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A Blue Moon Encounter

August 26, 2013

Z had been back over a week and we had only seen each other twice. Despite his assurances the last time we were together, I just felt like something wasn’t right. It just wasn’t the same. He wasn’t the same.

Early in the week I checked the Blue Moon calendar to see who was playing that weekend. Feu Follet and Cedric Watson were both scheduled for Friday night. Two great bands. It was going to be packed. There would be lots of dancing on that wooden porch. I wanted to go. Pickle has a new boyfriend and he’s not a big dancer so I knew she wouldn’t be around to dance the night away with me. Early on in the week I thought, “If I don’t get a better offer from Z, I’m going to go dance my ass off.” By Thursday his inattention hung like a thick cloud over my head. “Fuck it.” I thought. “Whether he wants to see me or not, I’m going to the Moon. I want to have fun and dance.”

                 Pamplona’s:

Friday came around and nothing from Z. Pickle asked if I was still going to the Moon. “Hell yes,” I told her. She said she and Steve were in until midnight. They would meet me at Pamplona’s by 9. I walked into Pamplona’s and it was hopping. The bar was three-people deep and the bartenders were flitting around, in the weeds. I decided to have absinthe. I was in a weird mood. Standing near the bar, a creepy looking man offered to let me in his place so I could order a drink. He was next to two, young, pretty girls, dressed up. I ordered my absinthe cocktail and struck up a conversation with them. They were on their way to a burlesque show downtown. The bartender handed me my little glass and I took a sip. “How is it?” one of them asked. “Disgusting,” I replied. “But I like the way it makes me feel.”

One of them took a sip and said, “Wow. You’re going to get fucked up tonight.”

“I know, right?” I replied.

I invited them to the Moon. We talked about cajun dancing while fending off the obnoxiousness of the creepy guy who was getting louder and more annoying by the minute. We eventually felt forced to ignore him as to not encourage his behavior. Even James left him hanging when offered an overly gestural high-five.

Pickle and Steve showed up finding me unusually jovial with a second cocktail in my hand. Steve and I bonded over people watching. We honed in on a table of young, hip-looking people. “That is either a group of really interesting people whom I would like to know or a table of douchebags,” I said. Steve observed them for a minute. The tall young professional who is always wearing in a dark blue blazer. Always. His blonde girlfriend and her brunette side kick. Black dresses. Understated jewelry. Not-too-fixed, slightly messy hair. They had that look that said, “I want you to think I’m effortlessly elegant and humble while also know that I spent a lot of money getting this tousled look and the product in my hair cost more than your car.”

“There’s even a Zack Galifianakis character,” Steve observed. There he was. The thing that is not like the others, with his unkempt hair and beard and cheap clothes, fitting in perfectly with his group of cool hipsters.  The neatly bearded filmmaker. The ginger man that I see running in the park sometimes. The waif girls who are not going to age well. It was quite a collection of young Lafayette It-Crowders.

The blonde has that look like, ‘I wanted to be a Paris model but I’m from Lafourche Parish,” Steve observed.

I laughed out loud. Steve was in with me.

“You know they’re looking at us and conducting the same evaluation,” he said.

“Of course they are,” I replied.

“Look at those two narcissistic assholes judging everybody,” I conjectured someone was saying as we surveyed the room like royalty.

We started the long process of getting a bartender’s attention and paying our tabs. I was on my bike and they were operating under a midnight deadline, so I biked the Moon ahead of them.

              The Moon:

I was right. It was packed. Cedric was jamming away and the dance floor was jumping. I got a beer and positioned myself to be asked to dance. It was so hot in the confined space. Everyone was sweating. It was one of those nights when you just know somebody’s going to pass out and the place is going to get shut down for allowing that many people in that small space with no air conditioning on one of the hottest nights in Louisiana.

By the time Pickle and Steve showed up I was in the pack swinging around with a fast zydeco dancer. My carefully applied makeup was gone. My lovingly curled hair, a mop of damp brown strands. I caught glimpses of Steve and Pickle on the steps as I swung around. It’s kind of funny to see Pickle at the Moon with Steve. She loves to dance. I wouldn’t be able to hold my own without her lessons. She moves effortlessly with this content smile on her face, swinging her legs around, her feet never missing a step. She can adapt and follow any dancer. I love to watch her dance. On nights like that, with those bands playing, Pickle and I are usually dancing all night, putting the place to bed at 2am. It’s weird to see her contently watching from the side, making conversation and laughing, happily going home at midnight. I don’t blame her. If I had someone to go home with, to make love to all night and arms to fall asleep in, I’d leave too. Hell, I probably wouldn’t even be there. I thought I did have that. I thought I waited three months for exactly that, a reason to stay my ass home even on a night like that one, joyfully staying in with a man I was crazy about. Oh well. Might as well dance.

I’m so grateful that Pickle taught me to dance and introduced me to that world. I love cajun dancing. I like the way I feel when I’m dancing with a good partner and we’re in a groove and my feet are following that now-comfortable rhythm of the two-step. My hair flings in my face and on my glasses and I watch everybody standing on the sidelines. As long as the song lasts, I feel happy and free and beautiful and wanted. I feel like life is worth living. There is meaning in the universe. The energy in the room is shared. Like we’re all in agreement that life is beautiful and joy is attainable and we have it right then and right there. If I could hang on to that feeling and conjure it up whenever I wanted, I would never know sorrow.

While I was dancing I picked out a young Indian-looking man by the benches. I can pick them out of any crowd. We made eye contact. He had a lovely smile. He was moving to the music and looked happy to be there. Later I watched an older woman try to teach him to two-step. I asked him to dance. He was from Bangladesh. He said he never danced before. Graduate student. Mechanical engineering. Loves music. Wants to learn to two-step. Sigh. Yeah, just what I need. Shut it down.

Black Michael was there. (Yes. We call him Black Michael. There are a lot of Michaels and this Michael happens to have skin the color of a deep, dark chocolate. Get over it.) Black Michael is one of the regular dancers. He’s fun to dance with though he doesn’t really follow cajun steps. He sort of does he’s own thing and you have to gauge his rhythm and follow along with your own steps. I used to dance with him often until he started showing up with a young blonde girl. I saw them kissing on the dance floor one night. I had teased him about it, “You don’t dance with me anymore since you started hanging out with your little pretty blonde.” He laughed and claimed he didn’t know where it was going. That was months ago. He’s talked to me off and on, on occasion, asking about my job and what I like to do. A couple of weeks ago he finally asked for my number, wanting me to tell him when the next art walk was. He had texted me and met me at the art center and then later at the Moon. We danced a lot together that night and he talked to me more than usual.  Later he texted me, “I had a nice time.”

“Does he think that was a date?” I wondered. I don’t know what to make of him. Just one more man whose behavior I don’t understand. I like the way he waltzes. That night he got a little close and personal, dancing with me a couple of times. He even asked me what I was doing Saturday but didn’t take it any further. We were standing together when he said he was going to the bar for water and he’d be right back.

That’s when Chris R showed up and asked me to dance. Chris is an awful dancer who only attempts it when he’s drunk. “Where’s Pickle?” he asked.

“She has a boyfriend now,” I said.

“We need to get you a boyfriend,” he replied.

“Well, there’s a guy who thinks he’s my boyfriend,” I joked.

“You want to make him jealous?” he asked.

I laughed. The truth was I didn’t know if Z thought he was my boyfriend or not. I didn’t know what was going on and it was upsetting me. That’s why I was out dancing in the first place.

Black Michael returned and starting chatting up a young pretty thing. They moved to the benches to talk. So much for that.

Feu Follet announced their last song. There was another band playing at Artmosphere and I wanted to keep the delusion going a little longer so I biked across the street.

             Artmosphere:

I hate Artmosphere. I go to Artmosphere all the fucking time but I hate Artmosphere. It’s the physical place itself. It has a weird vibe. Pickle and I go when there’s a good band playing. We always seem to be there under duress. Like we have to go to Artmosphere.

I went in and the crowd was weird. Hipster douchebaggery.

I went to the bar but it was really crowded and I couldn’t get a beer. I looked for a place to put my purse. At the Blue Moon there’s a little hiding place by the sound guys where Pickle and I hide our purses. Artmosphere doesn’t have the same kind of place. I put my purse down next to a booth seat and went to watch the band. I wasn’t feeling it. The sadness and confusion I was trying to escape was catching up with me. It was time to call it a night.

I went back to get my purse. I walked over to the booth and a woman was holding my Indonesian prayer run/purse, given to me a bad-ass Muslim feminist in her lap, digging through it. I walked up and said calmly, “Hi. That’s mine. May I have it?”

“Oh my God!” she exclaimed. I was looking for an I.D. so I could find you. Why did you put your purse by my chair?!”

“I didn’t know it was your chair,” I said. The man sitting in the booth across from her looked at me and said accusingly, “You’re lucky! You’re very lucky!” The music was loud and I had to lean in to hear what he said. Still close to his face I replied, “I’m always lucky.” They both looked at me like I was the craziest bitch on the planet. Like, stashing my purse at the foot of the booth was a heinous crime against them personally. I wanted to turn back to them and say, “Is this your first time here, cute little couple? Where are you from? Manhattan? Well, bitches, this is how we roll in Lafayette. More importantly, this is how Kitten rolls so go fuck yourselves. I’m in Artmosphere for Christ’s sake, not Disneyland. So, the next time you see somebody else’s purse by ‘your’ booth, leave it the fuck alone, idiots.” I didn’t say any of that. I don’t do that anymore.

Instead, I walked outside and sat down on a wicker chair, evaluating the crowd before me and my chances of enjoying myself beyond that moment. I said to myself, “If this doesn’t get interesting in 10 seconds, I’m out of here.” I counted to 10. As I got past the number 5 in my head, the thoughts I had been trying to avoid flooded into my mind.

What is going on with Z? Why was he so different now? Things just weren’t the same. They’re not what I expected. What I expected based on the picture he painted over the past three months. I was sad and disappointed and I wanted answers. No, I didn’t want answers. I had the answers. I knew the truth. I knew it was over. It wasn’t working for me. I wanted more. I deserve more.

So, by the time I was biking home the tears were coming down. I was already mourning the end of me and Z.

I went to bed and tried to sleep.

I woke up the next morning knowing it was time to break up with Z.

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From → Rantings

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