Bar Tales Chapter 12: Vida Dulce

Posted 10/19/2009 by smartblackboy in Labels: , , , ,

I wrote a facebook status that read “someone died tonight…I was there…and we were all dancing.” Ten hours later someone wanted to know whether I meant it literally. Around 3 a.m. at a party that probably violated many city laws, a girl either jumped or fell from a roof. Whether she died or was just severely injured – I have no idea. However, I know that no one in my group of 10 really cared. And that today I am struck by how inured we can be to human suffering, in fact, the very sad reality of human tragedy. When the girl fell, we had only been at the party maybe 2 or 3 minutes, but had each just paid $10. Our greatest concern as people were fleeing to their cars, afraid of the police and being found at the scene of the blood, was getting our money back.

We raced around the parking lot, looking from face to face, trying to find the person who took our money. He was inside of the house, visibly shaking, and when we confronted him – he literally almost threw our money back. His said,”a girl just fell from the roof, how can you worry about something petty.” He was right, but I felt a certain satisfaction and in fact a small triumph as I slipped my twenty back into my pocket. This night had become a metaphor for the sweet life. Earlier I had a moment of intense depression. I had journeyed to my old school, visited old friends, witnessed the death of one of my favorite galleries, and now here I was with a chance to win my night back, and even if a drunken girl fell from a roof at a party – I wasn’t ready to call it quits.

Walking quickly, still a bit intoxicated, perhaps slightly in shock and overwhelmed by it all, we fled to our cars as the ambulance came. We drove to a friend’s apartment with a great view of downtown, and we danced. Afrobeat, salsa, meringue, Harvey milk projected on the blinds, white Christmas lights, cans of millerlite, beautiful girls in garters, guys excited to meet the satorialist, in the early morning, hidden in Dallas, strangers one and all, we danced. We basked in the hormones that watching death gives off, and our hearts beat, and we felt part of something, breathless, full of wonder, we danced and it was exactly the type of moments that young artists hope for.

Yet, the weird feeling, the thing that kept bothering me, was that a girl did die. And her death was inexplicably tied to my night being redeemed. That without her presence, this mysterious extra member, this night would not have crossed the edge into sublimity. Without her, our dancing would not have had meaning. I would not be here struggling to make sense of youthful exuberance interrupted by mortality. I would not be trying to understand my own selfish attempts to shake jadedness in order to feel alive. But perhaps the most important thing is that the night was beautiful and the moment did have weight and that it was joyous, and pure, and mysterious.

And that someone did die tonight, and that I was there, and we were, indeed, all dancing.

2 comment(s) to... “Bar Tales Chapter 12: Vida Dulce”


Anonymous said...

thats insane...

WHayes said...

Well she isn't actually dead. So is it insane in that powerful, beautiful sense, or insane in that "you assholes should be in jail" kinda way?

Free Blog Counter