Saturday, January 29, 2005


Sapphire Lounge, Friday night, 11:30 pm. L and I have come out to celebrate Tara's birthday. I'm on drink number three (second beer after a weak vodka gimlet), we are still near the wall, not quite dancing yet but shifting weight rhythmically from side to side. There is this black couple grinding acrobatically nearby. They are good dancers and the woman seems like her center of gravity is somewhere in her shins, with the way she is bent over in any direction. They are like the Gumby and Pokey of the dancehall.

L and I are chillin, chillin. The black couple sidles up near us, because there is a mirror on the wall and the woman is transfixed with herself. "Dogg, do this," the guy says, and takes his girl's hands into his own and holds them against the wall and begins grinding into her. L looks at me. What is worse, the sudden confrontation or the realization that you're going to do what you're told? I begin tepidly grinding my pelvis into L's stomach (height difference). "Naw, naw, man, like this," the guy says, and he is dropping down, squatting in front of the girl. I follow and try to find a middle ground between the way he wants me to copulate and they way I just want to dance. He drops down and simulates licking his girl's nipple. "Bite the nipple!" he says.

No, no thank you. "Bite it!" he says, but I don't. Then he takes the girl away from the wall and suddenly she's lying limp over one of his arms as he grinds away. Stupidly, feeling like an idiot, I get L and me into a similar position. At this point Tara walks up and starts defending me. "He doesn't need this," she says to the dude. "My boy can dance!" She talks to the dude for a while as I lean down to L. "This is getting weird," I say. L agrees. "This is kind of weird and uncomfortable." I feel incredibly white and awkward, like trying to dance was a huge mistake, I feel like I am lumbering around in wet cement, I feel like L has become a stranger with whom I've never danced before.

Tara comes back. "I told him you were my boy and that you can dance," she said. "I said you need some time to get ready, so you're gonna show him what you got in an hour!"

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