Okay, so I’ve mentioned to you guys that I got dumped and it was my own fault. There have been some pretty awful things welling up inside me for a while now. I lied and have been feeling like the scum of the earth.
Being back in LA hasn’t made that sentiment magically disappear. Getting back to my life and repairing the internal damage has become a much more difficult task than I originally imagined. This past week actually proved to be emotionally trying in such a way I thought I would just, well, snap.
Aside from life in general, there’s the icing on the cake. Yes, you know what they say, “When it rains, it pours an El Niño level 5 perfect storm!”
No? That’s not how it goes?
Well, that’s what my heart says.
Since I started this blog, I have been censored three times. It’s a funny thing, but for those of you that don’t know me, the fact that there was compliance means I am most definitely not myself right now. I would never have succumbed to pressure of any kind from anyone. But sure enough, I have become a quivering little shadow of my once confident self, so yeah, delete away I did.
Mind you, I left the studio system long ago because of the censorship.
Maybe that’s why I called Effie (not from the Hunger Games). Efrain is an old Cuban friend from the money to burn days. He worked for me a while and together we stood united against the tyranny of the studio red pencil.
“I’m in Boy’s Town”, he said, excitedly answering the phone. “Shu better get here now”.
1) Effie is my most flamboyant gay friend. It’s going on a 20-year friendship. We can go for ages without talking or seeing each one another, but when we come together, it’s as though no time has passed.
2) Despite what you may have heard about West Hollywood being an all-encompassing LGBT mecca, it is not. It is Boys’ Town. For every one woman walking around, there are 500 men (not official stats).
Normally, with the way my heart has been, I wouldn’t have gone out. Yet, something sparked when I heard that thick Cuban accent. Visions of my 13-year old self crept into my head. The double life: Shedding my Catholic school uniform with joy, sneaking into clubs, having my first Cosmo, dancing to Oingo Boingo at Axis.
Yeah, fond memories of WeHo.
The following text went to a few single folks who might be going out:“Hey all, Boys’ Town after 10. Y? N? Hit me ↑”
Heels, leopard-print jeans, a fashionably-torn up Suicidal Tendencies t-shirt, and gold jewelry. “Hmmm”, I thought to myself. This is where the Greek-Italian in me makes her case: “It’s not really dressing up until you put on some gold”.
Okay. Begrudgingly I gave in and off I went.
As the club- bars started coming into view, I considered turning around. Really, this was no mood for fun. I still felt like I didn’t deserve it. Like some dysfunctional relationship PTSD.
My phone glared at me with a message from Effie: “Donde estas?”
I sighed, responded with a quick “OMWy” pushing through the self-doubt.
Minutes later, walking toward the club, a bass’ thump-thumping made its way through my body with my face surrendered an involuntary grin. Immediately after, I heard a familiar voice ahead.
“Mijita, I love jour shirt!”, then that warm hug.
I studied his flawless ensemble: Tortoise-framed Matsudas, Red vest, black AX hooded T, cherry Campus Adidas with gold laces (there was some jealousy here).
Strangely enough, he had already found the guys I texted, having waved them over like childhood friends to a campfire.
We did some quick catching up as the group drifted into the club.
Now, I know people who say, “I hate pop music”, and you can say whatever you like about it, but let me tell you, there is something electrifying when you walk into a club, full of people dancing to that pop song everyone knows the lyrics to.
In this case, the DJ extended the intro. It was slow, consequently the energy sank. Then Calvin Harris’ isolated voice blared in his singular timbre, “When I met you in the summer”. The club came to life, everyone cheered in unison, “To my heartbeat’s sound!”
There was no fighting it. Effie took my hand, I shook off the vestiges of my broken heart, following him to the dance floor.
I joined in the singing, “We fell in love, as the leaves turned brown!”
Moments later, the beat dropped into a euphoric instrumental dance break. The dancers chanted, “SUMMER!”
And I let go.
As every song ended I told myself, “That was good, I’m done”, but the DJ wasn’t having it. He kept playing the pop songs, the dance songs, those ones we can’t seem to get out of our head.
I danced all night long.
Until closing time.
Dripping sweat from nose to toes, I walked outside getting a smack of California winter air. My lungs quickly sucked in the crisp oxygen providing me with the elusive “natural high”. I smiled. Big. Ear to ear.
That’s when I noticed Effie and the other boys looking at me. “How ju feeling now?”
“Better”, I admitted. “Nowhere near one-hundred percent, I still feel awful thinking about what I did, but yeah, I’m less, um broken”, I muttered.
“Mijita”, Effie consoled, “Ju learned a hard lesson. Now ju gotta be better. I know jur gonna be”.
My eyes welled up.
I wondered, “Will I be better? Can I be better?”
One of the other guys ran up to me, flailing a little with intoxication. “Girl, you were tearing it up in there. We need to do this every week!”
Everyone laughed, coming together in a sloppy communal hug.
I’m certainly going to keep trying to be better, do better.
Oh! While definitely taking some nights along the road for singing along to overplayed pop music and dancing my cares away.
For a few hours I was vibrant, confident, hopeful. I felt true to myself.
Music brought me back.
Thanks Mr. DJ