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Mr. Mysterious Man

USA | Tuesday, 23 October 2012 | Views [400]

He was standing next to me holding a drink in one hand. He wasn't the typical average 5'10" guy, he is much shorter than that but anyone standing next to a 5 foot chaparita like me (5'1" in the morning), it's just a bigger world for me. His shoulder stood a few inches above mine. His arm hit the back of my forearm but when I looked up to see who the Mysterious Man was he looked away. Must've been the motion of the salsa dancers that made him do it. It was not intentional. Too bad because the effects of my Starbucks concoction—tall ice coffee with 4 pumps of chai and whole milk—had just kicked in and I wanted to dance.

Colorful lights bounced off the wooden dance floor and pranced across the semi-crowded nightclub. Bartenders served their usual watered-down neon green Tokyo Ice teas and the promoter roared, “Salsa and bachata, every Monday night here in La Jolla!” into the microphone as Romeo’s bachata song, “Promise” blasted through the stereo. It was my favorite song and I was itching to dance.

A tall man with leather brown skin, curly eye lashes and a Crest white smile lead a mousy, fair woman to the floor. The woman had moves but what is most impressive about her is that her limbs are made of steel. She may look frail but when a man spins her a 1000 times per second, she'll stop on the right beat with flawless composure. She reminds me of Charlize Theron's secret superhero character in that Will Smih movie. I can't remember the name!

A second man, a very short man pranced across the room to the 40-year-old curvaceous yoga instructor, he took her hand and she took his. They danced and I wanted to dance too.

All at once, the sway of dancers gliding their feet across the floor rippled across the sidelines. My shoulder nudged against the Mysterious Man, Mr. MM, and again he looked away. His short black hair and brown Latino looks were familiar to me; perhaps I had danced with him before. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to dance to one of my favorite songs, I purposely nudged my arm against Mr. MM a little harder and he finally looked at me and asked, “Hey, how have you been?”

My hope dwindled and I said, “Good, and you?”
He asked me, “Do you come here a lot?”

I said, “Yes. I haven't seen you in a while, how have you been?"

He extended his arm and I politely took his as he led me to the floor.

He smiled and I smiled back. Romeo sang his bachata ballad, the song went into full swing as Mr. MM gave me the slightest push or pull, I didn’t know if it was a push, a pull or a nudge—I couldn’t find his rhythm. I panicked because if I can't find his rhythm then I can't feel the music. He didn't have a pattern. I pressed my palm hard against his to create resistance. He moved to the right, 1, 2, 3, 4 and he moved to the left, 1,2,3,4. Left and right, left and right. I felt like a pendulum that was off by 5 seconds, sometimes 10.

Alas, he spun me.  To add variety, he spun me again for a total of three times. It was really exciting.

The Starbucks concoction had kicked in the worst time ever, I became exuberant, I wanted to style, I wanted to express my creativity but as a follower, I was limited to his lead. Since I couldn't find his rhythm, it was like being on a light rollercoaster without a seat belt. I breathed in and out long Ojai breaths, the breath of yoga. The song is almost over Jane, you can make it! I looked deep into his eyes, trying my best to find the slightest trace of electricity.

I wanted to tell him, “Yes you are the man of the club, now if only you could relax and not apologize so much for stepping on my feet.”

I wanted to tell him, “I don't care how good or bad you are as long as you’re having fun because then, I might have some fun too!”

In salsa it is the man’s job to lead but Mr. MM was trying to follow me. Perhaps I looked like a man so I told him in my sexiest huskiest feminine voice, “You know, it’s actually the man’s job to lead, not the girl’s.”

He yelled above the music, “What?”

I said, “This is my favorite song!”

He yelled, “Mine too!”

When the song finally ended I thanked him for the dance and disappeared into the crowd. I grabbed the shortest dude in the club, I acknowledged the 40-year-old yoga teacher and she smiled back, it’s my turn. No more mysterious men for me.

Tags: la jolla, salsa, san diego

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