It’s just been built but already you can see the tyre-marks on the roundabouts, the skidding tales of midnight smashes and the crumbs of shattered glass. City without a history, merely a pamphlet, that used to be handed out at the now-closed tourist information centre. The letters of its name have been stickered crookedly onto the glass, and the decor of the booth’s interior betrays all the tell-tale signs of a 1980s housing development. City of reconstructed dragons and false ceilings. City of site meetings and grazing animals. City designed to correct the imbalances in a country with too many empty cities and only one that’s worthy of the name. Administrative districts, quiet districts, lane districts, wooden districts. Empty allotments. White markers and red string. Nevertheless you can feel a certain hope in the air, a kind of metaphorical rumbling in the bellies of its brand-new inhabitants. City of roses and frog-marches. A city that comes on to you innocently, like a phone game. You call me. I’ll call you, let it ring three times, and then hang up. Then call me back. I’ll film you talking on your phone and you’ll pretend you’re not watching. We’ll descend into the moonless sewer of a nightclub and touch every person there. Who needs dancing anyway? It’s never as simple as it looks. Trust me, I’ve sprained my boogie bones so many times now, they’ve named a wing of the foreigner’s hospital after my pet crutch. Honestly. City of laser-like advances, robot retreats. Sinking into the arms of a wet chair, while a barman parades his Hitler uniform like a cocktail, igniting a tower of glasses with his own sweat. Tanks and fake matchboxes. Graffiti walls like album covers, slightly mildewed and smartened by a layer of filth and barely-disguised innuendo. Hot soup girls in the fractured shadows, handing out fliers for insect bands you know you’ve heard of. The remains of a sub-culture you’re sure you saw in the last city you visited but hey, this is a holiday. You’ll enjoy the correspondences. Signing your name on invisible buttocks. As you would like to, with a glow pen. Listening to your own music gives you that secret sensational feel, doesn’t it? Mmmm .. rewind. This is our holiday, after all, from reality. Pink anthems, rolling in the festival muds – it’s good for your online complexion. Reading of your contemporaries being bashed, or thrown into rehab, makes you want to punch somebody’s lights out. Alone, in the chamber reserved for you in this newest of love-hotel streets, you switch off the flourescent bulb instead, before cracking the set-list in your imaginary, trembling hand.

Express yourself