirror and toss verbal grenades at the tile walls. Stupid bitch. Skank. Getting what she deserves. I listen in a grubby stall to descriptions of the girl you think you know.

I’m that girl who pushes past you into the mosh pit, where your barbed wire words have no meaning. My arms reach for the starry blur swirling over a mass of nodding heads, the music flows through me. Bass notes shake my chest, I jump in sync to the drums. Eyes closed, I bounce off sharp shoulders and hard chests. Tonight I travel to another space, to frontiers you will never know or understand.

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