Writing on Napkinsbysteveleenow©
It's loud, sweat pours from the brown in gentle steady flow. A red warm candle glow flickers around you, illuminating your features and the flesh around you.
Laughter and talking, no, loud talking and straining to hear, as you move close to your friends ears to speak and listen, bobbing sideways in forward motion like chickens strung out on coke and rum. The conversation is nothing profound, just simple chit chat mixed in with that loud, loud music. Some are tired, some are rip roaring ready to go swing to hip hop's violent and lovely sweeping fast beats. Pop culture in loud rhythms and sounds.
It's the corner of a club, some club, and the whole house it vibrates and reverberates and penetrates deep through your entire body. To an outsider it could all appear so mind boggling, confusing and even dizzying. But it isn't, no, its merely a form of socializing in the heart of the city. As the DJ speaks like God to the crowd in a wonderful steady rhythm and that crowd how it talks right back in equal rhythm and a greater energy that just isn't found anywhere else.
And the deep dark brown eyes of the one (so sweet) next to you watches as you scribble onto a napkin. She is resting her head on your arm and her hands wrap round your lower arm as you write, and you hold her steady. Eventually she slumps her head back down onto the bar to rest as she is so tired, so sweet but so tired and drained of energy from dancing vigorously on the dance floor. And this writing on a napkin is actually so much easier than it looks.
The music seems to go downhill now, and you just want to kiss her but you know you never can as you're just friends. Sometimes just friends hurts more than anything else, more than you'd ever know. Sometimes, it hurts down inside just a little too much, knowing you both care, knowing it's there but never could be anything more.
Their's a girl working this lone end of the bar in this ultra busy crazy night club, and you notice how she's briefly joined by another who just leaves behind a grey plastic tub, one of those used to just carry dirty dishes from the tables to the washers. And you notice she watches you for a moment, as you scribble and write on napkin number four, and your eyes rise up and meets hers as smiles are formed and briefly exchanged before she goes back to work.
Organizing, wiping, cleaning and hovering over a clipboard, writing or adding numbers or something as the loud music plays and a hundred or so young bodies go wild only a few feet behind us. But there is no doubt that the work she does is club related, or she probably wouldn't be doing it for fear of being let go.
Now, you were out on the floor too, alone, but near this brown eyed girl who came with you and your friends who all spread out and quickly got lost among the throngs of people dancing. You danced, being shuffled around the dance floor, never being able to pair up with any one girl, any one hot female, any one female. You feel a bit dejected but dance anyway, just to have a bit of fun. Eventually you come across your brown eyed girl, who is with another man, dancing so close, so rhythmically, she blows everyone else off the dance floor.
Eventually you make eye contact and she leaps forward, reaching out toward you so quickly to pull you toward her, so close, much closer than you've ever danced before. You're locked in an embrace, as she holds you so close, resting her head on your shoulder, still moving to the loud steady beat that melts from remix to remix with the occasional original cut spliced seamlessly in between from time to time. She's so hot and sweaty from her dancing, and frankly looks exhausted, but still you hold onto each other, slowly, firmly, trustingly.
At last you speak, as loud as you could to be understood at least, and you both agree that ice water would be amazingly appropriate at that time. You kiss her forehead and you notice her lipstick is worn, and pretty much gone, your bodies are just so hot and so sweaty as you move through the hot night club crowd, like blood cells in the capillaries, moving toward freedom in the form of a small hideaway in the corner of the club, a lone fourth bar, much smaller than the rest, so seemingly neglected but nice, so seemingly forgotten about by everyone else in the room, but nice.
Finally you punch through the crowd, and its like a burst of cold air hitting your face as you breath briefly again, but it's still so hot and you wonder if a new dynamic has been formed between you and your friend as you head to sit down. There is no free ice water, a bottle costs me $4 and I pay willingly and open it for her and she chugs it down. She hands it back to me and I too take a long chug before putting the cap back on.
She holds your arm and keeps you close to her, your like a comfort shield for her, something to draw energy off of for survival perhaps. She holds you so close that the boundaries of friendship become blurred and once again confused by the touches and caresses that are so easily exchanged. So you kiss her again on her forehead, as she rests her head on your shoulder, and you talk a bit as its still an hour before the club closes and dies, so she just decides to sit and rest her head on the bar, gently, smoothly, and then again, your arm.
A stranger asks if everything is ok, and you nod a confident yes. He's older and balding and seems to know the staff behind this minibar, he is an owner or a manager perhaps, or perhaps not, you never can tell. Eventually she rests her head on the bar again, her bare legs crossed, her hips covered by the amazing skirt she has on, her top moving in tangent with her steady breathing. And God, she is the most beautiful girl in the world and she's sitting right next to you, with you. But tired.
So you begin to write on napkins, and watch the people around you and stare at the old Montreal brick wall at the back of this minibar, this small corner of a modern night club, just writing. Its loud, and the sweat subsides but the vibe never does, it will reverberate with you all the way home as you will eventually meet your other friends out front at 3am, where you will break out and head home to a warm bed and a chance to sleep off a long night of drinking, dancing, and falling in love with your best friend all over again.
(c) June 9, 2003, Steven H. Lee