El Latino and Liquid Courage
As the drinks poured and our dialogue became slurred, we decided to head to another bar, El Latino, where the cozy dance floor gave strangers a reason to get close. One of my favorite bars on Rue de la soif, the brightly painted walls takes everyone who enters away from France to a latino paradise. Our group pushed our way to the back of the bar to a small sub-room lined on all sides with bench-style seating. The air was thick and the music boomed in our ears, I don’t exactly remember what was playing when we first got there, but then Michel Teló’s Ai Se Eu Te Pego came on and we made a unanimous decision, solely through eye contact, to join the crowd of dancers.
I smiled at French James Dean who was sitting across from me. With liquid courage pumping through me to the beat of the music, I couldn’t wait any longer. I stood up and reached for his hand,
“Come on, I want to dance!”
Not understanding a word of English didn’t keep him from understanding me. We were face to face, or rather face to chest; I didn’t realize how tall he was until I was standing next to him. We danced. Because of the music, we couldn’t hear anything the other said, so we communicated with our eyes, with our bodies. He pulled me closer as the beat dropped and we danced more closely.
Through the crowd of dancers who seemed dependent on close contact to remain upright, I glimpsed Kayla. She looked concerned for me; she was following the unspoken girl code which dictates that friends save friends who are dancing with creeps. But I, being almost hypnotized by James Dean’s good looks, gave her a thumbs up to signal that I wanted to stay wrapped in his arms.
We danced. Closer and closer, until there was nothing separating us but his leather jacket and my purple, lace top. Then he gave me that look, the one that begs permission, then lifted my chin up and bent over slightly to kiss me.
The crowd, the music, the worries, they were all gone. Everything faded away. In that moment, I forgot who and where I was. It was only him and I. It was the kind of thing that happens in book and movies; certainly not to Midwest gals. A kiss that lasted forever and no time at all. I don’t remember how long we stayed like that, but we held each other close, not wanting the song to end.
(still not sure about the title of this series)