I began to dip into my skin like a wet suit, toes first, warily, wriggled about, then legs all in, by summer 81 I'd zipped up and dived head first, that year I started art school, Landscape of the Souls I called my anarchic blood and black vortexes, I loved exploding the energy of colours, being bold. Summer heat choked my city's horizon, sluggish clouds of fumes were mountains of dirt way up in the ether. Tourists homed in on Piccadilly like brain damaged fish, I barged, my large portfolio an aggressive advance guard, boarded the bus to Camden Town, my squat room, all purple walls, pampas-grass and Mexican mats. Nights steamed my pores in the 100 Club where pupil-swimming arousal came in the countenance of Josh. Under his pillar-propping gaze, I tried to dance cool, slyly studied the Dreads in corners with towels round necks, trainers, shiny track-suits- red, gold and green striped, confidently shuffling, moving just off the beat. 'Go slower, syncopate, less movement, more weight,' we exchanged numbers like French kisses, at 2am my creamed knickers rode the night bus home.
Evaristo, Bernardine, 1981 From Lara, Kunapipi, 21(2), 1999.