In the kitchen someone switches off the lights and sets the music front and centre, full and pumping. I lean against the cabinets near the sink and watch the dancers. Maybe I should have another drink, launch myself among them. But I’ve done that recently and felt so alone, unable to engage, unable to answer, to mirror, to participate. I’ve lost the language. Can’t make sense of it. What does a chequered shoulder mean? A satin strap? A creased forehead, a curving eyebrow, an ear with two studs? Am I having a conversation with someone or talking to myself? My friend whose party this is stops me as I leave the kitchen and asks if I’m OK, if it’s too dark. I tell him yes, but it’s all right: I’m going to the sanctuary of the living room, where there’s no music and the lights are on and I understand.