Black Light

The rhythm was everything. The bass was so loud there was no conversation, no thought. It consumed. The thumping echoed inside. Slashes of red and green cut across the drifting black ghosts. Each hung its own space, bowing, bending, folding, reaching. The mirrors shone through the swirling mist. Songs of darkness, despair, rage. They moved their feet as one, choreographed in their respect. This was the church of the outsiders. You didn't get up early for it, you stayed up late. Every week she was baptized by the rhythm, watching, understanding this human communion wrapped in defiance. She loved this club.

There were kids on the dance floor who hadn't been born when she first started coming here. She felt old, crabby and possessive. She waved to the dj, the bartender, the goth diva in the corner, holding court. Half her sitting pretty outfit was hand made fetish gear, the other half was so high-end it cost more than her monthly rent. She knew all their faces, had for years, but had rarely spoken to any of them. It didn't matter. The bonds were formed, in glances of pleasure at the end of a sweaty set, in the anger at a too-aggressive tourist, in the long nights of pounding music. The crowd surged, and she spun, spun, spun, alone and free.

She finally sat, thighs shaking, catching her breath. The kids were standing in a circle, like oxen defending from wolves, hiding their lack of self confidence in overdramatic, mocking dance. She could tell who had led them here. That boy, the one whose boots looked lived in, whose style was genuine. The rest were his friends, playing dress up. She shook her head. Then there was the group from a wedding. Dressed in satin and drunker than skunks, they were outraged when the punks shoved them back as they stumbled blindly into the unspoken bubbles of dance space.

Eventually, the wedding party had either left, or stripped down to their admittedly nice underwear. They fit in much better that way. The kids had given up. All but the real alt boy, the one who actually seemed to thrive in this special place where anyone and everyone could come dance. The others didn't have enough self expression to manage, and sat on the side whispering. They'd stopped pointing after Shoulder Spikes came up and got in their faces. Genuine Shoes hadn't noticed, too busy dancing. She admired his moves to the Clash. She would try that glide herself.

The last notes of Bel Canto's brilliant, driving, gorgeous song were overwritten by Dead Can Dance. Whooping with joy, she let her head fall back, finding the energy to keep on after leaving it all out in the last song. Falling into a low crouch, she beat on the floor in time with the drums. Grinning, she glanced up as scuffed combat boots moved into view. Genuine Shoes, with his cute sassy black haircut. He stared down at her as he began to move to the beat. She kept her smile open and full as she stood, curtsied. He nodded.

They danced. In the club, a shared dance was a give and take of space, a glance, dip and retreat. He wasn't legal, but she wasn't going to take him home. She was just going to enjoy training him. This was the club. The community, the freedom with subtle rules. She caught him watching himself in the mirror, moved into his sightline. Only the gay boys watched themselves. He stiffened when the Domme walked by with her boy on a leash. She brushed her hand down his arm, telling him it was ok. He danced harder, and she smiled, twining her arms.

In a few minutes, the lights would go on. She hated closing time. It ruined the magic. It all looked so dirty and tawdry in fluorescents. She pulled her key off her shoe strap, waved to a friendly few, and headed out.

He caught up to her on the stairs. "Hey."

"Hey." The black light bulb agreed with his thin, angular face.

"I really liked your dancing."

"Thanks. I liked yours, too." He wanted more, but she turned and walked away. The Club was another world, precious and apart. She'd help him if he came back, but this was her time. Hers.