So a Mexican, two Brazilians, and a racially ambiguous guy walk into a bar… meh, less a bar, more like a giant club fitting for a Michael Mann shoot out (ref: Collateral), but nonetheless we’ll call it a bar for the sake of simplicity.
More shades of brown than Photoshop CS10 Jesus Edition 3000, if the four of us were in New York we’d look like we knew each other, in L.A. we’d look like an out-of-work camera crew, in Minnesota we’d look like a drug cartel... and we’d totally get away with it, but for now we’re two Brazilians, an American, and a local (damn good running title for Michael Mann’s next film, as long as they hire Javier Bardem as the Mexican, I’ll sell the rights for less than 10g).
$50 wrist band and “free” shuttle ride later, this place wreaks of a Justin Timberlake music video. Ceiling high as a national bank, and lighting that’d make The Varsity look like a sideshow; all of which is a good thing, however that cold feeling happens to my gut on the minute every minute, translating this could be fun, or I could wind up in a suitcase just outside the Cancun City Dump.
Can’t make out a single word this guy is saying to me. “De donde eres?”, I ask. “Brasil”, he says, and that explains it. Nice, I could use a quick brush-up on my Portugese while I’m here. Perhaps he mistook me for someone who’s native to something closer to Brazil than plain ol’ U.S.A. Narp, not even. We hold what I wouldn’t even call a conversation… let’s go with neanderthalic sign language. We stick with the gutturals, short-Spanish, and hand gestures. Back in a theater tech class, professor Lance held an entire class on communication between director and lead set design. He said the best communication is guttural. Short gestures and grunts can go farther than a paragraph… and they do. Christ, we talked about Giselle, Jiu-Jitsu, the caliber of Brazilian women of which he couldn’t stop speaking about, how long we’re in town- ERRRRK! Dance circle twelve o’clock!
Quick note, when a dance circle breaks out, one of two things must happen: 1. Draw to it like a fly to neon lighting, white people to poll booths, cops to the north side of Minneapolis, etc… or 2. Jump in.
Even quicker note: never jump into a dance circle to show-off. You kamikaze that biotch to make a complete fool of yourself, and hopefully light a fire under someone elses arse who’s dream it’s always been to jump in a dance circle and break it down like freakonomics.
Love these things. Dove in hands first to eek out the two –and-a-half break moves I know. I’m no good, but put out just enough and you’ll draw out the real b-boys. Flashback: 15 yr. old Toussaint use to stand and watch dancers b-boy for so long at the Sunday danceteria at 1st Ave. that each breaker could’ve easily filed a restraining order on me. I’d just stand there, between “too afraid to jump off the diving board” and “enthralled enough to watch it all go down”. A few lessons, bruised elbows, and 3 of my top 10 most embarrassing moments later, I can do it like they’re the only moves I know… because they are. Half-break, half-gymnastics, it’s enough to draw this kid out lookin’ like Pharell’s younger brother. He takes the bait, shoulders me out, spins like a dreidel on his hands and heals. Folks gasp at his sneaks in the air, the crowd ooh’s at his simple defiance of gravity-Bam, I’m back in on the hands, absolutely no rhythm, but nonetheless feet don’t touch the ground, and it continues like that ‘til I can negotiate a shoulder to the ground and spin to a pose… enough to look like I meant it. He puts on another clinic, finishes almost on his face, and calls it. Thanks, I’m out of moves anyways. Shiiiiit, and if this were to haul on any longer we would have to resort to dancing on our feet. We clasp hands and greet. He says he’s from New York, the others with him are from Canada, my drug cartel introduces themselves from South America, a group of gals drop in to introduce themselves from London… and here we are, dancing like we’ve known each other since the California Achievement Test in grade school, border-line buzzed, and above all: smiling.
The alcohol sweats through your pours so quick, you’d think you’d been drinking Diet Coke the whole night. Trust, it’ll hit you at some moment though. These wristbands = license to binge. Too much is always an easy direction to start, although no one ever finishes. The fact we’re in Mexico, the authorities could make sure your picture doesn’t even make it to the back of a milk carton… I’m coo.
In a blink… it’s 4am. Buenos dias, I step out to snag a taxi. It’s raining like the storm to put the coast under for good is eminent to hit. If it does, at least we went down dancing.