We are leaving here; we are taking ourselves to the cabaret. Sloughing off the skin of winter, yelling Tschüss to London town. Funny, I moved to the big city but there’s something of this place that is small and villagey, or maybe just something of me in this place that tends that way. Hunkering down. Baking bread, strolling on the marshes, farmer’s markets and sourdough starters and feasts around a wooden table. A predilection for red lighting and providing. My library card and my window boxes. Something I have slipped into makes the corners of this city close. Yes, occasionally (last week, on the boat, on the river) I do roar here and that feeling of skyscrapers and subway clutches fistfuls of my hair. But these moments are fleeting. Here, I purr more than I scream. Eat more than I dance. Curl up more often than catapult. And goddamn, I’m too young to retire these wriggling hotpants. I still dream of comets and circus ponies and I miss the hunger and helplessness of gridlike streets, hipflasks, bridges, stomping. The questionmark curl of smoke from her cigarette. The arch of the eyebrow. The yelp.
So, we are leaving here; we are taking ourselves to the cabaret. I close my eyes and there will be bruised shins and sequins, I will be outdoor and feral and flirtatious. My pout will be lipsticked and there will be an unfurling of possibility like spring daffodils pushing through asphalt. I will howl. Fall over. Watch the sunrise from a Tudor bridge in the centre of the city. Give myself to a love affair with the harsh concrete monoliths, the graffiti, the Wall; give myself to bedraggled mornings stumbling home down a crumbling strasse, heels in my hand. I close my eyes and I think of the angles of other women, of descending the stairs to a room roiling with skin. I offer myself a second go at decadence, another swig from its gourd. I tell him that everything is permitted and we are able to take it. I roll the vowel sounds around, I hack up the consonants, I loll in the Welsh ls of Neukölln. I tie a ribbon around my thigh and start running and unfurling. I am ready for the next thing in all its elbows and stockings and glory. What good is this sitting alone in our room? Time for the wine, the band, the horn. Time for the cabaret.