July 07, 2011

A Crowded Dance Floor

I rarely write without musical accompaniment of some sort and tonight is no different than any other. My headphones are on and iTunes is on the DJ setting rolling through the 10,000 or so songs that are loaded on there.

It is a crazy stew of my music alongside the children so one moment I might hear Disney songs followed by Springsteen, Orbison and Dylan. Or there might be something faster like the song above and that is what is inspiring me now.

That song brings me back to a particular night and a particular house. Can't tell you whether it was a weekend or a weekday but the picture I am painting has bright splotches of color all around it. I can see myself walking into the fraternity house. I have a gray t-shirt on, 501s that are the definition of comfort and a pair of Timberland boots.

It is dark outside and the dance floor inside the main house is packed so I head over to the bar and park myself behind it. I like working the bar because it is the easiest way to meet girls. When you are back there you don't have to start conversation or work on a great opening line.

All you need to do is ask them what they want and give it to them. In between you say hi, offer your name and you are on your way. On this particular night I am more interested in hanging out with the guys. Graduation isn't all that far away and soon the real world will lay its claim upon us.

The backyard is quickly filling up and there are four or five people shouting drink orders at me. It feels a bit like organized chaos but that is ok because it has been my home and I am comfortable. The women come in small packs of three and four. In varying states of sobriety they ask for Kamikazes, beer, Long Island Iced Teas and the occasional request for Everclear.

In between pouring drinks I down a few of my own and enjoy the conversation and atmosphere. It is funny looking back to think about how old I felt that night. Most of the people are freshman and sophomores who are enjoying the freedom that university life provides.

After a while it feels like time has stood still or I have somehow stepped into a parallel universe. I look around and take it all in. I am not going to be one of those guys that keeps coming back after graduation. When I am done with this I will be done.

More time passes and a girl from Poli Sci 404 appears at the bar. She smiles and tells me that she didn't know I was part of Lamda Lamda Lamda and I smile. "I am indeed." She tells me that it is rude to drink alone so I poured one for me too and step out from behind the bar.

We make small talk and eventually head over to the door to go dance. I am not much of a dancer but at the house I don't care. When it is packed like it is now I don't have to worry about fancy moves. Mostly it is a lot of nodding your head in time and sort of moving with the pack.

The DJ puts on The Humpty Dance and follows up with O.P.P. It is really hot in there and I am sweating but I don't notice it. More time passes and that Mortal Combat song hits. Midway through it my eyes start burning from the sweat pouring down my head.

I wipe my forehead with the back of my hand and we keep dancing. Somewhere in the midst of this we move in for the kiss. I can't say who initiated it, maybe it was me or maybe it was her. For all I know it could have been both of us.

What I know for certain is that she didn't appreciate the salt or maybe she just thought that I was a terrible kisser. I know this because she pulled away quite rapidly and wiped her mouth off. I sometimes wonder if that night led to her giving me a treasured spot on the list of the worst kisses she ever had.

Truth is that I think that is kind of funny. For all I know she told her friends that Jack was the sweatiest man she had ever danced with and the worst kisser to grace her lips.

Life is filled with all sorts of moments. If you can't laugh at yourself than who can you laugh at.

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