The disco tree came back. Your standard Oak hulk, alone on a small hill, lit from the trunk to the tip of every branch by those electric rainbow-cables they have nowadays. Are they fibre-optic or just fancy fairy-lights? Wrapped tightly and plugged into I don't know what. That special outdoor electricity you get round Christmas.
We gathered, about thirty of us, cold and dancing, drinking from cans and bottles and a hip-flask was being passed around, and when you drank from it your face turned inside out. There were some drums and oil barrels and things to hit them with, and the people hit them and we moved while the lights on the tree pulsed purple and red. It looked like one of those fish that live in the earth's core. They know how to have a good time, those fish. Have you seen the series where Attenbrough goes through the centre of the earth? It's worth a look. Pretty soon everyone had texted everyone else and there were people all over the hill covered in light and a very tall cockney woman said fuck me that tree's going chicken oriental. The branches at the top were all shades of red and the thicker ones were going from white to blue and back again. It was like that scene in that film where there's a few people in a place and they all seem to be having a good time.
The fireworks started then. It must've been five to twelve, and our attention turned from the tree to the sky and the things bursting in it. Also, someone on the ground had fireworks, not very well-positioned, and occasionally they screamed past our heads. But no one seemd too bothered. Except the tree, which as you might know is the jealous and attention-seeking sort. Our heads were all turned away from it for about ten minutes, and when we started trying to get it going again, after the fireworks had gone from booming to popping, it had turned a solid shade of dark grey. Someone tried to hug it and slightly burnt their face on the lights.
There was a lull, then the very tall cockney woman said hang about, why don't we try turning it off and fucking on again?
But we couldn't find the switch. Or the plug, or any kind of power cable at all. And by that time we'd ran out of drink, so everyone walked down the hill to the pub for tequila.