Hot Time in a Cool Place

The music bounced around in his head, a stream of beats flying in his ears, musical pinball in his mind. The flashing lights depicted people writhing in slow motion, beneath the darkness and disco lights. They were lost in a dream of musical ecstasy; they were in perpetual motion. He saw this and his eyes grew wide; he said to himself that he was ready to bust a move.
He walked down the steps, further into the club, when the little voice in his head said, Hey, take it easy big boy, let's take a minute to think this through. He ignored this voice and tried to make his way to middle of the dancing.
C'mon man, I think you should slow down.
He was smiling to anyone that looked at him, he was getting closer.
I don't want to do this, but I will if I have… okay, fine: remember freshman year?
He slowed down, and grinded to a halt.
Remember that girl you brought along as a date? Do you think she still has that limp?
His eyes rolled to the back of his head.
And remember all that broken glass? What were you doing with arms, trying to fly?
He tried to shake his head, determined to be in this dancing frenzy.
Listen to me… you're six-five, 320 pounds. The only ballet you can do is getting one foot out of the shower while balancing on the other. You're just not coordinated. It takes you three minutes to figure out which foot to start walking with.
Still he walked on, still drawn to the beats coming from the speakers all around.
Fine, fine keep walking… it's not MY pride I'm putting on the line. Go ahead and try to dance. Just because you watch Soul Train doesn't mean you know how. And go ahead and see anyone here wants to line-dance with you. I think half the people here even know what that is. Just turn around and go back. We can go bowling or something. Yeah, bowling. Let's knock down some stuff. That would be fun right? Right? But not this. Not dancing. You don't know how. It's sooooo embarassing. Just turn around and ….
He found himself in the middle of the dance floor, and breathed a sigh of relief. He made it here, finally. Now he could relax and….
A spotlight shone out from a corner of the roof. The music faded and then went away. The DJ spoke over the speakers: "All right everbody, let's go find someone out there to start us off on a new set." The spotlight travelled round and round, and finally stopped. On him.
The DJ grabbed his microphone and yelled "Looks like we've found our lucky club hopper of the night. Okay big boy, let's see what you got."
And every eye turned to him.
RUN. RUN!!!!!!!!! While you still can. Just turn around and go. Close your eyes and knock people out of the way. They're looking at you, they're all looking at you! Go, go!!! Hurry!!!!!
His face started shifting over to a nice shade of red. A steady drum beat came from the speakers. Every breathe in the building held. Including his. He had to move. Had to move now.
And everyone gasped.

It started with what looked like a twitched in his muscles. Tiny, quick jerks that faintly had something to do with the rhythmic thumping from the speakers. Then he started swaying some. He was trying to invite each part of his body to the party. He would convince each and every part one at a time if he had to, but he was going to do this. And a funny thing happened…
Everyone else started dancing too. The spotlight on him was replaced by twenty red and green ones, bouncing across the room and across everyone's head, and the music started coming out again. And no one really stared at him anymore.
Not that he noticed. He only focused in the only thing in his mind: a stream of beats that set off impulses all over his body. Total body experience. And he found out later after that night, that the only thing he could remember was the music he heard, the music he felt. And the tiny little voice was no more.

By Don Bernal

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