akbar, tonight

All day I was miserable in the heat, crabby and uncomfortable. Tonight, though, stepping out onto the sidewalk in the late hour, my legs bare in a short dress, the subdued warmth is sensual, and I'm grateful for it. It makes me momentarily miss Arizona, where every summer evening was this exotic and rich. I move down the street quickly, headphones already in my ears, anxious to catch the train. I love running down the steps of the station in my flat boots. Never the escalator, down or up. Too impatient.

Packed dance floor. We carve out just enough space to move, to let others move near us. So much carefree joy. We could be teenagers, all of us. Every song greeted the same way: heads cocked momentarily as the first notes hit us. Then: recognition - and often laughter - before finding the beat. Crowd pleasing songs. Guilty pleasures. A couple nearby has their shirts off. They're beautiful, in wild abandon, all smooth skin, muscle, jawline, and anticipation. I feel happy for them, untouchable in the perfect, public intimacy.

The ends of my hair are soaking wet and whipping around my face. My dress is a thick woven cotton, almost suffocatingly tight across my chest. The back of it is drenched. He's sweating too, but neither of us cares, and neither of us wants to stop moving.

He's graceful and playful, my friend. Trained as a dancer, confident, truly happy. He wears a sequin-covered tank top and a spiked leather glove on one hand. His joy is contagious and genuine, and I love being around him. We've been growing close in the past few months, and tonight he calls me his "LA girl." We're tipsy and silly and having ungodly amounts of fun, but the moment is lovely and real, and I treasure the pronouncement. We gab about boys and shoes and sex and boys again. We dance. We vogue. We make a mockery of the music, or the music makes the mockery of us. Doesn't matter. So much fun.

We spend ourselves, we exhaust our wallets. We chat up friends we run into. We thank the DJ, a friend, for an awesome set. We fall into a cab, and I push him out, drunk and giggling a few blocks down, before continuing home myself.

Sometimes life levels me, just devastates me with happiness. What more could I ask for, than to love and be loved by good-hearted, smart, funny, talented friends, who can dance the bars down.

I could ask for a lot more of life, and I will. But I will never forget what I've got right now, filling my cup to overflowing.