We walked through the empty restaurant up front and ascended the stairs trepidatiously to the party of a mutual friend. The party had a 70’s disco theme, but we’d both opted to wear whatever the hell we wanted instead. We weren’t in sororities anymore, for heaven’s sake. As we reached the top of the stairs, the cool calmness of the empty downstairs was promptly replaced with a waft of hot, humid air, music so loud it was nearly undecipherable, and crowds of rowdy, drunk, haphazardly costumed party goers.
We exchanged a glance not sure whether to laugh or run.
As we scanned the room looking for the birthday boy, who wasn’t hard to spot- dancing, wearing a sequined cowboy hat flanked, as always, by beautiful women on either side, we noticed that though we weren’t as young as college days, we were by far the youngest guests in attendance. Middle aged women in halter tops jiggled to music I can only assume belonged to the themed decade. Grey haired men watched on in half interest, half alcohol infused haze.
This was one of those occasions that called for a drink. If only we could find one. Our primary option was to swig tequila straight from the bottles that were in ice buckets scattered about here and there on the tables encircling the dance floor. We exchanged another glance, not a shot in hell. We made our way through sweaty writhing bodies in order to properly greet our host and birthday boy. At first glance, he didn’t register who we were, but quickly came to. He wrapped us in his arms and had he applied cologne earlier that evening, it was now replaced with the scent of sweat and booze. Before having to uncomfortably escape, a woman in a beaded mini dress captured his attention and we were free to make our break.
Before we were able to collect our coats from the banquette where we’d stashed them safe from harm’s way, I felt a striking pain to the back of my bare shoulder. Startled, I turned around to see a silver fox apologizing for having made me collateral damage in his disco dance moves. I noticed the scratch on my shoulder left behind by the large shiny watch he was wearing on his wrist. I frowned and my friend said, “At least it’s a nice watch.” I laughed for the first time since we’d arrived.
The woman who he was dancing with seemed concerned and she came over to rub my shoulder.
I told her I was okay, but she said, “Don’t worry, I’m a yoga teacher.” I smiled politely as she continued to massage my shoulder firmly.
“You have really tight shoulders. You are blocking your heart chakra. You really need to open your heart. Has anyone told you that before?”
I smiled again and said, “Yes, I’ve heard that.”
Before things got too awkward, the silver fox twirled her back to him to continue their Saturday Night Fever and my friend simultaneously caught my arm as we finally made our great escape.
Down the stairs and back into the coolness of the deserted restaurant we put on our coats and hugged goodbye before catching two separate taxis home.
“We’re too old for this shit.”
(If you’re not too cool to dress up):
Photos by Michael Stiegler