The Dance is In Him and It Must Come Out




Somewhere between Hell and New York - so close to the meridian you could taste the zero of its longitude. London. Rain and traffic jams and buses going nowhere you'd want to go. And nothing to do except walk the streets and think about how to get through the night.

Jackson kept his head down, hands in pockets, himself to himself. Watched his torn trainers skim the pavement Everywhere he looked : dog shit.

The bronze lions of Trafalgar Square kept vigil over Nelson's Column. Big Ben chimed in mournful recognition of London having survived another hour.

He wanted Soho. He wanted to keep going until he reached dawn and the night was far behind.

He wanted to get drunk, sleep with a woman, find a job, find a place to live, have a bath, go home.

But not home. Drunken parents, hallway smelling of piss, legions of cockroaches. Neighbours yelling.

Where was Soho? Surely straight ahead? What were these grim, faceless buildings with their boarded-up windows and iron framed doors? He was lost.

A train rattled by unseen. He glimpsed a parody of his own face in a puddle and skipped over it.

'You're going then?' A girl's voice. 'Wait for me.'

Bugger that. Wait? Why should he? Move on; keep going; let nothing catch up.

A shadow crept by as he passed a lamp post. Jackson turned his head. A girl was walking beside him. Leather boots, tight jeans and a blouse like a collision between two lava lamps.

'You look cold,' said Jackson and he was suddenly aware how long it was since he had spoken to anyone. 'You must be mad coming out on a night like this without a coat.'

'I'm not cold.' She smiled as if at some secret joke. 'I'm going to the Club.'

It had stopped raining. Jackson wiped a hand across his face. 'What club?'

'The one you're going to.'

'I'm not - '

'This road leads to the Club - nowhere else.'

'I'm lost.'

'I know.'

'Which way is Soho?'

' Worry about that in the morning.'

He wasn't getting through to her. 'I want Soho. I'm not interested in any club.'

'You accepted the invitation. Remember?'

He remembered her outside an underground station. In a drunken haze, he had taken the leaflet she had waved at him. 'I threw it away.'

'You put it in your pocket.'

Jackson fished out the crumpled piece of paper and stopped beneath a lamp post. The invite had been done with letraset and read :


'It doesn't even give an address,' Jackson observed.

'We're nearly there,' said the girl, running ahead to the end of the road.

Jackson caught up with her and stood in the light from a neon sign. 'I've no money.'

A bouncer approached from a dark doorway. 'Don't need money. Not here.'

The girl took his arm and pulled him towards the entrance. 'We've got invites,' she reminded him.

'But the drinks - '

'On the house.'





With a gentle hand, the bouncer guides Jackson through the door and somehow into the past. He stumbles into his living room where the television as always is on. His parents are asleep in their respective armchairs. There is vomit on the carpet and in his mother's lap.

'Come on,' insists the girl, pushing her hand against the small of his back and propelling him towards the kitchen.

And Jackson is embarrassed. He really likes this girl and would love to impress her and undress her and mess up her hair which is charmingly pigtailed and smells of peaches.

The room smells of piss.

Does she know where they are? Perhaps she doesn't. Maybe he can pretend that he has never before been in this house, that he does not know these two derelicts who against all the odds contrived to bring about his existence.

Into the kitchen. Only it isn't a kitchen. It is a dance floor and there are tables and chairs and a bar. And above their heads, people are sitting in balconies, drinking and laughing and looking relaxed.

The music is loud - Love Her Madly spilling from a bank of speakers.

'I love the Doors,' screams the girl, straining to make herself heard. 'I wish I could have fucked Jim Morrison. How about you?'

'He wasn't my type.' A feeble joke. But she laughed.

'I meant the Doors. Don't you love them?'


All your love...

All your love..

All your love..

All your love...

All your love is gone

So sing a lonely song...


'Never really listened to them,' confesses Jackson and he wanders if she will think any the less of him for it. 'What's your name?'


'Your name?'

'Miranda. Like in The Tempest.'

'I'm Jackson. Let's get a drink.' He takes her hand, steers her to the bar. They are the only customers on the dance floor.

The Barman has a nice smile. His face is elfin and full of mischief.

'Two lagers, please.'

'No lagers,' says the Barman. He plucks out his eyes and juggles them. Then he pops them back in their sockets.

'Hey!' says Miranda. 'That was good. How do you do that when you can't see?'

'Even when my eyes aren't in my head,' declares the Barman, 'they send pictures to my brain.'

'But doesn't that make you dizzy?'

'Sometimes. Want to try a cocktail?'


'And Lover Boy, here?'

Jackson bristles momentarily at being called Lover Boy, but then decides he doesn't mind. Since coming to London, he's been called worse. 'I'll try a Margarita.'

'No Margaritas,' says the Barman. 'Only cocktails.'

'A Margarita is a cocktail.'

'Not around here, it isn't.'

From beneath the bar, the Barman produces two goblets the size of footballs. They are crammed with fruit, ice and liquids of many colours.

'Ooh,' says Miranda.

The Barman adds a cherry to each glass. 'Don't drink them all at once.'

Suddenly, a horde of revellers descends upon the dance floor. Limbs shake, hips rotate as the siren strains of Jimi Hendrix electrify the air. Voodoo Chile no less.

Jackson has not heard this song before. Before his time.

Miranda is gone. So is her drink. The Barman too.

He had not seen them go. Too distracted by the influx of dancers. Who are these people? Some seem familiar. One looks like Marc Bolan. Another like a boy he had known at school. What was his name? Keith something. And what had happened to him? He had died. Solvent abuse. Brain haemorrhage. Afternoon classes in chaos as children flock to the windows to see the ambulance arrive. Boy on a stretcher. Looks like a third year. Keith... Keith somebody.

Ambulance drives away. No siren. Can't be too serious.

Jimi Hendrix fades away. An electronic dream rises like a morning mist. Here come the drums. Crash, boom, boom, bang. A powerchord swoops from an electric guitar. It flutters and then wails like that ambulance should have wailed. Bass. Simple. Catchy. Walking this way and then that. Back and forth like a fashion model on a catwalk. It strolls into the pleasure centres and Jackson feels like dancing. Is there room on the dance floor? There has to be. The dance is within him and it must get out.

Pushing through gyrating bodies. Hips brush against his groin. Smell of perfume. So many beautiful women blissfully scoring thin air.

Jackson is in the midst of it all. Thalamus kicking into play. His brain is awash with beta rhythms, rhythm beaters and random associations. He see thighs and fishnets. Stilettos. Unbuttoned blouses. Flesh and blonde hair. It is wonderful. Warm, delicious and borderline wicked. This is what he has been looking for. Something not to be found in any place he has previously known.

A synthesiser now. Its arpeggio dances around his ears, slides down his chest, his abdomen. Reaches into the front of his jeans. And there is a girl in front of him. She is wearing a mini skirt, a feather boa, blue tights. Pretty smile. Dark hair in a bob. And she is a part of the music, like an extra harmonic.

He can no longer hear the music. He feels it as the melody channels through him. The rhythm has solidified into the girl in the mini skirt who now touches his arm, causing him to shiver. They meld together and lose themselves in each other.

And when the music stops and all they can hear is the hammering of their hearts, they know what must be done.

She leads him from the dance floor. Back of the bar there is a door which opens into a large room. Mattresses litter the floor.

Jackson is not surprised to find Miranda there, performing an act of gross indecency with the Barman. He grabs his dance partner at the same moment she grabs him. They pull each other to the floor.





Part Three begins shortly after Part Two leaves off. There has been much exchanging of body fluids. All the mattresses have been taken and soiled. Partners have been swapped.

Jackson is back with Miranda. They walk hand in hand on to the dance floor. The music has stopped and there is an orgy in progress. Most of the patrons have now left but there is still enough sweaty, panting, libidinous flesh to cover most of the floor.

Miranda strokes Jackson's back. He is exhausted. Elated.

'Suppose,' says Miranda, 'they gave an orgy and nobody came?'

They laugh. Stroboscopes flicker into play. They watch others make love, winking in and out of existence. The scene holds a certain fascination that goes beyond the erotic.

Here comes the Barman, naked, juggling his eye balls. He pops them back in.

Miranda claps appreciatively. 'Show Jackson what else you can do.'

The Barman smiles, wraps his hand around his penis. 'Voila!'

His member is detachable. He holds it above his head like a trophy. It sways. 'And now - ' He yanks at his balls and they tumble out of their sack and bounce off the floor. He catches them. 'Anyone for a game of jacks?'

'Me,' says a dark haired youth, picking his way through writhing bodies towards them. His accent is West Coast American, and he looks like a pop star.

'Jim Morrison,' says Miranda.

'I thought you were dead,' says Jackson.

'Death is an illusion.' The enigmatic singer drops to his knees and fondles Jackson who tries to back away. Jim is insistent. He does not let go. His hands are skilled. Warm. Inviting. 'If I can do anything, I can break down barriers.'

Jackson groans. No point protesting. No point saying this is all wrong - he is not into this sort of thing. For the fact is this : he has joined the Club and in the Club anything goes.

A feeling of release. Jackson's groin suddenly feels lighter. Triumphantly, Jim leaps to his feet. He still has hold of Jackson's genitals and waves them in the boy's face. It is all too new for Jackson to formulate a proper response. There is nothing in his life which has prepared him for this moment. He has been seduced. He is not in control.

Miranda removes her breasts and hands them to the Barman who cradles them in his arms. Next her hair. She slings her golden tresses over her Jim Morrison's shoulder.

And now Jackson can feel himself wanting to join in. With a shake of his head, his own greasy mop falls to the floor. 'I like your buttocks,' he tells Miranda.

'They're yours,' she announces with a wiggle. Her lovely mounds slip down the back of her legs. She thrusts her pelvis. They fall to her ankles. A couple of gentle kicks and the buttocks are lying at her feet.

With a mighty tug, Miranda detaches her right arm. The Barman - being an obliging sort of person - removes her left arm for her.

Jackson is reminded of the parties of his youth. Pass the parcel. Postman's knock. Pin the tail on the donkey. Consequences.

Jim Morrison. Miranda. The Barman. They slowly demolish each other. They take Jackson apart, limb by limb.

Beetle - that was his favourite game. Throw a six to start. That gets you a torso. A one will get you a leg. A three and you can have the head.

Now they are unmade. A collection of body parts scattered at random on a dance floor. The air is rent with the groans of a dozen people reaching simultaneous orgasm.

Jackson's head is lying by Miranda's vagina. Slyly, he sticks out his tongue and has a quick lick. From the other side of Jim Morrison's torso, he hears Miranda sigh. 'Mmm,' she says. 'Keep doing that.'

So he does. And he too is assailed by feelings of pleasure. Glancing upwards, he sees a tall blonde woman has picked up his penis and is rolling it in her hands.

'Hey!' cries Jim Morrison. 'I've just thought of a new lyric. What do you think of this, Matey?'

And he croons.


Thrilled to bits

Thrilled to bits

They put you back together

But nothing fits


Jim is in his element. He is a star with a song to sing and an audience.


There was no sense of danger

When the wind took a change

But she looked like a killer

As you moved into range

Her eyes were like lasers

Her tongue razor-sharp

Then it was goodnight Vienna

And you were left in the dark


Three severed heads joined in the chorus.


Thrilled to bits

Thrilled to bits

They put you back together

But nothing fits

Thrilled to bits

Thrilled to bits

They put you back together

But nothing fits


And then they were silent because that was all the words Jim had left inside of him. He was drained of poetry and could offer no more to the world. With a sigh of fulfillment, Jim Morrison passed on.





It was too late for a wake - and they already buried Jim once before? The cleaning lady came in and dumped Jim's body parts in plastic bin liners. Except for his genitals which she wrapped in newspaper to take home for her dog.

A crowd gathered around the remaining heads, limbs and torsos. The night was beginning to succumb to the dawn and everyone wanted to get home, but it was generally agreed they couldn't leave Jackson and his two friends dispersed around the floor. It made the place look untidy.

'Why isn't there any blood?' asked Jackson as a leather-clad dominatrix slotted his neck into Miranda's torso. 'Why no entrails?'

'It's not that kind of club,' said the Barman whose head was being matched to Jackson's body. 'We don't allow that sort of thing.'

Jackson was delighted to find himself kitted out with Miranda's breasts. They were pert and firm. He looked forward to getting some hands.

For a laugh, someone put a vagina on Jackson's forehead and he could feel a moist cavity opening into his brain. 'Not funny,' he said, though he rather enjoyed it.





Mid-morning in London. Red buses, grey skies. Jackson is outside an Underground station, offering leaflets to passing tourists. He is wearing a cotton dress, fishnet stockings and a peek-a-boo bra. Not having yet mastered the art of make-up, he looks like a cheap tart.

An occasional stranger grabs a leaflet from his hand. Most throw it away. Only the lonely read the invitation.

And he is still between Hell and New York.