Friday night, at Sapphire Lounge with L and James. "Drop it like it's hot, drop it like it's hot." We are standing near the mirror by the wall (a favorite spot, I'm realizing) taking in the scene. There is a couple dancing crazily in front of us. She is wearing like this sundress or something, and she is arrhythmically jerking her body into all sorts of angles and contortions. Her head is thrashing around and her arms dart away from her body. At times she play-punches the guy she's with, who is big and sort of beefy and sweating through his oxford shirt. He keeps a loose grip on her hands and dances around her, the pair making a wide circular arc that clears part of the dance floor. People are openly gawking at the pair, at their lack of rhythm and inhibition, at the wide sweep they are cutting through the dancing crowd. James wonders if they are on drugs. They are like junkies from Talbots.
Standing by the wall, I am holding my elbow out to prevent the guy from crashing into me. His body contacts my elbow once, twice, three times. You'd think he would adjust his trajectory or try to avoid the person obviously behind him. He hits my elbow again. Then he turns around and looks at me and says:
"Back the fuck up, you fuckin faggot."
What. What. What. What. I am aghast. The last time I was called a faggot was when I was thirteen, by some asshole in junior high. What. What. I'm not wrong! He's the one bumping into me! What! WHAT!
I don't say anything and just gape at him. The couple continues dancing. I think about things I could have done - I could have kneed him in the balls maybe, or slugged him? Or I could have told his girlfriend some wicked lie about him? And then run like hell? I don't know, I've never been in a fight before. I tried to laugh it off and we stayed for a while but I was bothered. Watching them dance out there, totally unaware of the shitstorm they kicked up in my head. I was livid.
We didn't stay much longer. On the way back I felt defeated, and found myself reliving the scenario again and again, going through all the different things I could have done or said. I was mouthing the words. I had dark fantasies of cut lips and blackened eyes, public brawls and squad cars. But I felt defeated nonetheless.
Postscript: Karmic sympathy - one good thing, though, is that a genuine black person gave me some respect for my dancing ability. And tonight at the movie theatre I found $11 on the ground. That helps in a way.