It's midnight; you're dancing. You're in the arms of someone you don't know, someone you never plan to know.

It's dark in here. Everything about this place is dark. The two of you are swept along with the black tide. They crush together in their velvet and lace and you can't see where one ends and another begins. They cling to each other, just like you two, and every noise is just secretive whispers almost drowned and lost forever in the blackness.

Face after face passes you by as you glide along. Candy-cane faces, sweat and tears ruining their perfect make-up and revealing the all-too-human skin underneath. Hundreds of shattered bodies, all scarred wrists and bruised throats, all hearts of glass and stone. Their eyes are glazed over, mirrors when you look into them. They will not let you into their minds. They repel you. Or some are dull; eyes that have seen too much to care. Eyes with nothing to hide, because one day you will be jaded and cynical and weary of it all, like they are. When you are exposed to their raw, cold nothingness, you want to deny it. That will never happen to you. It breaks your heart to see people so void of anything. Don't worry. It breaks theirs too.

People stumble out of the corners, somehow even darker than the rest of this place. They giggle and they trip and they are the ones with glazed eyes that seek out yours. Those are the people who still believe in love, and those are the people who think they can find it in a place like this, if just for one night. Those are the people with smudged lipstick and you don't need to wonder where the rest is smeared. Those are the vulnerable people. Those are the beautiful ones.

You are not one of those people, and you are not one of the old and destroyed. You are somewhere in between. You still believe in love, but you have come here tonight to escape it. You know that this place has nothing to do with love and everything to do with lust and sin. You are still young enough to watch the decadence and you are still young enough to participate, should you choose. You are old enough to understand and make the choice. You are too old to be taken in by seductive strangers offering you drinks and pills and beds for the night. You're old enough to know that there is nothing that you can do for those who are drawn in by it. You also know there is nothing you can do for those desensitised, hardened people. It's too late for both kinds.

So you dance with strangers, flailing wildly, gliding smoothly, cheek to cheek or just swaying, completely entranced by the music. And you just watch the eyes go past and you do not know whether it is right to despair or whether you should even care. Nothing's new and nobody's special. Everybody in this room loses something to the dark, be it their purity, their sanity, their dignity or their identity. Everything in this room epitomises dark, except then you catch a glimpse of something, and in your mind you see bright electric blue. You see the face, but you can't see the eyes from such a distance. You know what they look like, so you colour them in. This blue-eyed person is familiar. You know his eyes; they are like yours. He, too, is somewhere in between. He, too, is here to escape. And then he sees you.