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"Do I get to meet this Jeff guy?"
"Yeah, sure. You can meet him."
Three girls in crinoline dresses huddle near a couple of thugged-out gay guys in Sean Jean hoodies and platinum chains. Tommy nods at a guy as we push a curtain aside and enter the first room.
Kendra buzzes immediately towards us, her short Afro backlit, a purple halo from some art instillation involving TVs and colored cellophane. She kisses us both on the lips -- she doesn't believe in cheeks -- and I loop my arm around her tight waist.
"What's up? I haven't seen y'all in a minute. You still up to no good?" Her voice is a lilting alto. Somebody told me once that she was in a gospel choir when she was at Spelman, and I like to believe it's true because it makes her current impurities that much sexier.
"Always up to no good, baby, don't you worry about us." Tommy says, waving over Kendra's shoulder at somebody I can't see.
"I'm glad to hear it. Y'all go get acquainted. They're some hotties here tonight." She squeezes her body against mine before rolling off my arm like a flamenco dancer and disappearing into the crush of other people's torsos and backs.
When I turn, Tommy is kissing a boy.
"You must be Jeff," I say, extending my hand to the space where their chests meet. They disentangle and Tommy wipes spit from his lips. Jeff grins and we shake. Tommy's right, Jeff pulls off the mohawk well, but it's his eyes that get me. They're a perfect shade of blue, not trite like robin's egg or Virgin Mary or Pacific Ocean, but real, honest to God, '57 Chevy blue, that tint that gives car collectors wet dreams.
"You're Tommy's friend, right? Hey, good to meet you." He has a full out South Georgia drawl and I imagine he comes from a place where you eat catfish for breakfast and ride tractors to school and make love for the first time on a river bank with an Alan Jackson song playing in the background. His voice is such a stark contrast from his tight clothes and his heavily tattooed body, that it makes me love him and want Tommy to love him too.
"I'm gonna get a beer. Can I get you one?" Tommy and I nod and Jeff enters the enveloping mass.
"Tommy," I start.
"I don't want to hear your shit right now."
"Tommy, seriously." I grab his forearm, feeling his thin muscles harden under my fingertips. He stares at me with a hot fury.
"Let go of me."
"Tommy, he's a kid. A sweet kid. Goddamn, he's beautiful."
"Could you tell how big his cock is?" Tommy laughs.
"What do you know? You're just a kid too. "
"Tommy, stop. You have to tell him."
"I should have never told you."
"Let's go home."
"Go without me."
"Tell me you're gonna leave him be."
"No." His voice is all guts and gasping breath.
"Fine." I shove the curtain aside, ready to leave, but he calls after me.
"I'll see you later though, right?"
I feel the bass under my feet, licking up through my bones. Kendra dances through a tangle of girls, her fluid body wavering just beyond where Tommy stands, his arms crossed and his feet shoulder-width apart like a cowboy waiting for a fight. If Kendra would meet my eye for just a second I would go to her, pull her from the throb of arms and stomachs, backs and thighs and beg her to leave with me. But Kendra slides her way down another woman's body and doesn't look up.
"Yeah, man, I'll see you later," I say, pushing through the curtain, aiming for a room with a ceiling of stars.
The line at the Limber Lady curls around the cinderblock wall that separates the cracked parking lot from the purple building. I shove between two men in pink polo shirts. A girl whose arm I knock says "bitch," then takes it back when I reach over her head and pound Warren's fist.
"What's up? You have the night off. Why are you back? Did the party suck?" Warren yells over the throb of our Saturday DJ.
"Yeah, sort of."
"If you're gonna block the door you better help. You take the cash."
"Where's your fairy godmother?" Warren asks after an hour, during our first lull.
"I don't know." I step outside and wipe the sweat off my face with the front of my T-shirt. "He's pissing me off."
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