Saturday, November 20, 2004


Sitting on a barstool, in the top half of “The Nightclub”, away from the dance floor, he stared at the glass he held up in front of his face. It was full of a clear liquid. He brought it to his lips slowly, as if in a calculated movement, and with a quick shift of his eyeballs, he gulped down a generous helping. He brought the glass in front of his face again and set it down on the coaster that lay on the table upon which the upper half of his body rested.

He didn’t drink. He just liked to pretend that he was drinking. Just because he wanted to have the glass in his hand, so that he wouldn’t get distracted and pulled away from his chain of thoughts. Every movement of his was calculated. Anyone who saw him at the table would think that he was a regular there. It was his nonchalant attitude that was the real secret behind the way he became inconspicuous in a place like this.

He went there on weekends to unwind. To let out all the steam and pressure that had been building up within during the week. He found a kind of peace in the chaos of “The Nightclub”. He looked straight-ahead and beamed into the dance floor. He watched the bodies moving in and out of tune to the heavy music that pulsated from the hidden speakers all over The Nightclub.

He stayed like that for a long time; staring at no one in particular but feeling what the people on the dance floor were feeling. Then suddenly, without warning, he didn’t want to look anymore. He turned away and repeated the same exercise with the glass on the table as he had done earlier.

His eyes darted all around. He noticed all the people and their attitudes. He observed each one in detail and made a mental note in each case. Not that he was going to do anything about it. He just liked doing it. It made him feel adequate and worthy. He thought it was strange but accepted it without any resistance. So much so that he didn’t even give it a second thought.

He ran his fingers over his skin and fondled the stubble that was in its formative stages. The bristles felt like little blunt pins on his fingers trying very hard to pierce his skin. He carried on rubbing his chin as if in great thought but in reality there was nothing on his mind. His fingers moved up towards his sideburns and as if in an orchestrated movement it was attracted to his head. He ran his fingers through his smooth, soft, wavy hair; until he had reached the nape of his neck. Then he pulled away and repeated the exercise with the drink.

The glass was half-empty now. He had no indications of wanting a refill. He was beginning to feel the music in his body now and felt like he needed to dance. His friends were on the dance floor and they seemed to be enjoying themselves.

He started debating as to whether he should join them or not. He decided that he should. He grabbed the glass from the table and downed the rest of the liquid. He slammed the glass back down on the table and rushed to the dance floor because his favourite track had started.

The empty glass lay alone on the table. The flickering lights bounced off some object and landed on the glass. The droplets of water dripping down the side of the glass glowed like diamonds.


Garrison Steelle said...

VERY well done!


Havokinthemind said...

The detachment. It always makes me wonder. A blessing or a curse? The alienation offers a luxury of vision, no doubt. But the coming back to- "the waking up", has its pains too...

Pincushion said...

I agree with havokinmind here..the detachment ! Its the exact same feeling..that I sometimes experience..''the glass wall'' in between him and his environment. Exquisite.

Miss Qt said...

I like it a lot.

What inspired you though? Is this story based on your own experience?

Cori said...

Great idea! Wow.. I feel uncomfortable after reading it... and I find myself remembering when I've felt the same way... where the inner dialog is so loud one thinks every one can hear it/see it! You've drawn me in! Great stuff!

Free Spirit said...

What are pretentions but imaginary claims we make to ourselves, in order for us to feel glorious in one brief moment, until reality breaks our fragile bubble.

Ariel said...

Uncomfortable in one's own body. There's an awkwardness in being human. A not-at-home-ness that becomes painfully obvious when we move outside our comfort zones.

This is the lens through which I see it:

"We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why…Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home." - C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

. : A : . said...

Garrison Steelle - Thanks.

Havokinthemind, Pincushion - Yes, I agree, the detachment can be a double edged sword. I think the luxury of vision that it offers is very strong though.

Queen Mo - Thanks. This was based on a real experience a long time ago, but as usual, I have twisted reality a fair amount here. ;-)

Cori - Sometimes we need to feel uncomfortable when we read / write. I guess that is when the most impactful stuff comes out. Glad you liked it.

Free Spirit - Thanks for putting it out so nicely in one sentence.

Ariel - Thanks for sharing the perspective. I like the quote!

gn0 said...

I loved the atmosphere generated. The nightclub, the darkness. I dunno if you intended it to be blue neon lighting but that's what I saw, in my head.
I didn't like how much description was placed in him with his own hair.
I found the phrase 'He turned away and repeated the same exercise with the glass on the table as he had done earlier.' was a bit netural.
Although I did like the twist at the end when he gets up and dances to his favourite tune (wiiicked! :)); like kinda morphing into something new, and I also liked the description of the water on the glass.
Keep up the good work, don't give up, and it sounds like you're getting quite a following. :).

Sara said...

He sounds hot. I'd dance with him.

. : A : . said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
. : A : . said...

gn0 - Thanks for your comments and critique. Very helpful. Look forward to seeing you around.

Sara - He'd dance with you too!