The music pounds and I feel the bass vibrating through the floor. People dancing, swaying, laughing, voices trying to be heard. I scan the room. Is he there? It should not be hard to find him as there are so few black people in Newcastle. I weave across the dance floor, the easiest way to get to the far side of the room. Still there is no sign of him. Anger and longing conflict. My jaw is clenched.
I’m dressed in tight-fitting clothes; a pair of beige stretch riding jodhpurs, a skimpy top and my latest acquisition – some stiletto shoes made from shiny ostrich leather. I know I look good and sashay in case he’s watching. I hear the opening beat of Nina Simone’s, ‘My Baby Just Cares For’ and feel a hand on my elbow. Joy, my girlfriend, pulls me into a jive. Despite the shoes, I manage. There is so much joy in the song and we laugh and smile as we dance, but my eyes scan the crowd.
The music changes. Marvin Gaye, ‘Sexual Healing’. Joy signals a drinking motion with her hand. I follow her towards the bar.
He’s there. Tall, dark and handsome – so clichéd, but true. He doesn’t call a greeting but holds my gaze, smiles, walks over to me and pulls me towards him and the dance floor. Then he whispers, “Hi,” into my ear. Of course I melt as the music, words and the movement of his body reduce me to a hopeless temporarily ex-feminist.