The raven black wings gleamed in the afternoon sun. Two Maleficent horns twisted up from a closely shaved afro. Other than these two accessories, their wearer was completely naked but for a few straps of leather and a pair of lace up stiletto boots Louboutin would have died for.
My two girlfriends and I watched from above, perched on a wide window ledge about six feet off the ground, the perfect vantage point for the overly packed Amsterdam Gay Pride Festival. The canal seemed to hold more people than water, and the extravagantly-clad masses spilled out onto the roads on either side, so that getting from one end of a bridge to the other was virtually impossible. Houses were held together with rainbow coloured bunting, and everywhere multi-coloured flags and badges added visual noise to a scene already bursting with music.
The angel I was watching stood out from the crowd, all black with dark skin and kohl-lined eyes
The angel I was watching stood out from the crowd, all in black with dark skin and kohl-lined eyes. He would have been over six foot without the stilettos, and glancing at his smooth chocolate-colour six-pack I could see why other men had begun to crowd around him. As he posed for a selfie, a tornado of neon pink tights and fuchsia feathers emerged on a boat from under the bridge.
The dancers on this float shimmied like they meant it as the speakers boomed out Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk”. My friend reached for her camera but I put a hand on her shoulder. “Wait” I said, my position allowing me to see slightly further down the river, “it gets better”. The crowd roared as a giant mouth at least three metres high came into view, a lolling tongue protruding from its glossy lips and licking the stage beneath it where two drag queens strutted about, sequinned brassieres shimmering in all directions.
A Confetti canon exploded at one end of the boat, blurring the scene with flying Flecks of colour
All three of us cheered, flailing our arms as enthusiastically as we could without falling off our carefully acquired seat. Across the canal, one couple had fixed a board of wood onto the roof of a Mini and were bouncing up and down, gleefully ignoring the suspension that shuddered with every beat. Already the booming of the pink float was being drowned out by deep house beats from the next, where a sea of blue and green balloons swayed in the shadow of a giant inflatable peacock. A confetti canon exploded at one end of the boat, blurring the scene with flying specks of colour. My friend put her camera to her eye, this time determined to capture the moment. Grinning, I looked back to see if my black angel was still there, but his horns were already lost in the throng. What could I expect?