Night Dances


Late at night at Trafalgar Square. Around us the city is alight and moving. Someone’s playing music, and we dance and sing and hug and laugh and spin.  Around our circle rollerbladers glide over stone tiles as though on ice. A gentle stranger names us – one Intelligent, one Crazy, one Beautiful and oh, one who words cannot capture, only silence – the space where magic plays. “This one, I’m not gonna say anything”.

We climb up the pedestal at the base of Nelson’s Column. I clamber up in my little drop-waist dress. The girl whose name is magic, she leaps over walls and ascends high places with grace. Strangers are entranced. Intelligent looks at us and says, yep, this always happens.

IMG_2152In the cool night air, we drift into our solitary spaces. Magic and Intelligent walk around the pedestal. They enter each other’s solitude like two drops of water enter each other. Me, I lie down and feel the smoothness of cold stone against my back. Above my head, the column rises high, and admiral Nelson stands watch by the gibbous moon amidst scarce stars. The city lights – red, yellow and purple – outline the curves of our backs and the strands of our hair, outline the fine hands of Magic as she fingers her cigarette. Light ripples over the backs of the black stone lions as Intelligent and Crazy attempt to scale their rumps. They laugh and say, we were defeated. Above them their stars chide each other and blink.

I’m all quiet and restless again but still I wonder, how could you not fall in love with a city like this?

And how will your night dances
Lose themselves. In mathematics?

Such pure leaps and spirals –
Surely they travel

The world forever

~ The Night Dances, Sylvia Plath


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