Kevin Gates, is a short man with broad shoulders. Shoulders that carried a chip which had haunted him since his growing spurt came up short ten years past. He walked down main street in Tuscaloosa hoping to relieve some pent up physical and mental energy – some refer to this condition as being a bit backed up. Kevin’s acquaintances considered him a decent fellow over all, but he resisted every impulse to develop close friends. Friends are a kind of individual light that drip like water into the soul. Water that pushes against obelisks that have remained tacit yet functional for his lifetime. These structures keep light on the surface of things. He walked by a sign that introduced the strip; an appendage of Tuscaloosa, a place where a man could disappear without the surveillance of social expectations. There was always something enticing about abandoning the unspoken rules of society and dancing in the darkness, rubbing sweaty bodies in crowded rooms and liberating the mind from watery light with a thumping bass. In the darkness, a man can fling himself against the limits of society and violate the everyday functions of the corporate body. Thick smoke, dim lights, loud music, all together has a way of releasing the soul and letting it breath. Like a small rat-hole the faded grey door of Egan’s pushed against the crowded line of people trying to force their way into the darkness. A resistance that Mofo Brown facilitated as he sat policing the participants and taking tens from the hands of thirsty strangers. Gates slipped between two tall boisterous girls whose distraction allowed him to keep the ten still crumpled in his hand and entered the musky establishment. Inside, he orders a long Island and leans against the greasy bar feeling the flow of the incoming crowd brush against his anxious skin. The crowd excited him. He could feel his sex rushing to the surface in the dark as bodies rolled and pushed to the bass and drum bringing his thrill to the edge of climax. After a few sips of liquor, he could close his eyes and listen as the sounds merged into a lightless obsidian sea sending waves of pleasure rolling down from his neck to the back of his thighs. A muscled arm reaches through the crowd and hands him a vial. It is a popper. Hugging it to his nose he breaths deeply and allows the rush to push against the wall that resists orgasm. By this time the crowd has swollen, flesh against flesh jumping and thrashing shadows against colorful and chaotic lights. A thin membrane of self control bulges with the pressure of the gyrating crowd. He gulps his drink and signals for another. A member of the crowd slips out, pushes between Gates and another patron, and waves for alcohol. He drinks it down pulling the last drops of lubricant down his dry throat. The crowd continues touching Kevin on every side and the refreshed member reunites with the rhythm of crowd and the Drum and the Bass, awkwardly at first and then steady, steady , pounding. Kevin’s heart races with the driving kick and the tingling in his skin rises and falls with the resonance of filters that sweep an audio bliss over the frenzied congregation.
‘Shit. Stupid fucking shit,” Kevin’s revelry is disrupted by his need to pee. He waltzes through the throng of sticky bodies toward the urinals. He barely makes it. His pee comes out in spurts as it bypasses the fluid that prophesies a lubricated ecstasy. When he is done he shakes it a few times liberating drops from the head into the ceramic throat of the toilet. Gates places his penis in his pants and zips his zipper. As he returns, he wonders if he will fit into his favorite spot at the bar. The perfect place to survey the crown. There he felt elevated, a power above the dance floor. He was in the middle and apart. He was where the rotating ribbon of flesh moved in circuitous footpaths pushing against every body lying in the darkness. His spot was smaller crowded by a set of big burly shoulders tangled with a thin neck draping a sheer dress. These extensions of the growing mass unknowingly welcomed him into their writhing passions. Kevin signaled for one more drink and swallowed it whole. On cue, a feminine arm reached out from the body of dancers and offered another popper. Kevin accepted and drank deep of its bottled vapors. His vanishing high returned with a sudden gasp. The couple that rubbed against his side also pushed him out toward the undulating mob. His drink splashed against a body passing by who, in anger, knocked the drink from Kevin’s hand, fisted him, and swung him around toward the center of the dance floor. The lights shifted from green to orange to red to blue to… Gates fell down. His body tingled from the fist against his flesh. The jumping and throbbing of the crowd continued to pummel his body in that prone position. Kevin could feel their violence rubbing against and at times stepping on him. There was blood trickling from his head – just enough to wet around his eye. Every sensation from the crowd heightened his yearning as he grasped whoever he could and pulled himself up to his feet. Again a popper came out from the crowd. Gates took a deep breath and let himself go. The warm release of his orgasm left him breathless. In the dark, he couldn’t see anyone, and no one could see him. Only flashes of flesh and colors collapsing on one another left traces against his memory. There was no need to hold any one. The mob on the dance floor enwombed him in their totality. This was love.