Buttons and Sparkle

“Crazy man, dancing like nobody else exists in the universe. Tripping to his own beat. Flipping the rhythm switches of the soul. You remember?”

“The night Resurrected played?”


“Sure do. Seen some shit, but that? Man, that guy was pure groove maverick.”

“Tell em, tell em.”

“Tell us what?”

“It was at that weekender in Eve Gardens last year. You know the one?”

“Yeah, couldn’t get tickets. Gig was sold out in minutes.”

“Right. Guess we got lucky. Was one mental ride. Should have seen it. Resurrected had a special line up that night. I guess that’s why it sold out so quick. Every dead musician you can think of played their jam on that evening. Stage was packed with ghosts.

And the crowd? They were out there before the band even started. Half of them were loaded on wolf pills. Should have seen those boys gone giddy, howling at the moon. All wild with the tongue pants and scratching at the ears. Crazy. Half the gardens were decorated with makeshift shrines. And the crowd wasn’t shy with it either. Saw one couple naked, entwined with a hermaphrodite, getting slippy in a half dug grave. Me? I was keeping it light. Drank a bottle of liquid midnight, but that was it. Sure, arms, legs, torso, all dark, but my eyes? My eyes were aglow like twin moons.

So the band finally graced the stage, right? I mean, an hour late, but they’re already dead as is, so no biggie. Liquid grooves, flowing like a river. Bowie and Winehouse up there, waxing lyrical, caressing the mic in one dark and dirty slow vocal serenade. And Hendrix, stage right, finger dancing the fretwork, amps bleeding feedback. Man, they were reaching for something pure, something beyond life or death. Guess the audience felt it too. Know I did.

Way above the stage, sonic mists were forming; kaleidoscopic vapour fractals spilling into the crowd, pulsing to the beat in a million different colours. Deep in the mind’s eye, as the band were working the chord changes, I saw the entire history of music in one glorious instant, and the ghosts of every lonesome blues riff ever written wailing to the tune. Crowd’s there too, spellbound in the cranium, all sharing the same vision. Arms were waving, plucking fractals from the air, and a thousand diamond studded pupils shed jewelled tears that flickered in the light.”

“What about this guy then? Thought you was telling us about some guy.”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m coming to that. Just laying the rough brushwork first. Every painting needs a primer, man.

So it starts like a ripple, crowd’s moving outwards, like a stone thrown into a pond or something, I dunno. And in the centre of it all, there he is, this guy, gifted with the dark fashion art, jib cut with a switchblade, commanding the circle of onlookers. Man, garbs of the finest, from black hood to black shoe, with large white buttons adorning the diagonals, twisting around the entirety, like some designer helter-skelter. And each button etched with a black Ö. Way he’s moving, just to and fro, like so. Got the crowd doing the same; all swaying in time, button eyed and hypnotised. And then he stops. Totally still, crowd likewise, fixed on his every gesture. Music’s rolling on and Buttons is there, hands on the upturn, blissed on the frequencies. Arms raised to shoulder height, he begins a slow-mo twirl, getting faster and faster, white buttons a spiral blur and black suit flecked with pinpricks of light. One by one the audience topple like dominoes in an increasing circle edging its way to the perimeter of the gardens. And as the music comes to a halt, Buttons stands alone in the silence. Reaches out, arms wide like he’s some kinda angel, and slowly unbuttons his mask, then his suit. Lets them fall to the ground in a heap. Crowd’s gasping, all sighs and whispers, like.”

“What, Buttons just stood there naked?”

“No man. Fireflies.”


“Fireflies. Underneath all that garb, Buttons was made of fucking fireflies. Fuckers took flight like a million moon-bound sparkles.”

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