I heard her faint laugh from a few feet away. She was smiling – broadly, placing her manicured hands gently on his shoulder as he handed her his phone to put her number in. I smirked a little as I watched them. They had been strangers just a few hours before.
—- It was a “black” party. I say that because it was hosted by black people – for black people; not exclusively, but you know what I mean. I had walked in and the room was a luminescent purple. It was dreadfully hot and heavily congested. Sweat stained shirts grazed my arm as moist, adolescent men breathed heavily on my shoulder. It was not what I expected, but it was a party.
I leaned against the wall and smiled as my friend came up to me waving her hands in the air and pursing her lips. We sang the lyrics to “F**kin problem” for a few minutes – throwing middle fingers into the air with our heads bumping and our shoulders leaning like extras in a music video. I rested my head back on the wall tiredly as the song came to an end. My friend leaned forward and opened her lips to whisper into my ear but quickly turned away as she noticed a guy resting his hands firmly on her hips.
She looked at me and then looked back at him. And before I knew it, they were at it. It was a Caribbean song playing. I wasn’t too familiar with the style of music but I was familiar with the dancing that was taking place in front of me.
It wasn’t like anything I had seen before. Legs were being thrown in the air as women slammed their partner’s against the wall with their behinds – every twitch of it, every curve of their hips perfectly attuned to the beat. Men rested their fingers on their girls’ waist and proceeded to “dagger” her until…until I don’t know.
But I stood there in awe. Surprised. A little uncomfortable.
A little insecure.
Guys would reach out their hands towards me or ‘sneakily” crawl towards my behind but my answer was always the same:
“No thank you.”
After my rejection, I would watch as they grabbed at another girl. The next one always willing. Always able.
Most times I tell myself it’s cause I didn’t and don’t want to.
And it really is. A large part of me would want to save that kind of “intimacy” – if I ever get around to learning how to dance like that.
— But on days like this where I’m the girl in the corner of a train station, sipping a bottle of water, and typing letters on my phone to create the illusion of a conversation as my friend is making plans for a date with the guy she danced with; On days where I hear echoes of people who tell me I’ve got a big ass and nothing to show for it, or how it’s possible to be a black girl who doesn’t twerk, when thoughts creep into my head about if I in all my non-whining glory will be enough, I really, really don’t want to be the black girl who can’t dance.
P.S: Please refrain from trying to comfort me or reassure me. I don’t need it. This is more of a commentary than a personal thing. At least it is now.