As the evening crept in, the anticipation of “Booty Night” at Horn’s Bar filled the air. Wednesday was always a night to look forward to, but this Wednesday unbeknownst to me would be like no other.I put on one of my favorite denim pants, along with a pin-striped French cuff shirt. I lightly sprayed on my cologne, brushed my teeth and departed from the room at Harts Inn that I shared with my roommate Winston. When I began my decent from Market Street I could feel the electricity in the air. Islanders come out in droves. I heard the distinct sounds of women’s heels click-clack against the pavement, along with laughs, giggles and an occasional “Wah-Gwon” (Jamaican Patwa for What’s going on?)?
When I rounded the corner I could hear the music blaring from Horn’s. Like always the dynamic DJ Brevon was at it again. The sidewalk was like a spectacle… the melting pot of The Island was all here and in full force; Americans, Asians, the Turkish, Jamaicans filled the streets, but my interest wasn’t in the crowd that had formed. I was waiting a particular group to show up.
I then made my way past the sidewalk mayhem and into Horn’s.
The bass and vibration of the enormous speakers could be felt in every fiber of my body. I looked to the left and DJ Brevon saw me with his earphones rested on his shoulder, we gave our usual head-nod and bro-hug, then it seemed he was ready to kick it up a notch. The crowd was thick people were everywhere; the dance floor, the bar, the tables even the bathrooms…..
This is “Booty Night”.
I fought my way through the crowd to the bar, ordered my drink and maneuvered back toward the front of Horn’s. Tonight I planned to just be a spectator…but the music began to make me move. Subconsciously I began to sway to the music I noticed my dance partners looking at me they laughed, walked to me and…
“I thought you weren’t dancing tonight?”
I smiled and shrugged my shoulders “I’m just moving to the music.”
More people entered Horn’s making it almost impossible to move without bumping into someone…that’s how I liked it! I put my drink on the table and it was as though the voice of the artist on the song disappeared, now I could only feel the thump of the bass, everything suddenly seemed move in slow motion: the music, the crowd around me dancing, time (it had nothing to do with what I had drank)..what was going on…what happened…the atmosphere had changed, but why?
THE RUSSIANS had finally showed up!
It felt like everything paused for that moment.
I turned back around after setting my drink down, and for the strangest reason even today I cannot explain, a path from the door to me suddenly cleared, as if people were parted…
And to my pleasant surprise the same beautiful woman I said “привет (hello)” to just a few days ago lightly walked down that path toward me. She wore a black shirt adorned with the Mario Brother characters, perfect form fitted stone-washed black jeans and a pink and orange purse strapped across her shoulder. Her eyes those gorgeous eyes pierced their way even in the darkness of Horn’s… she tip-toed closer to me… (but where did all those people go)
“You said you would dance with me, are you ready to dance?” Albina asked with an adoring smile.
Though I thought I was prepared…I wasn’t. My heart rate picked up, and I became nervous but I played it off by being macho…and I could barely utter….
“Ummm give me a sec”. I could’ve taken a lifetime to prepare to see her and I still would not have been prepared.
I had never been so awe stricken before.
“O.k., ” Albina said as she went back outside to join her friends Regina, Irina, Karina, Gary Lawson and it seems like all of Mission Point accompanied them. As I tried to calm myself for the dance with Albina (and by the way I’m a terrific dancer so I should not have had to prepare, but this time I was different) she began to dance with her friends from M.P. and almost like he was on cue, DJ Brevon put the evening into overdrive!
I was now ready to dance…but it seems because I tried to play it cool before Albina’s, dance card was monopolized.
Had I missed my opportunity?
Had I waited too long?
As the songs played and people danced my chance arose… Albina was dancing by herself I made my way toward her. I held her close, I could smell it scent of her hair, as she sashayed her rear against the front of me, her back to me she rested head against my chest. I wrapped my arms around her waist holding her hips as we moved, slowly to the beat of the music commanded, and like before everything was moved in slow motion. The heat we created by dancing gave me pure ecstasy; she closed her eyes as if in a trance. Sweat beads began to form on my brow, Albina’s face glistened as droplets formed on her face.
I turned her around to face me she smiled; I pulled her body closer I wanted to move as though we were making love on the dance floor. Sweat began to trickle down, our lips drew near I could feel her breathe and she mine, the passion, our movements was engulfing us.
Suddenly Karina interrupted us not knowing how much passion radiating from the both of us, she asked Albina to step outside with her a minute, our moment was over.
My heart still pounding I thought….
“I’ll dance again when she comes back.” 2pm drew to a close, it was almost time for Horn’s to close, and after waiting the rest of the night for a second dance, (which never happened) I was ready to leave… but something happened.
Just like the parting of the crowd, fate intervened.
Two guys began to argue and a table was knocked over!
This hasn’t happened before….bouncers converged on the situation, using my street-smarts; I understood being in an enclosed area if a fight breaks out isn’t good, so I left the bar and went outside. I did a thorough scan of the area.
I went back in for Albina, I wanted to protect her, to make sure she was alright. And I found her. Later I found out the commotion was over Albina’s friend Karina. After speaking more to Albina, Irina, Regina, and Karina I said, “It’s not good for you girls to stay here.” I didn’t want them in any trouble.
“I’ll walk you girls home.”
I saw my Russian friend and co-worker Timur, he said he would walk with us, than a group formed we all began to stroll toward Mission Point, but the group quickly thinned out…some walked faster, others went in different directions…until it was just Albina, Irina and Me. We spoke about the incident on the walk back to Mission Point.
Albina was concerned for her friend Karina because once the commotion was outside the police asked Karina to come to the station to recall the events that took place. Albina continued to look back waiting to see Karina catch up to us. She never did. Even at this juncture Albina and I really hadn’t discussed how we felt about the other. Nothing about the fact that I had fallen in love when I said “Hi” to her two days ago, and at that very instant Albina fell in love with me. Albina was still worrying about Karina as we drew closer to the Quorum, she wanted to wait up for her but it was late and I suggested she get some rest because she had to work early in the morning.
“Everything’s going to be alright,” I proclaimed
She peaked down the street on last time I could still the concern in her face,
“Everything’s going to be alright,” I repeated trying to reassure her.
“Get some rest, good night Albina”.
“Good night,” she said with a soft crackle in her voice. She gracefully walked to the entrance and into the building. I sighed, I wish I could have told her how I felt, but my spirits were down because there was nothing I could do to comfort her about Karina.
But as I turned too walked away…on a sky blue bicycle, rode Karina, her braided hair blowing ever so gently….
“Yes” I thought full of glee, Karina’s here Albina will find comfort. I began my journey back towards Market Street; to Harts awaiting our next encounter but…..
“unbeknownst” as the night had begun, the woman I met at Mission Point Gym was in love with me and she wanted to express her feeling but didn’t know how, just as I didn’t…
But our next encounter would have to wait…..for four days ….but the next time we met…
Our feelings would be set ablaze “Bon Fire Night”