Novice On The Dance Floor

A new month is upon us and with it comes new opportunities and challenges to try new things. Today I dig deep into my mental archive to bring you a personal tale. Come closer and give me your attention as we embark on this grammatical adventure.

It was a dark and stormy night (It really was). The heavens had opted to unleash their contents upon us with a vengeance. The semester was over and my comrades had decided to congregate at a local club in the city as they customarily did. This night was different though, on this night something rare was going to happen. Something epic, nay! Legendary. On this night, I would be joining them to celebrate the auspicious occasion. This was after years (Yes, years) of endless pestering by my friends to join them at least once and partake of the “good life”.

Being hilariously green in the ways of “raving”, two of my comrades appointed themselves my entourage and offered to pick me up on their way to the selected destination. I got home that night and proceeded to get ready. The clothes I was to don had been laid out in advance to avoid delay and once I had “suited up” (In casual wear not a suit), I sat in wait visualizing the endless possibilities of the night and possibly morning.

In true African-timer fashion, my entourage ended up being late. Once I got the call to move out though, I strolled to the designated meeting spot to connect with them. The rain at this time had reduced to a slight drizzle which I was quite grateful for, seeing as how I did not wish to run and end up perspiring before getting the chance to turn up. I found my two partners in crime for the night Robin and Lucas, hunched over the car that was to be our transportation and fidgeting with some object. The car was a Volkswagen Beetle, white in color and rather old but very agile at maneuvering on the road in the hands of its owner Robin. This was a classic car and Robin drove it with pride. We put our heads together and found a temporary fix for the issue as the rain had begun to pick up the pace. Silently, I cursed under my breath. I was going to show up soaked, but it didn’t matter. We were on our way and we were going to slay with a fashionably late entrance.

We began our journey with wide grins that quickly turned to frowns as we hit a slight hiccup. The car stalled and needed some kinetic assistance to get moving. The time had come to put all those sessions at the gym to the test. Lucas and I got into position at the back and gave the Beetle a push and after a slight struggle, the engine spurted and coughed to life. We hurriedly hoped into our seats and Robin drove off. There we were, three guys heading out into the night to make some memories. The Beetle stalled a few more times but with a little more pushing, Robin finally got the hang of it and we began to pick up speed. The car moved swiftly through the night egged on by careful clutch control and silent prayers.

We got to the club rather late at least from my point of view, but it was a night club so I guess late was fine. By this time the downpour was quite intense. Robin proceeded to park the car as Lucas and I made our way in to the Off Road Club in Langata. One of our colleagues happened to be a DJ going by the name of Mr. Fabz (Fabz if your reading this, I expect payment for this advertising) and was performing so musically we knew we were sorted. I had so many expectations of what to expect that had been built on watching numerous movies and series. Expectations that were shattered the moment I walked in. The place was rather empty with only a few recognizable individuals present. It seemed the rain had deterred some of our fellow night-time revelers but I didn’t care. I was in a club and I was going to enjoy it.

The music in the establishment was blaring and we heard the signature phrase “You are listening to DJ Mr. Fabz” that we knew all too well.  Lucas and I came across two ladies from our class who up until that moment, had never struck me as the clubbing type. They were dressed to the nines and looked quite stunning. “So this is what they mean by ‘letting their hair down’”, I thought. Faith and Mercy (May not be their actual names) were smiling from ear to ear as they said hello and gave quick, but much appreciated hugs. They were excited to see us and Lord knows so were we. I broke off from the pack momentarily and proceeded to the DJ booth to greet Mr. Fabz. There he was manning the “wheels of steel” with headphones over one ear and behind another. Photos were taken as Robin came to join us and even more were taken. I left Fabz and Robin chatting and headed over to the table where Lucas and the girls were seated. The waiter promptly came over once I had made myself comfortable to take my order. Lucas ordered a beer and I ordered a cold Fanta (Yes, a Fanta) as I do not partake of the “Devil’s juice”. I proceeded to give the waiter a crisp 100-shilling note knowing that it would be enough to furnish me with enough drinks for the night. Man, was I wrong.

The waiter returned with our drinks then I noticed no change was given back to me. Being new to the scene, I turned to Lucas to gain some insight. Turns out the drink was actually valued at 100-shillings. 100-shillings for a 300ml bottle of Fanta? It did not compute. I could get the same bottle for much less from the Coca Cola depot. What the hell do they put in this one? Gold dust? Sadly, I resigned to my fate. I was going to drink the Fanta, but I was going to drag it out as long as possible. Of course Lucas had a laugh at my expense and so did the girls and I had to seat there looking sheepish. An overpriced drink was not going to ruin this night however. Mr. Fabz finally exercised his DJ powers and changed the song to J-Capri’s Wine and Kotch. Faith and Mercy went berserk and declared that it was time to hit the dance floor. I watched them head out to dance and as they got their groove on, I went back enjoying the scenery and fighting the urge to smile. Suddenly, Mercy walked up to me, grabbed my hand and invited me to dance.

My first instinct was to run. Me on a dance floor? That would be the day. Don’t get me wrong, I can snap my fingers to a beat, hit the quan, nae nae, whip and do lots of the other moves kids are doing these days. But dance with a girl? No. Nay. La. Zi. Hapana. That was new territory in which I had insufficient knowledge. All the moves in my arsenal were for dancing solo. I tried to resist but the girl was relentless and my “bros” didn’t help matters. They urged me on with endless chants of ‘go, go, go’ until I finally succumbed. I had to think fast, the music had a fast tempo and so I knew I could engineer a situation that would allow us to dance with a suitable distance between us. I walked onto the floor ready to blow minds with my moves, but Mercy threw me the ultimate curve ball.

She turned around and with her back to me, backed up and begun to dance. Keep in mind that this is a lot of pressure. This girl has decimated my stereotypical ideals on interacting with women in one night. First, she asks me to dance. Then leads me to the floor and makes the first move. My mind is racing, trying to rationalize the situation. I try to sway and keep up but she is too ingrained in the music. I switch to “cyborg mode” and analyze the situation. She is swinging her hips in a manner almost similar to a pendulum. I ascertain that she has established a rhythm and quickly sync up to it. For a moment, all is going well. We dance to the music and I think to myself, “hey this isn’t so bad”. Then Fabz with all his wisdom, restarts the track (Damn you Fabz!!!). My hard established rhythm is broken when the girl dips.

A bad situation just got worse. With the addition of dipping, the rhythm becomes unpredictable. I panic as my cyborg mode succumbs to a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death). I’m on my own. Mercy is still going, never missing a beat. I decide to go all in, letting the beat move me. Even if I mess up, I am among friends not on a stage auditioning. Logic and situational analysis be damned. The new approach is quite effective. We are able to sync up flawlessly and move to the beat. “Look at me I’m dancing”, I think to myself. Even the dips don’t catch me off guard. We keep going for quite some time until I tire and bow out. Lucas having watched the fiasco from the safety of his seat with great amusement is pulled in to take my place. I walk over to our table and collapse on my seat exhausted. Who would have thought dancing takes so much energy? Mercy is still dancing mind you and so is Faith. “Where is all that energy coming from?” I wondered. It must have been the work of DFDs (Dance Floor Demons). How else could you explain it? I was sweating. I had generated so much heat that my rain-soaked clothes dried up, then got soaked again with perspiration and yet the girls kept going.

I carefully avoided the dance floor for the rest of the night while the girls were on it as I was not looking forward to another “workout” session. Seating back, I visually consumed my surroundings. The club was not big. Certainly not like the ones I had seen in the movies. It was nothing like I had expected but it had made up for its shortcomings by giving me quite an unforgettable night.

We concluded our escapade quite early in the morning (I will withhold the time lest my parents happen to stumble upon this) but it was still dark. We the three partners in crime added an extra member to our little carpool, Mr. Fabz. Then headed off to our respective bachelor caves with Robin chauffeuring us. We had a laugh as Robin zipped through some traffic with ease. The rain reduced to a slight drizzle and the Beetle moved with ease still being egged on by Robin’s careful clutch control and our silent prayers. Mr. Fabz’s addition to the cheering/ prayer squad seemed to have helped psych up the engine as not once did it fail on our way back.

I got home not too late after (Still withholding the time) and once I had bid my comrades farewell, retired to my cave. The excitement had not yet faded so I just lay in bed reflecting on the events of the night. It had been quite eventful and had been made quite memorable by good friends. My mind then veered back to the memory of the dance floor. That was not something I was bound to forget anytime soon. The girl had made sure of that. “Her name is Mercy but she showed me none on that dance floor”, I thought. Smiling to myself while thinking of the irony. I had walked onto the floor a novice and walked off an expert (Or advanced beginner, your pick).

Would I do it again? Definitely, with the right company that is.

Till next time.

K.O. Aus.