"Do you remember Duck Hunt?" he says with a half cut smile splitting across his face.
"What did you just call me?" I retort and watch his face drop for a beat and then recover into a broad beam as the joke clicks. Behind him, through the car window, a streaky blackness is punctured by streams of lucozade orange light as the taxi speeds through suburbia, heading into the city.
I try to grip onto this moment, feel alive at this particular second, find value in it somewhere.
He bobs out the taxi ahead of me, arms aloft pushing through the gathered swaggering mass, his hands reach out and knit into another pair in the crowd, their fingers bleeding together. When I reach him, he introduces me to a small fair haired girl, called beccy or betty maybe. He speaks mainly, and as he talks his hands swim around in the air, opening and closing like puppets in a punch and judy show. The girl laughs and brushes her hair from her eyes, smokes her cigarette down to the quick before throwing it to the ground.
Before she moves inside, he places a hand on her shoulder and looks into her eyes intently, and says something into her ear that I don't catch. I yawn and try and look elsewhere, in the distance I can see the outline of the mountains, the city lights making them hum with a deep murky purple hue. At that moment I feel like I want to escape there, hide away and live secretly.
I take a step out into the street, away from the crowd. A hand snakes out and grips my shoulder, lips appearing suddenly next to my ear, spitting frantically;
"Lets go in. Shit, can you remember that girls name? Begins with a 'b'"
I shake my head and frown, give one last look to the midnight mountains before following him, sluicing through the crowd once more and down the cavernous stairs to the bar.