leaving it all on the second floor

June 22nd, 2009

Sitting on the curb, the cars in front of us driving past. The street light illuminating the little stall where we got our food from: a bowl of beef noodles for me, chicken rice for my friend. We’re waiting for our other friends to join us – there is a party to go to tonight, after all.

We silently eat our food, gazing at the cars passing in front of us. Their lights, yellow and red, illuminating the dark night. It’s chill, but not too cold. A slight breeze keeps us comfortable.

“This rice is good”. I inhale the heat of the soup, take a bite of my noodles, turn my head and smile in agreement.

His friends arrive shortly after – grabbing a quick bite – doing some pre-party drinking from the local 7-11, and off we go, to the second floor in Taipei. The “second floor” is really on the second floor, it turns out. In line, I show my ID to the guard. He looks at the face in my passport, then lifts his eyes, gazes at me for a second or three, looks at my passport again. “It’s okay if you wanna use, but please don’t sell any, okay?” I give him a slightly blank look, smile and go in.

The night is still young – as the evening progresses, people come and go, and the floor fills up. The music becomes more intense, taking over our sensual sensory experiences. We start dancing, and dancing. To the beat that doesn’t stop. Friends come and go, it’s getting late and they start leaving. But it’s me and my friend. And we go on and on. We laugh, we concentrate, we leave our consciousness on the floor. We dance til deep in the night.

It’s getting light when we get out. “The birds are singing, fool!” he shouts at me, laughing, and chucking his half full bottle of water at me, trying to splash me. I laugh and push him back. As we cross the streets, we see people in suit, carrying briefcases, on their way to the train station, ready to go to work.

hearing you speak like that brings back memories of a time when the music really meant something. a time of relating, where people seem to shed the defenses built up while living in this sometimes cruel world…a place where people were friends no matter our backgrounds – where we lived, what we did in life, what ethnicity we were – everything was dropped because the only thing that mattered was that we stepped in time with the beat, and that is how we shared our universe. can’t explain the thoughts and the things we did. it just meant something then and it no longer means the same thing now…

Posted in life-as-fiction, music

One Response

  1. oso

    Beautifully written Lokman. Those slivers of remembrance between night and dawn are somehow always the most nostalgic. Where is that last quote from? I can certainly relate to it.

book and sword : gratitude and revenge

is the first novel written by Jin Yong. The protagonist is Chan Ka Lok, who is the leader of the Red Flower Society. The book title refers to Ka Lok being famous for being well-versed in culture and martial arts, but also for having to make a difficult ethical decision. My father named me and my brother after him.

The subtitle is from a poem Desiderata