I'm a glutton for emotional depravation.
I watch from a far as they twirl and sweat, thighs rubbing, legs grinding. Dance has long captivated and tortured my loins.
My legs are stiff and rigged, useless for fluid tantric movement. I rely heavily on my arms, especially my right; the left is restricted (much like my legs) and serves little purpose aside from brute directionless strength. My hands are always full, never open to contact and involvement; occupied with plastic, rock or steal, yet always yearning for contact.
I want to touch, glide, and even grope: the smooth bodies passing my booth. Yet, here I sit, alone, growing weak as my drinks gain strength.
Often it begins with a formal (verbal) invitation, occasionally a bow, or simply a tap on the shoulder; then the two clasp hands join the floor, and their bodies ignite in movement. They submit to instinct and inherent desire and suddenly strangers move as one -- intimately across the room. All sizes, creeds, and colors gyrating shaking and grooving to the music of my fathers. The Blues.
The place was Haitian and smelled of it. Sweat and grease ran down the walls and covered the tables. The drinks were weak but gained in strength with a consistent tip and ever-recognizable singularity. The proprietors knew little about the music, but enjoyed counting their money and watching the girls sweat and slide across their floors.
I sat at the end of the bar, near the entrance to the dance floor. Greeting the sweaty faces with an envious, voyeuristic, grin. Suddenly, a heavy-set man passes through the bar and finds a seat across from me. Quickly, he removes his sweater and rubber soled sneakers. Then, from his shoulder bag appear a pair of soft, white, patent leather shoes; polished and primed, with velvet bottoms. He slides them over his heels in seconds and sails onto the floor (grabbing a lonely faceless partner along the way).
The songs changed and so did his partners, each one departing more shaken and aroused than the last. The man moved like wildfire around the room. His body was plump, but he was proud and gay, and his feet moved quickly and smoothly across the floor.
His appearance didn't matter; neither did that of his partners. It was all about rhythm, and sweat.
Every girl danced with him, every man watched him. Then as quickly and fervently as he had arrived, he left. Sliding off the shiny, white leathers and shoving the sneakers back over his feet.
My glass was empty and my grin was tired so I too prepared for the door. As I grabbed a stick firmly in my right and dropped one clumsily from my left it occurred to me: I would give me left arm for a pair of dancing shoes.