“You’re the quiet type, aren’t you?!” GalPal shouted at me.
She needed to shout; we were at a nightclub for the after-party of Angela’s sister’s wedding, and music was loud. I needed to be quiet; firstly because sobriety was a vague, distant memory, and secondly, I was staring at the dance floor where Angela kept threatening to break something in her lower back with her energetic gyrations.
Apparently, Angela prided in her role as the family’s black sheep, because no one in her family tried to match her feat. I knew Angela too well to be surprised by such daring. I also thought that her newlywed sister was glaring rather angrily, but I may have been seeing things, being already in a certain questionable state of inebriation myself…
I turned to GalPal and made a half-serious joke about finishing my quota of words for the day. I’d spent all afternoon chatting with her anyway. I don’t talk as much in a week as I’d talked with her on the first day of meeting her, and still, I’d managed to leave the impression that I’m the quiet type. Worrying.
GalPal said something about it being “okay,” but it was lost on me, because in so doing she turned her intimate pair of eyes on me and smiled. The effect of this? I felt a helplessness enveloping me that I didn’t feel like I had the inner will to fight. So I stuck around and looked deep into her eyes – and dozed off.
GalPal would have none of it. She nudged me towards the dance floor, and I found myself on it, unsteady, and next to Angela. The reality of it hit me so late and so suddenly that I felt a sudden headrush and became almost fully alert. The dancehall strobe lights didn’t help. I looked over my shoulder and saw GalPal flashing me a mysterious smile and a not so mysterious go-ahead thumb-up. Now, I’ll be the last one to call myself wild, but a certain blend of hops, barley and alcohol, ceaselessly consumed for two hours, had brought my inhibitions to the point where they could only watch and weep. Ineffectually.
I could feel eyes on me; many eyes; even Angela’s eyes were a puzzled question. A dark thought crossed my mind and solidified into action. My inhibitions screamed in unison… a cold, hard logic replied with the idea that nobody knew me here… And then my hand found Angela’s waist as if under the forcing of an alien marionette’s remote,