I turned my room upside down to find a receipt for a book I wanted to return. I didn't find it. I found something else instead. A plane ticket. Marked for December 11th. Berlin-NY-LAX. Wow. I forgot all about that. That little flat, rectangular devil. Seriously, this is killing me. A ticket home. To family, to friends. A ticket I can not redeem. While I stared at the ticket in utterly disbelief, someone knocked on my door. At 9 pm? Who could possibly be knocking on my door? It is a girl I met briefly two days ago: "Let's go salsa dancing!"
Salsa? Now? I am curled up in my chair, legs on my desk, reading "Marx's Ghosts" by Derrida. That book by the way is already driving me crazy: Ghosts, phantasma, Plato's cave allegory, the lie of our minds, communism, it is all there. Compressed into allegorial terms no normal and sane person uses in his or her everyday speech. Derrida slaps "Metonymie", "Syntagma", "Iterabilität" (words I can hardly pronounce) into my face. I look at the next words "paradoxe Phänomenalität" and I decide I had it. Tonight Derrida can bewitch or spook someone else with ghosts, I am going dancing.
It is Friday and "Ladies Night" which means we get in for free. Guys have to pay. Lovely. Upstairs you can learn the salsa steps from the DJ, downstairs couples swirl across the floor. Mamma mia. These folks know how to shake it right. I drag my new friend into a corner, desperately trying to look "busy" and occupied. I hope no guy is asking me to dance, I hope no guy is asking me to DANCE. Well, no such luck. It seems I said the last word aloud. We are swarmed by very charming gentlemen, immediately, so it seems. And it gets worse. One man greets my friend enthusiastically, then he asks me to dance. Oh no! And off we go. My not-having-had-one-salsa-lesson shows off magnificently. We are hit by a spot light, literally. I look like a total idiot, of that I am sure. This nice man however is patient, he shows me the steps calmly and again and again. Somehow, I seem to catch on. Somehow we actually are dancing salsa.The twirling is my favorite, you spin around fast, and your whole world is turning. I don't even know where my feet are going but they seem to move right along. I am having a good time now. Shall we dance, Mister? Well, here is that little info I did not know yet. I went back to my new "friend" who does not stop staring at me.
"Nothing. You danced good. You looked really good out there..."
"C'mon, cut it. I looked like an idiot."
"No, really, not at all. You caught on fast. Oh, and that was my professor you danced with."
"Yeah, nonchalantly, she dropped it into the conversation. I did not just dance with a nice, charming , handsome gentleman. I danced with her professor. Fantastic. Note, that I am being sarcastic here. Not that I am bothered by the fact that I danced with a smart, good-looking, middle-aged salsa dancer, but I could just foresee what was coming next.
"Did he talk to you about me?"
"He didn't say anything at all?"
"But he danced with you a long time."
"You were talking."
"Well, what were you talking about?"
And on and on it went. You get the idea. Favoritism. Smoozing. Tartuffery. Grades. A kinda big deal around here too.
To be continued...
© Colleen Yorke. All rights reserved. 2017