(Soundtrack: Dj Mentos )
She wore red lycra shorts and a blue sequined top that ended right beneath her breast line. She left the white leather boots in the car, and stepped in the club as tall as the security guard in her vinyl heels. The boots made a better way out the house, passed her grandpa sitting on his rocking chair at the wooden porch, but there was no way she would scroll down the dancing floor with those. Vinyl heels it was.
The red rope opened up for her, as she winked to Big John at the door.
"It's 11 pm, loose the shades, dude"
"You're trouble, girl, I'd better keep my shades on."
They laughed, a contained laugh that fits the beginning of the night. She was there early, for she was not on until 1, but it was Friday, she also deserved some anonymous fun. At the bar, Angelo grabbed vodka to start her favorite, but she screamed to be heard "Not tonight, babe, I wanna feel fancy, I'll have a Manhattan. I’ll pay on the 1st”.
Angelo hesitated, knowing that Chaco was not happy to put drinks on the tab for his dancers, but she convinced him scraping his wrist with the tip of her acrylic nail, "C'mon, Angelito, it's just a drink, Chaco won't even notice it.."
She turned her back to the bar balancing her purse and the fancy Manhattan in a perfect walk, showing enough breast line to have some heads turned but not enough to spoil her act on stage. She waved to a couple of regular clients, tossed kisses to one of the big tippers and joined her friends at a high table.
"Are you having a Martini, loca? You'll be wasted with two of those! I don't wanna cover for you tonight, bitch, I have to leave at 12, my babysitter can't make the long hours anymore"
"Martinis have a cherry in a toothpick, you're so tacky, learn your drinks, hija! When you get as sophisticated as I am, you can afford to drink a Manhattan with my elegance!"
The other girls laughed, but Sonia just nodded... All of them though, headed to the floor, for some hours of unpracticed dance, some free choreography away from the cold floodlight. The beat made her close her eyes, empty glass on hand, as the shadows of the red and green strobe lights touched her skin. A good touch, a welcome touch, a touch that embraced her for who she thought she could be, alone at the dance floor, moving her hips to the sound only she could hear…
Angelo tapped her shoulder.
“No empty glasses, gorgeous, here, your Sex on the Beach. On me…”
With a slow turn she grabbed him by the neck, brought him close to her and teased him with a butterfly kiss, feeling his minty breath stir a twirl in her chest.
It had been a long time since her last real flirt, the kind that doesn’t end with a couple of bills on her pocket, and the sight of a man in a hurry to dress up.
“I assume the money for the cab is included, right?”
The beat was loud, the strobe was fast and her drink was over. Sonia’s face spun in front of her, so she just closed her eyes and kept on dancing, moving, hips and shoulders in a wave that followed some flames she once had inside.
“Angelito, Angelito, cariño, no empty glasses…”
She felt a warm breath on her left ear, something about a fixed price, some date and place she couldn’t remember, yet she agreed, turned her hair sensually and aimed for the bar.
Someone might have touched her waist, but Sonia grabbed her by the hand first… Sweet Sonia, always so on top of everything, Sonia would go places, would see better nights and sunnier days. She felt stuck, addicted to the rhythm of that sound that made her feel special. Her fingers touched the sequins on her top, and she looked down, moving her shoulders, admiring her own curves, tones and flesh. “I’m prettier than Sonia. I dance way better.”
She smiled, before Chaco’s image appeared on the left corner of the stage.
“Come over”, his head meant in a side nod.
She tried to dance around the bodies, mixed with the red and green, when the black light started to flash her eyes. White stood out, shirts started to scream at her, people looked green, smiling bright teeth and looking at her with weird bright eyes. She stumbled. Chaco. Angelito, papi, another glass. Her heels couldn’t hold a Manhattan anymore. She was dark in a confused dance floor, heading backstage and not moving an inch.
“Te dice hija! Que cosa, porque no me escucha?? Vámonos, te voy a ayudar. Vámonos.”
She was ready on stage, she didn’t know how. All she felt was the cold steel of the pole between her legs, and the light on her back. She moved. She moved and tried not to think. She heard the sound, her legs took over. Her hips shushed her brain, and the drinks told her “you’re good, girl. Do your thing”
Cold between her thighs, against her hand, paper on her waist, fingers on her bikini line, some warm breaths, more fingers, more paper.
“Angelito, I’ll pay you on the first, drive me home, papi, will you?”
The warm pole and the freezing fingers made her head spin. Some paper fell, her grandpa was still on their porch. Or wasn’t he?
“Chaco, hijo de puta, tone down this fucking floodlight, I can’t see a fucking thing, carajo…”
Her song was over. Her heels knew the way, had her back.
She was out, lycra shorts on, purse full of papers, the kind of paper that pays for expensive Manhattans and cabs.
Sonia had long left, cuddling with her baby girl who, por Dios, will go to College one day, and she was safe and comfy in a cab, headed to her wooden porch in the North side. White boots stayed in the parking lot.
The lights went by fast, a string of endless amber, mixed with some yellow souls trying to exist on the sidewalks.
“We’re all bitches, bitch.”
“What was that? Are you ok? You didn’t give me your address yet.”
“The beach, that’s what I said. Just take me to the beach.”
They moved from her bikini line, to her purse, to his hand. As she stood there, humid sea breeze tangling her hair, she slowly reached for her heels. At the sidewalk, where they belonged, united with the orange lost souls she was definitely not…
Sand touched her bare feet, as her now heavy purse fell to the ground. No more floodlights disguising drooling mouths and lusty eyes, only the sea breeze. No red and green, no Manhattan, no Sex on the Beach. No sex.
She stopped, closed her eyes and thought of Sonia. She wanted her hand again, but they were full, taking better care of another innocent girl, who deserved better. So she took of her lycra shorts and her blue top, and became only her. Between the sand and the waves, she was only her. Nameless. Her feet felt the water, but she was not feeling anything, anymore. She just walked, and walked, until the warm water made her dance again…
Angelito, cariño, drive me home, papi, will you?....