Thursday, August 02, 2001

Dread Love

I think I can trace it back to Atlanta, 1982. When dance music for me became more than just punk and new wave. I was going to college in Mobile, Ala, and a good pal had invited me to spend Thanksgiving break with him and his "cool" sister in Atlanta. When we got to Atlanta, I discovered that she was "cool" to Pete because she had a gay roommate, was a fag hag herself, and while Pete was str8, he knew that I could use a break with some "cool" folks, as our campus had very, very few out gay folks. Pete was affectionately known as Peter Tosh, his favorite person in the whole world. Pete was blond, from D.C., very low-key and kept to himself, smoked lots of dope, and listened to nothing but reggae (although he tolerated my taste for new wave and punk - esp. The Clash). 2 years younger than me, he was very protective of me all the previous semester when the "news" spread that I was queer, and so this fall term, we hung out alot. One night, they were all tired, but they insisted I go to the local gay club, it was within walking distance. Haven't the foggiest idea the name, or if it's still around. It looked and sounded typical: lit up dance floor, flashing lights, over-dressed guys, and annoying thumpy screaming-female-vocal disco music. But I grabbed a drink, and headed upstairs to a sort of cat-walk/balcony view of the dance floor.

Up there, across the way from me, was a tall, handsome man, who seemed to be eyeing me. He had long, very curly, just past the shoulders beautiful brown hair. I was surprised I found him attractive - I mean, he had a great, strong face, and a slim, nicely built body, but long hair usually turned me off. But his was amazing, not frizzy, not in one of those short-on-the side long-in-back cuts (i had one the following year, god!), but just a beautiful, think head of curly long hair. So, I stared back, and eventually, we each cracked a smile. The smiles continued, but neither of us made a move towards the other. Then, the music seemed to change, starting off with some fakey thunder noises, and some cheesey female voice-over, as people from all over the club started squealing, and rushing to the dance floor, arms waving frantically and screaming. I looked at my companion quizically, he made a vague gesture, and we both dashed to the stairs, met, and ran down the stairs together, onto the dance floor. We made a funny-looking couple, as I was still wearing my grown-out Mohawk, and of course I couldn't dance worth shit. But the dancefloor was so crowded, and everyone was so fuckin' enlivened, and the Weather Girls were belting out It's Raining Men like mad - so, dispite my inability to put one foot in front of the other properly, I let loose, and danced, and laughed, and even got a few kisses from this handsome man.

The song seemed to last forever, but in a really good way. As it began to fade out, we were hit hard with a completely different sound, one that I had heard only once before in public, in San Francisco the previous summer. Icouldn'tfuckinbelieveit! Nina Hagen's Dread Love was blasting, and while a few people left the floor, most stayed, and continued dancing like mad......

At some point we left the club, this guy (i have no idea his name) walked me home, and I offered to smoke a joint with him. Getting back to Pete's sister's apartment, I ran upstairs, and quietly woke Pete, to ask for some dope. He grinned as I explained I met someone, and we were gonna hang out outside. He readily handed me his baggie with papers, and I returned to curly-hair man. We only had a few hits, and began making out. This went on for awhile, and the music was still playing in my head as our crotches were grinding together, the sky was getting slightly lighter, and our hard-ons eventually exploded inside our pants. We stopped soon after that, giggled like kids, and he said he really had to get home.

The following day, as the sister and her roommate tried drilling me for info on what my night was like, Pete was quietly happy just to see me smiling to myself all day.