Contemporary short fiction, poetry and more

Ride on time

I got a job in East Kilbride in August, 1989. I moved from the East Kilbride YMCA to a flat in Glasgow in December of that year. In November, 1989, I won a dancing competition in the YMCA. The prize was two Scottish pound notes and 20 Lambert & Butler cigarettes. I gave the cigarettes to a woman called Suzanne McLeod.

Nowadays, I watch rugby league. Much is made of “the oxygen budget”. In those days, I was 21 years old. I had never smoked. I didn’t drink that much. I threw myself around. My body would do what I asked of it.

I used to visit nightclubs in Glasgow from 1990 onwards. The track I associate with that era is ‘Ride on time’ by Black Box.

I have no idea what it is like now, but, in those days, Glasgow night-life used to get going very late. There was no point in going to a nightclub until about 11pm, and it would stay open until 3 or 4 in the morning.

Winning the dancing competition in East Kilbride did my confidence a lot of good. I especially used to like it if the words “ you just walk right in / walk walk right in …” were playing as I arrived at the edge of the dance floor.

A woman told me that she could never dance like I did unless she was very drunk, which was not a compliment. She meant that she could not lose her inhibitions unless she was drunk, but, had she been that drunk, she would not have been able to dance like me.

Somebody punched me. To this day, I don’t know why. I must have offended him, and his cronies, in some way.

I won a much less formal dancing competition in Forster Square in Bradford in 1998.


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