Steven signs off

Steven signs off

The other day I was trudging through Bondi Junction Westfield, plugged into my iPod, cursing the wintry weather and secretly hating all the dull-eyed shoppers who were crossing my path, when I had an unexpected happy moment. I had an ecstasy flashback.

Suddenly, I wasn’t there in the Westfield any more; I was on the dancefloor at a big party, and the song on my iPod – Kylie’s Light Years – was being pumped out loud by the DJ. It was deep in the night, around that time when you’ve abandoned all hope of scoring a root, but it doesn’t matter because your limbs are terrifically loose, the DJ’s on fire, you’re dancing like a shit-hot mad thing, and you realise that the only things that matter in the entire world at that moment are the music, your friends, and what an awesome time you’re having.

In this fantasy, I’m a good couple of points more handsome than I am in real life, with a better six-pack. No wonder, then, that I’m flashing such a happy ecstasy smile.

The daydream continued into the next song – the cool electro camp of Annie’s Chewing Gum – and onto the manic flying beats of the one after that, Two-Timing Touch and Broken Bones by The Hives. (I really ought to moonlight as a DJ; my iPod playlist is eclectic, but it fully rules.)

I’ve always loved the transporting qualities of music: the way a particular song can lift you out of the here-and-now, and into a memory, or a memory made nicer with a touch of fantasy, or into a fantasy future scene, a party you haven’t been to yet, perhaps, or just something silly and fun and harmless and implausible and nice, like a scene from a musical.

I’ve always been like this. I think I spent almost every night of my teenage years listening to music in my room, daydreaming my way out of suburbia and into a world of glamour, fun and sex. Now, when I get transported by music, I still feel like that teenager.

So now I sit, tapping this out, still depressed about our wintry weather, but excited about the prospect of the warm dance party season. To say “I can’t wait” is an understatement. I’m signing off this column now – giving some other pen-man a go – but you’ll see me on the dancefloor soon. And, if all falls into place, I’ll be the happiest man you’re ever likely to see.

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