- or Margarita in a Shot Glass



"Oh, What a night!" It wasn't to turn out as just another Saturday Night Fever dance outing. This one turns out extra hot for "The Dancer." 

Innocuously enough, I caught Barbara-Can't-Wait-To-Dance standing alone and we strut out to the still empty dance floor. Song after song after song, complete freedom to dance liberally everywhere over that  shimmering dance floor- the euphoric "space" of the dancer.  Later we agreed that this moment was unusually prolonged since no other intruding dance couples came aboard, insuring the complete attention of every club reveler. This evening the body created more new moves, many which I know, as a former maker of sculpture, are appreciated by the Standers, the Sitters, the "Wall Flowers."  More and more I use ballet gesture and form as assimilated, integrated, mixed media spice- for disco and hip-hop dancing. Then daring inspiration - a more perfected, exaggerated pause of motionless, just standing there as if frozen in time, interjected interludes among blurry swirls of bodily movement, synchronized with the specific song's message and beat. It was so nice to have upped the bar for my private dancing repertoire.

There was Sitting Mazie. She was out again tonight, I thought to myself. She said her medical recovery was terrible but she wanted to come here tonight to listen and watch other people dancing. I wheel-chaired her out two weeks ago. Back then she couldn't stand up to go. Yet here she was again, moving to the beat in her chair.

Suddenly along comes Barbara and bumps into me. She informs me that yes, Harold was indeed angry because he now has to share her as a dancer with me and "doesn't have her all to himself like the former days." Said he was playing games, playing hard to get, because of the new partnering competition. Defiantly she said she was going to talk to him about that. I said don't start a fight. She reaffirmed "No man is going to tell me what I can or cannot do!" Sounds familiar.

I revolve back to the other side of the club, where Mazie always sits. Nice corner, right up to the dance floor, with shelf to place one's drink, up close to surround-sound monster speakers, and the unobstructed dance floor view. This is the corner where she always starts dancing. Then if the floor is still empty, circulates around the edge and ends up back at the starting point at the entry dance floor step down. I join her, flapping, guided whole arm swings to create central centrifugal force to make the body free as a top. I move with the rhythm, portraying many times the lyrics of the classic being re-experienced in these retro disco hip hoppity days.

Candy my friend and server, the blonde cocktail waitress, just got over yet another cold. The hours, the pay, the rude customers, the STRESS. I told her about SeaSilver. Told her it's the magic elixir, with everything in it. She thanks me for another generous tip. As if a goddess straight out a centerfold, little did I know she would later quit to pursue a programming career, to use a college degree she hid so well.

During a boring hip hop sequence I stand around in Sandy's section for the evening, and along comes Dr. Wren, my x- shrink.

Now I went to him only because insurance covered and it would be great to get into some professional psychological debate about ME. Back then on the couch it was like, "How to overcome REJECTION as an Artist" . Everything kept becoming philosophical as he garnered fees and my work continued to not sell or get rejected.

"How are you doing now?" he asked. "My work continues and it's all over the Web. You can see some at "lastplace.com". "Last place?" "Lastplace." "I'd never go there." "Even if my art is there?" "Yes."

Now that sounded very rigid to me. "Is it always this young?" "It's older earlier? I just got here." 

Twenty minutes later I bump into him again, making the rounds.

"Guess I'll go now, I'm too old for this." 

"I'm starting up a jazz vocal group." 

"Cool," I respond with hidden disinterest.

"So how are you selling, your art?" 

"Same old, same old." 

"So what is the problem? (started sounding like a shrink) - it's a simple solution. If you have the talent and great art, just visit gallery after local gallery until you find one owner willing to support and promote your work at their risk of loss and profit.

"What's the problem?"

"You STILL afraid of Rejection?"

(Dear reader, you see what the artist has to go through?)

"Why, I could do it - find a gallery that will carry your work and sell it," he offers.

"How much would I get if I did this for you - find a gallery to represent your work."

"Twenty percent" came out of my mouth. Gallery would already take over 50% of the sales price.

He acknowledged the percent as satisfactory with a change of expression-

"I have learned you can only make so much in psychiatry."

"Just like dentistry" I said in the most empathetic tone that I could muster.

"Call me up, here's my card" and with that, standing once more alone with the possibility to financial success through art finally, served to me on a silver platter, compliments of my disco club - my x-shrink as my new art agent."

An intriguing thought - what gallery owner can continue to refuse to help a psychiatrist get into the lucrative business of selling fine arts by a master. (I am you know - www.lastplace.com - check out 'Cyberbabies" link on homepage)

Little did I know weeks later I would see him again in this club and ask, "Well, do you still want to be my art agent." His response this time, "No, I'm too busy."
Back to the drawing board for me!

I was almost ready to leave when Oh My God there's Cheryl! On the circular routine route around the club, on the extreme other end of the dance floor from Mazie's side, I approach and greet Cheryl. She's the woman I felt sorry for after seeing the black stub remnants of her upper front teeth, knew couldn't afford it, so gave her 4 free root canals and acrylic caps.  Wondered if now, with an improvement in her smile, she actually applied for law school.

Now she looks at me and smiles. 

I go up to her and say, "You look way better with teeth" (like as in Your Dentist). Oops, mistake, not Cheryl, some other woman that looks like Cheryl. She looked at me, mouth awry, by this opening line from a stranger. Now, I thought she must think, "That's an opening from a guy I don't get everyday."

Then she said, "Oh I know YOU - from over 5 years ago."

She was standing a few seconds earlier intimately together with this older white guy but now with me and  alone.  She's beautiful and young - late twenties to early thirties, long black hair, nice fine featured nose and temples, with large black eyes- both at the same time alluring as well as distant. She stood about 5 feet 2, not the tallest woman there but pixie like and cute, with a well proportioned and firm young woman's body. 

 She requested, "Let's Dance." Weirdly that was the song playing when she Asked Me To Dance, quite an aggressive young lady.

She looked very foxy. Tight warp around dress with diving neckline, fully supported from within, with bold jungle patterns. 

So I say, "Hey, (pointing  my finger on an extended arm) looks like a jungle (you animal you). "That's what all the men are saving." Shit, guess I was being herd-like when I thought to myself I was being creative. 

Then she said while we danced, "I can tell you are hot by the way you dance. And you're looking good."

Suddenly without hesitation she says,

What time are you leaving? Take me home." 

I was shocked, married man and all.

"I want to have sex with you." Her eyes peered up to me, the corners of her well formed dark red lips slightly pouted, her body leaning in towards mine, then bracing her gentle fall towards me, halted by her hand on my chest. And so it went.....

To change the subject I said, 

"Can I get you a drink?" 


"What would you like?" It was loud in there, too loud when you have to order a drink for somebody else. 

"A shark." 

"Are you sure it's a shark?" 

"A Shark."

Waking down the aisle of pulsating hip hop I go order a drink for this woman who was NOT Cheryl! Looked like her, really thought it was her, convinced that the teeth could make that much a difference for physical glamour. Cheryl was that good a looker.

I return empty handed and she looks at me disgusted, like, "where is my drink, dude?"

 "The bar girl wants to know what things are in that drink, The Shark?"

"Not Shark."



(Silence) (Realize it's her accent)


"OH 'SHOT', ......."

"Of What?"


.... (pause)







"Something to get you wasted?"



Finding Candy the waitress I tell her this woman wants a shot (1 ounce) of anything strong. "How about a Margarita?" 


I return this time triumph, not empty handed again, but with the gathered stiff drink that she wanted.

She accepted the drink with a wink, then asked, "What's this, a dwarf Margarita?"

Must admit I never saw anything so absurd as a glass shot glass  laced with salt, a miniature of the real thing - but twice as expensive, not including a generous tip for my imagined centerfold.

"Take Me Home" she moaned.

"Here, let me take that (empty) glass from you and get you another."

She nodded her compliance for that next drink.

I snatched the empty glass from her warm hand that swiftly grabs my retreating hand, now with the transferred glass, rubbing her finger tips deep into my palm.  I walked off to return the glass, and exit the situation.  Never did get her name, but she got mine - tucked my card that she requested into her bra with rascal flirting eyes looking up at me as she inserted it.

Giving her the empty shot glass, I said good night to Candy, then walk to the other side to leave, only to find out, like two weeks ago, Mazie could not stand up again!

 Barbara huddles with Mazie, I stand by, then Barbara orders, "Go get the wheel chair. And this time, for Pete's Sake be more careful than the last time - you shoved her feet into guys lining the pathway! I'll go get her car and drive it to the lobby."

I assist and put her in the chair and move it like a snail, yet never a complaint from the seated. Slowly we made our way through the forest of standing men, for the most part. Outside the club and unto the outside of the hotel lobby, Barbara had brought Mazie's steed around and nobody was permitted to help her get up off that wheelchair and into her car because she would have to do this by herself when she got home.  Her large black body finally made into the driver's seat.

"Thank you, Rodney," she said, with a grateful smile.

And she was off, hoping she'd be able to stand up later to get out of the car and up to her apartment.

Barbara comforted by saying "She'll be OK."

(Actually I found out later she almost died lying paralyzed in her apartment until someone discovered her days later after her fall. She recently had a knee replacement and isn't coming back to the club until the other side is also done.)

"And I," said Barbara, the watchful friend of Maizie, " shall go back inside and get my things." Which meant she knew I was heading to the escalator to go home myself but she would stay a bit longer.

Later, that look-alike but younger and prettier, not to mention firmly more shapely than Cheryl, mental image haunted my male bravado of caring to dare to bare and have an affair.


But No Thank You.


With no regrets, went home to sleep with my wife.


Pygoya, 2003