“I got up there and I danced, man. No reserves, no shame—dawg I just closed my eyes and let myself go.” Dede believed his words, believed in the power and spirit of his version of self-expression.
“Dude, I’m just sayin’, when I dance, I know people’re watching.” He was right. Dede’s moves caused circles around him—not to put him in the spotlight, but because his flailing limbs quickly became weapons of mass destruction. Once Dede mistook a woman helping her downed-because-of-Dede partner as interpretive dance and mimicked. He barely thinks about that anymore, the numbness of embarrassment subsided, and he was back in the act.
Dede tried yelling his philosophy to Jorge at the bar, away from the dancefloor and potential crime-scene.
“Whatcha drinkin’ there Jorge?”
“Rum’n’coke. I don’t got what it takes to get on the dancefloor, De. I need that liquid courage.”
“Hey man, whatever it takes. I’m just sayin’, there’re some fine ladies out there right now waiting for us to shake our shit against theirs.”
Jorge never went to clubs, he preferred to stay inside and play World of Warcraft—there was simply no time for dancing in war-torn Azeroth. Jorge’s body wasn’t meant for swaying to grooves, he had no rhythm or moves to show off—he was ok with being an overweight shut-in so long as it was on his terms. Never one to shoot down a friendship (until hanging out took him away from his hand-held passions), Jorge accepted Dede’s invitation to see DJ RithMaTik even though he had never heard his stuff and the ticket was $40 after taxes and fees. But he was here now, he had to make the most of it.
“Hey pretty lady! Let me get two shots of tequila! And I’ll have vodka cranberry.” Dede pulled a $20 dollar bill from his wallet.
“Na, his name is Jorge, you racist! Haha, I’m just joking. Give us your worst!” The propped-smile bartender couldn’t hear anything Dede said except “your worst”. She took a sticky bottle of Montezuma and poured two shots, pushed them in front of Dede, and spoke softly “$40.00”
“Holy sh…$40.00 for two shots and a drink? Bro I’m sorry man I was gonna get this round, can you split?”
Jorge wasn’t a tequila drinker; he pulled a twenty out and placed it on the wet bar.
“Thanks man…cheers!” Dede lifted his shot glass, tapped it against Jorge’s, and threw it down his throat.
Jorge did the same, made a sour-face, and coughed into his balled hand. Gross.
“Let’s get out there Jorge! Bring your drink!” Dede glanced behind him to see the bartender give him and Jorge the finger for stiffing her on a tip.
Dede and Jorge made their way to the dance floor where lights scanned the crowd, smoke filled the air, and perfume stung nostrils.
Dede immediately lost his shit, throwing arms and legs in every which direction. He was lost in his own tune, far removed from DJ RithMaTik’s common house beats. Jorge watched the other partiers distance themselves from Ground Zero, but it was too late for a woman in 6 inch heels. She took a flying elbow to her left-eye like a champ, threw a beautiful reactionary right hook at Dede, snapping him back to reality, his vodka cranberry out of his hands, and stars in his vision.
“Yo what the FUCK?” He yelled at her, catching himself from falling, rubbing his cheek.
Next to a seething Dede, Jorge swayed a little from left to right in his own zone, then kicked his feet out in front of him—he joined the football team and lasted exactly one practice. It was the only footwork resource Jorge had, so his dancing quickly resembled running in place. If Jorge had gone to the second day of practice, maybe he would have learned the grace to keep standing while performing the exercise; instead he toppled over, taking an already injured Dede and 3 others with him to the ground. His rum and coke floated through strobing lights, the liquid almost still among smoke and beams of red. But it wasn’t—the glass nailed some guy just above his forehead, the drink all over 15 or so people.
“Dude what the FUCK?” Dede’s anger turned to Jorge, sprawled over him and another person.
“I need help getting up, De.” Jorge whimpered to Dede, unheard.
But they were lifted to their legs shortly after anyway. They tried to walk but were instead dragged to the exit and into a hallway on the other side of the door.
“You two have had enough tonight. You guys gotta leave.”
“We didn’t do anything! I got punched!”
“You deserve more than one. Get out.”
And with that, Dede and Jorge were on the streets without a beat, a drink, or a woman.
“Some-fuckin’-night, Jorge. That was some dancin’ in there, man. Thanks for getting us kicked out.”
Jorge didn’t know what to say.
“$40 fuckin’ dollars. You owe me for that drink you spilled, by the way. Dude I thought you danced, what was that?” The comments didn’t stop until Dede dropped Jorge off at his house.
“Yo, don’t mention this to anybody—pretty embarrassing shit. Work on your moves man, someday you’ll get there…” and with his words of encouragement, Dede drove away. Jorge thought about learning to dance for an instant before catching himself.
Fuck it. Jorge finalized. Azeroth needs you.