The light comes off of earrings and necklaces and sunglasses and the ice cubes in drinks. It comes from the DJ’s monitors and from neon lights behind the bar and from cell phone screens filling up with desperate text messages. It shows the deep red of inner mouths and the black under worn-out eyes and spilt beer on your pants. It doesn’t matter because sight is blown out the speakers all around us, blown out by body odors and perfumes infusing the strobed aura. It’s blown out by alcohol pouring over glass rims and dripping over the bar and bartenders flipping from the back wall to the bar to keep us full of it, by the people with one hand occupied who want, of course, to share themselves for a second with you by way of a high five or a hug or an assgrab. It’s blown out to the point that the lights could shut off and everyone would just keep moving in the dance floor, light or day or spring or fall, lucky or illfortuned, alone or withal.
And in between the strangers touching sweat and hot breath and tight jeans and skin, people come and go from the Avenue Bar. You know you’re going to look at that one again after your eyes swing off of her. You know you can’t be caught staring but you’ll have to take another peak because her face is the kind anyone’d want to know better, because she wears black pants and shirt but she draws in your gaze more than any of the exposed flesh whizzing around you. You know when your eyes almost meet and then you look back at the girl dancing in front of you that something amazing could take place tonight as long as she’s at the Avenue Bar and you’re there too. So, you mingle your heat with people whose temperatures you know by heart, but you think that maybe hers is different, and then you forget it until the song ends.
- Tom Berth