steve collins on belonging

these office events are as much divisive as uniting. you find you have little in common with people you have a good working relationship with. but you also discover [are given 😉 ] new alliances. a small group of us found a different trajectory through the weekend, in the city as well as the clubs. that saturday evening was an object lesson in belonging. i was ill at ease, as always, in the bar full of people getting drunk, and dancing to cheesy music. i watched the football to avoid socialising. i wondered why i felt threatened and antagonised by the pleasures of my friends. i was glad just to get out of there. minutes later, walking down the stairs of the old theatre towards the smoke and boom of the dancefloor, i was intensely happy and relaxed. i have the roadmap for these places in my head. “this is my church. this is where i heal my hurts.” and the people who think me constrained, prim even, because i won’t get drunk with them, never see the four hours of madness on the dancefloor.