Three DJs. One club. I remember when I used to do this every another night, braving whatever weather the Rotten Apple had to offer to slide through the velvet rope and be inside. I wanted to see the girls with their fitted skirts and plunging necklines as they moved to the rhythm of the night at liquor-fueled intervals. Back then I just wanted to watch, as I was too shy and nervous to give myself to the beat, to become what the music made me.
But this is another place. Now that I am older the floor calls for me from time to time. And I answer. Even if I’m alone.
Somewhere between Afrobeat and deep house I find myself at the front of the floor, kneeling before the Zod at the turntables. I begin with my patented two-step and move forward into a slide that becomes a sweeping, my arms brushing across my aura in a cleansing motion that reminds me of what Iya Amma used to do when she spun down the Soul Train line with the bucket full of water in-hand, cleaning us all.
I let go of control, of all that the past few weeks have brought me through. And when I leave the floor, I am clean.
A new player steps onto the stage: hair clipped close to an almost Halle, her orange undertones glowing underneath the red lights. There is a ring on her finger and I can tell that there are kids at home. But here, among her girls, she struts the length of the arena as if she owns it all, as if its back to being just her again, the music her only man and the melodies as their bouncing babies.
She smiles to herself. The denim wraps her thighs like a gift. I imagining opening it, slicing through it like a gleaming blade, to get to the meat inside. But she is someone else’s story. But curiosity gets the better of me.
I order ice water, to keep the spirits above my head where they are. I can smell the rum in her coke when she says she’s from Michigan. Her homegirl is yelling in a cellphone, most likely not hearing a word the caller is saying over the music. There’s no point for further conversation. I just want to keep the memory, a thought to entertain myself on the ride home. She is someone else’s story.
Back at homebase near the DJ I stand next to an Alice in Wonderland, the both of us entranced by our phones and we snip shots for the grams, books and tweets. I ask and she agrees. Then we shyly waft our way into the mix of moving bodies, our mutually self-conscious moves making for pic only uploaded to our memories.
The floor thickens. The mood intensifes. B-Boys and Girls of all colors enter the stage, opening portals to other dimensions with movement, whirling dervishes summoning the Divine under red and green lights. I retreat from active to passive, as they might at my keyboard, leaving it to the experts.
I used to go home from parties disappointed, not knowing how to connect with people in that “dance dance” kind of way. I always thought that I that was the problem. But this wasn’t the case. I just never had the right partner to move with me.