By Patrick Alcatraz
NEW YORK - There used to be a club on the East Side here called Jukebox. It was a place for loud music and friendly patrons, so friendly that some called it a place to go and offer a bit more than a spin on the floor to a tune by, say, The Stones. I went there once with a friend and it was an okay time. We met this other couple, the woman being the more attractive of the two. Three beers later, the guy in the couple said he thought it was a good idea that we swap women. I said, sure. His old lady reached for my hand and off we went to dance. From the dance floor, I could see my friend in deep chit-chat with my dance partner's dude. I danced.
When we went back to the table all four of us shared, my friend said she was ready to split. It seemed odd, especially with me knowing she'd been wanting to go to this particular club for weeks. But I went along. What I had coming from her later that evening was worth the disappointment of leaving a lively joint. Outside, she ran her arm inside mine and held on as we walked the five-six blocks to her place in the frigid, wind-whipped air. The noise of this city's streets at all hours allows for forgetting the bullshit of any previous moment. I began thinking about making love to her, forgetting the spirit inside the bar. At the next intersection, she said: "That guy back in the club said you'd agreed to us swapping mates...for bed."
I coughed as if someone had bought it for me and stuffed it down my throat. The sound lasted a good ten seconds and it wasn't until we'd crossed the street that I managed to again breathe easily. I said: "Really?" I like that word, cause it's so deep and can be interpreted in a jillion ways. She said: "Was it true?"
"No," I said in all seriousness and she looked me in the eye. Who knows why women look into a guy's eyes. But she again held onto me as we kept walking. I had not agreed to anything, yet I wondered if she could ever believe me. It was one of those questions. I could scream my answer to the tops of the skyscrapers and I'd still not know if she believed me. The guy back at the club had me by the balls. I kept walking, signaled toward a coffee shop and we walked into the place to grab a hot cup for the rest of the walk.
I suppose I could have gone ahead and told her the swap idea would have been good for me. Good, I say, if good is a woman with a killer body - legs, breasts...and God's choicest morsel, baby. The Bedroom Trinity, en otras palabras. For me, it was like seeing my other local galpal Katie light the Menorah that night at her place. I don't know much about the Jewish religion, or why Katie did that, but I did choose to see it as Katie paying homage to something - me or someone better in her Big Sky. I remember this: we knew how to best end a night on the town.
There is, as that song says, a New York State of Mind...
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