The bodies in the room ebbed and flowed like a hoary moss on a disturbed pond’s surface. Or the body of a caterpillar in movement. Mike was caught somewhere in the middle of the crowd and struggled to find a way out. . The aircon was bust and it was the warmest evening of that summer. No doubt about it. Sweat constantly ran down the sides of his face and he had long since given up on trying to wipe it off. He just wanted out. Fresh air. But each time he made a move in any particular direction, the mass of bodies he was trapped in all moved in unison and dragged him back to their centre.
“Scuse me,” Mike yammered, pushing his way through people as he made another attempt to get out. All of these beautiful, rich people. Their bodies not just touching his, but squeezing right into it. Under any other circumstances, bizarre. Erotic even. But not tonight. The first, barely discernible tweaks of panic pulled at Mike’s consciousness and he knew he had to get out of this mad foray before it took over his mind. He pushed harder against the bodies around him to get out, but was squeezed back into the middle of the pile-up.
“Ah, for fuck’s sake,” he said. A dark-haired woman with the face of a horse turned to glare at him. He quickly averted his eyes. And felt a damp patch cool his chest. He gazed down and saw a dark spot on his shirt where it had soaked up his sweat. When did I become so old? he wondered to himself as he looked for his next escape route.