Music is in the world with you. You’ve interacted with it, seen its face, held its arms, run towards its heat. It’s been with you in those moments — the ones you want to remember, the ones you want to forget. Music has been your companion, your confidant. It has been a secret keeper and a hand holder and a place where you can get lost for a while. In this short story, music does all these things and more.
The Butterfly Lounge
I danced where the fat girls had danced. I licked the floor where their sweat had been spent, where their drinks were spilled, where they got their men. I licked it like a dog would; face between my hands, hungry. Stale, salty, black, grit, strange. I ate it all up — sucking it from my tongue, and brewing it in my saliva like sex tea.
“The fat girls danced here!” I brayed at the neon.
“That’s just a dirty floor.” Dominic was a buzz kill. “Get the fuck up. Security’s coming and I can see your underwear.”
Eyes closed, kneeling, my ass on my heels, I imagined them around me, crushing me with their disco asses. The hot beneath their lace, their shine, their Spandex. My face surrounded by their delicious fields of flesh and folds and funk, surrendering me to them, beat by beat. Their diesel thighs the boss of me. I wanted to be sat upon. Smothered. I wanted piles of flesh and dripping hair exploiting me spread-eagled and strangling. Challenging my airways like a bad, bad girl. Like sweet drowning.
The fat girls.
Dominic pulls me up hard, by my wrist. “The fat girls are gone! That club closed last week! Enough!”
He yells this into my face. My chin, my cheeks in his harsh fingers. If only I had more chins, more cheeks, I thought, his fingers would be swimming in them. Sexy.
I wrench away, poke his belly, stagger backwards. The dance floor carries me to the center. Eyes closed, I let my body find its way inside the funk. My hips find it first, then my shoulders, then my knees, then my arms, then feet. When the music and my flesh are fully fused, my eyes open and I see their ghosts. A bright mash of beautiful. Caresses of hair spun and silky, whipped and thrown. Faces lifted into the light, arms thrust…