Flowers In The Dance-hall.

It was saturday night. The place was packed. Thumping music. Big, menacing, drunk teenage boys, about 17 or 18 years of age, were cursing loudly and throwing threatening glares at the band on the stage - four guys with second-hand guitars - or anyone else they didn,t like.
There were lots of gossiping, chattering girls around - mostly about 14, 15, some even 16 years old. Many of them were pretty. They stood there demanding to be noticed. Flowing blonde hair with cute expressions. ( I bet their father,s still bought them dolls to play with).
The band onstage wore sharp suits, narrow ties, pink shirts with white collars and cuffs. They looked cool, but believe me, they mangled every tune they played.
The dance was in the village-hall. The place was smoky and stifling. But the kids inside tried to turn the joint into an occasion, a happening, a scene - the hippest, coolest place to be.
I was 14 or 15, a boy, a child, an innocent kid. I was terrified. the dance had a bad reputation. Fights and wickedness were giving the haunt a really bad name.
No one listened to the band. Everyone talked incessantly, loudly.
Girls about the guys they fancied. Teenage lads aboutĀ  girls, about the crappy band, and about other kids, punks in the dance-hall they wanted to beat to a pulp...
Nobody noticed the withering flowers in the vase, at the side of the stage, totally out of place in such an heaving, overpowering atmosphere.

It wasn,t long before a fight broke out. Chairs were flown in the air, girls screamed, others fought.
Girls grabbed one anothers hair, trying to claw each other,s eyes out.
The boys punched, headbutted each other, until one fell to the ground, then they,d kick the poor unfortunate, or stamp on his head.
Still theĀ  band played. I was pinned to the wall at the far end of the room, squeezing my way towards the exit. A lad with beer-breath and broken teeth, grabbed me and headbutted me, right on the nose. Immediately my nose throbbed, my head spun and my watering eyes turned the place into a kaleidoscopic nightmare. He let me go and grabbed someone else. Somehow, i managed to get to the exit door.

The last thing i noticed as i cleared my vision and escaped the flying fists, the bleeding bodies, the broken chairs, was the vase of flowers. It was smashed, the flowers gone, trampled on.

It was at least another year before i went to a dance again.
Cassiestar Cassiestar
56-60, M
May 17, 2012