I had something to prove in the first club I’d ever gone to. Swept up by the girl in philosophy class with the Mortisha hair and a cloak, I found myself there every Thursday, nervous and bored amongst the crunchy, spacey music and the lights and the whole full house freak show. The girl I was with was looking for a psychic connection, and had to take a break from me when Closer was played to dance with her other lover, slow and clutching to pumping gaskets in the middle of the crowd. We had, of course, discussed the potentially awkward nature of this arrangement. A friend of hers called me “lunch” underneath the sound of the din when we were introduced. The horror of embarrassment coincided with the occurrence of something resembling a lake of fire, a whole dance floor covered in flailing arms and heads. Wishing I were a slave to the rhythm, I stood by and watched her dance.
A few years went by and then I was dancing, off-acid, having learned in my apartment underneath the green, red and violet light bulbs in the ceiling fixture. For about a year I’d only been able to get so far with any woman I really wanted but tonight a woman I knew well enough to avoid let me kiss her and I was living possession. Saluting the DJ as one ought Haitian drummers, I courted the spirits every night I went dancing. I was there with a date. Thursdays could be a little dead, so we’d all come in together to liven the joint and flail ourselves about for a while. That was one place my date and her friends could enter without being twenty-one. My two brothers and I were two plus one. The girls came from Old Colonial Annapolis, where some of the most brilliant families in the region lived. I’d gone to one of their houses a few months before and drowned in the sticky, quicksilver vibe that seemed to emanate from places like Annapolis and D.C, from the places where the rulers of the world were fated to live in my future mind. Gary had called me from one house, in one of his rare groaning fits, happily complaining that he was finished, as in done for. What he really meant to say was that he’d met a girl he could have sex with. I went down there on a Tuesday night or something to a cute girl’s house where there were pictures of her parents dressed up as punks for her stepbrother’s birthday, and saw a film in an upstairs room in eclectic company that concerned people beyond the borders of sanity. It made the indelible impression that I’d stumbled into a whole community of geniuses. When we sat in a local diner and played “psychologist” I’d become acquainted with the girl with the 666 license plates. She was beautiful, and I was destined only to kiss her once on a wintry valentine’s night. Later that evening I proclaimed myself a “lord of silence and strength” to the girl who was my date tonight, even got into bed in my underwear as she kissed my skin helplessly and
I insisted I had to sleep. One of these Justin Case guys came up with her and the girls to the club tonight, and put the idea in her head to walk across the dance floor and slap me.