The dance floor was a sea of bodies. People were dancing, yet no one had any space to move. My friends and I had been there many times, and on this particular night there were five of us. We were two hours into our night and by then the drinks were flowing. We felt good, and the vibe was whimsical. Everyone was having fun.
The club was dark inside, with the main sources of light being the blue beams that highlighted the dance floors and the bars. There were three bars at this club: one near the main entrance and one in the back of each of the two dance floors. There was a constant stream of patrons peddling through the dark walkways that connected the two dance floors; the restroom, which was located in between the dance floors; and the outside patio, where people went out to catch some fresh air and smoke cigarettes.
Inside, it was loud; the combination of the music blasting and the raucous of the crowd was a familiar noise. Every now and then a glass would break, but no one really cared. One dance floor played house and the other played hip-hop. The hip-hop floor was the more popular one.
At this particular moment, I was alone. I had either gone to the restroom or the bar, I can’t remember which. People were all around but I didn’t know any of them. I felt the weight of solitude in a place where people existed in groups. I went looking for my friends.
I knew some of them had to be on the hip-hop floor. I quickly spotted Tony and Alan. Tony had a huge grin on his face; he was probably on drink number eight. Alan was bobbing his head to the music with a relaxed smile, because, well, that’s what Alan does. I didn’t see Dave or Jeff anywhere. They were probably having a smoke outside.
I was with Tony and Alan when I saw her. In a crowd full of moving body parts she seemed to stand still. She was a good ten feet away from me. We caught eyes, and for some reason neither of us looked away. She had curly hair, dyed brown, that went down to the shoulders, and she was wearing an orange dress. She might have been Chinese or Vietnamese; I was never good at telling. We locked eyes for a good ten seconds. She was pretty, and she was smiling. Then she called me over with her index finger.
I didn’t refuse the invitation. I might have thought her advances were strange and been put off by them had I not been as intoxicated as I was from the drinking. But I didn’t care; she seemed harmless, and a woman’s smile can disarm even the most guarded men. I came up to her and she placed her arms on top of my shoulders, wrapping them around my neck. She was about five inches shorter than me. We began to dance. She had the same look on her face throughout-that easy smile which looked painted on her face by a smooth brush. She kept her eyes on me as we moved closer together, and then we kissed.
There was no hello. I didn’t even know the sound of her voice, let alone her name, and yet here we were, sucking face on the hip-hop floor. I was buzzed but fully aware of how odd this was, and I just went with it. We continued for about five minutes. Afterwards, I lifted my head and felt the alcohol rushing through my brain. It was as if I had sucked some booze out of the girl’s mouth and into my system. I looked at her and she gave me one last smile, and then she walked away without saying a single word. I was a bit shocked.
Then the music stopped and the lights turned on. The once boisterous crowd composed themselves, turning off their wild, uninhibited alter egos that were present just a while before. I was still in a daze, the combination of the drinks and the girl in the orange dress leaving me a bit disheveled. Our group walked out of the club together. I didn’t tell any of them what happened.
We were walking back to our car when I saw her again. She was walking barefoot, heels in hand. Our exchange a half hour ago was so bizarre that I felt compelled to go over to her to try to make some sense of it all. I sneaked away from my friends and began walking towards her. I was heading her way when I stopped in my tracks: the girl in the orange dress rushed to a nearby trash can, bent over it, and started vomiting. A girlfriend held her hair back as she heaved with her entire upper body. I quickly turned back and caught up with my friends as if I never changed direction at all.
I learned something valuable that night: Making out with a random girl in a club is a risk-she might throw up in your face.