Three minutes later you are walking along Chapel Street with Anthony and his design school buddies. Chapel Street is an extra-long shopping district which extends through several suburbs. It's a crowded street with lots of pedestrians. You are headed towards Revolver Upstairs, the bar and lounge.
 
 
revolver

 
But to me it's not just a bar and lounge -- it's a symbol of something fresh and exciting on the social scene. Last year it was the place where design students met between classes whenever they had the opportunity. To be invited to Revolver was to be accepted into the group -- and whenever I sat in Revolver I was one of them -- I didn't have to say anything, just sit there and listen to the music and I could tell myself that they were my friends. And now you have the opportunity to do the same.
    The other reason Revolver is so significant is because it's the place I went to my first live gig on June 26th last year. That night has achieved legendary status in my mind -- I went to Revolver alone for the first time to see my favourite band, The Paradise Motel, and through a strange twist of fate I actually got to watch the band rehearse, and the lead singer said hello to me, and that pretty much changed my life. So ever since then I've been going to live gigs all over the place. Some have been more fun, some have been less fun, but none have quite matched the thrill and special magical quality of that first gig.
    Anthony is saying something to his friend Michelle. "Hey, we're going to party on down tonight. We're gonna get wasted. Maybe later on we can go out and buy something to eat, like at McDonalds, and we'll watch a band and have some beer and maybe even some chunky."
    And Michelle says, "Chunky?"
    And Anthony says, "Yeah, some chunky, serious, boh."
    Boh, he said. It's one of those design-student slang words.
    You arrive at the Revolver entrance. As you climb the stairs, you hear the drum and bass music coming from within and it strikes you that the music must be extremely loud. As you pass through a corridor lined with gig advertisements, the music fills your head and passes the pain barrier, with the bass causing vibrations way down in your empty stomach -- then it abruptly stops. You have entered the gigantic cavernous lounge area. Why has the music stopped? Is there something wrong with the PA system? No, you realise... the silence is much deeper than that. There are no sounds at all. The music is still there, but you can't hear it -- you have gone completely deaf.
    Revolver upstairs is place with its own style. It's not one of those rich swanky places for the high society -- it's a place for artists and people who follow the local music scene. The walls are lined with art -- cutting-edge, post-modern stuff -- and there are signs and objects out of context -- whoever decorated this place was being very creative on a small budget. The floor area is crowded with chairs, sofas and coffee tables which look like they were bought at twenty different secondhand furniture shops. Anthony and his gang head towards an empty lounge area. You sit down and Anthony indicates that he's going to buy a drink for you.
    The design students are sitting around. This is what we do -- we sit around and listen to loud music. And drink alcahol. Some of them are lighting up cigarettes and breathing in the smoke silently. The afternoon sun is fading -- people turn to silhouettes when they pass between you and the windows. A drink is placed into your hand. No one is talking to anyone -- nay, I tell a lie, someone over there is talking to the person beside them on the couch, leaning close to their ear -- you can see their lips moving. But you can't hear it. This is a place of enforced silence -- the music is so loud, it goes beyond music. The speakers seem to be emitting a deafening silence which obliterates all other forms of sound. And yet maybe the students can hear it, if only on a subconscious level -- occasionally you see them tapping their hands to the beat, just a slight movement here and there. And so it goes on, for the best part of an hour.
    You wander over to the window and see this:

Sun setting over rooftops

That's the last of the sunlight. This place is getting darker by the minute. As you wander back to your place you can hardly make out the faces of the others under the dim lighting. But after a few drinks it doesn't seem to matter. Whenever you reach the end of one drink, Anthony buys you another. As the night progresses, everyone around the coffee table is becoming well-oiled and content. But they continue to just sit there, and lift their glasses up and down, and fill the room with cigarette smoke.
    You've been here for what seems like hours. The place is getting busy -- shadows move on your peripheral vision, dark forms constantly circulating. And the more crowded it gets, the less light falls on you from the weak iridescent light bulbs which hang from the ceiling. The silence, too, gets deeper -- you wouldn't have thought it possible, but it does. Sitting in your chair, drinking in the sedation, you can feel yourself descending into the chasm of the night -- it's a deep, dark place which you never intended to enter, but now in this state of tranquility, you have no desire to return to the light ever again. The sillhouetted shapes of the students seem to drift away with their cigarette smoke and fade to blank.

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