written 1978The excitement of dancing fills the room. The wooden dance floor is waxed to a glistening shine, reflecting colored lights like a Christmas tree on moonlit snow. Each tiny light flashes on and off on and off to the rhythmic beat of rock-and-roll, music that pounds its way out of the amplifier and into the people's heads. High in the center of the dance area spins a giant mirrored ball that catches the glint of each glittering sequin, each shining bangle, each shimmering bauble worn by the dancers and tosses them back in one constant motion of electrical flashes.
The dancers are alive with throbbing music flowing through their veins, pounding its way to each section of their bodies, setting each limb in a vibrant reaction. Nothing stops--not the music, not the lighting, not the dancing--overtaking even their breathing patterns--in and out in and out--until the excitement causes a type of hyperventilation; energy overloads the circuits.
Little round tables are scattered around the room to provide pit-stops for the dancing machines. Model-thin girls dressed in the latest fashions of size-four clothes take orders for drinks as performers join those not shod as well or those not as adept at dancing. While these performers recharge their systems with liquid fuel nothing stops--not the music, not the lighting, not the dancing.
When their loins have been strengthened and glow revived, the actors rejoin the others in the limelight, providing the means of continuation within the dance hall. In doing so, they once again leave those seemingly inept at disco to stay behind, only able to smile, to bop to the beat of the sounds.
These wallflowers are important for they provide an audience to the rendition before them on the waxen floor. They bring the ultimate contrast to the reigning disco queens as portly maidens once provided for bikini-clad beach-bunnies. They sit in their chairs, laughing and nodding, hoping no one will notice they are not asked to dance and lacking the confidence to be the asker. They are having fun, caught in the excitement that surrounds them. If the tall, the dark, the handsome men parade past their tables without stopping, they laugh and nod to one another, telling jokes to remind themselves they are having fun, secretly saying inside, "Please don't notice my rejection, please don't notice my hollow smile; please don't notice me." And all the while nothing stops--not the music, not the lighting, not the dancing.
As I leave the nightclub amid a frenzy of action, I take deep breathes of cool damp air. Reality slowly flickers into my brain like a tongue, soothing the pulse-beat that nearly exploded inside the electric atmosphere. It was entertainment. It was exciting. It was fun! I remember it was fun--the smiling and the nodding and the laughter. And no one noticed, god no one even noticed for behind me nothing stopped--not the music, not the lighting, not the dancing.