. . . I was in the main room dancing by a bunch of twinks in harnesses. When they realized that I was alone, they invited me to join their circle, thinking that I needed a group. One of them handed me a bottle of poppers. Fuck it, I thought. I took a few whiffs, and I was lost in the techno sound, closing my eyes and moving my arms through the beat. I felt at peace, alive, and lost myself for hours — or maybe it was just minutes. When I opened my eyes, I noticed a man dancing beside me. He was about my height, shirtless, thick chested. It wasn’t him, but I felt like I was drawn to his presence, like a moth to a metaphysical flame. Or maybe it was the poppers.
I watched him as he conversed with a friend, then I moved in closer. “Having fun?” I asked.
“Yes, thank you.” His smile frightened me. I hadn’t seen a smile that genuine in a long time.
I looked at the man next to him. “Is that your boyfriend?” I asked.
“I don’t have a boyfriend.”
“I guess it doesn’t matter.” I wasn’t sure if he’d heard me. “I’m Mike.”
“Where’s your name from?”
“Spain.” I didn’t notice his accent until then.
As we started to dance together I placed my hand on his chest and rubbed it through his chest hair — he was magnetic. He placed his hands on my bare ass, circling his palms around then finally squeezing my butt cheeks. He buried his face in my neck, laughed and whispered, “Why are you wearing a jockstrap?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I’m very liberal. It makes me feel kind of sexy.”
“Makes sense.” I tried to reach my hand into his pants, but he wouldn’t allow it. “Not at the party,” he said.
“Come on, let’s go to the other dancefloor.” He locked his hands with mine and led me through the crowd. He kept looking back at me and smiling. He stopped mid-journey and wordlessly kissed me before continuing on. It was like I belonged to him, and the thought made me smile, too.
The back dancefloor was much more low-key than the main space —melodic and calm music replaced the pulsing techno beats, and the orange and red lights made the dancefloor feel inviting. We stayed there for maybe an hour or two, dancing, kissing and talking. He’d been living in New York for five years but his family was back in Madrid. He was a journalist for a magazine and assured me that he wasn’t a pretentious jerk.
Although I was enjoying the conversation, my legs were getting tired. “What time is it?” I finally asked.
“It’s just past 6 am.”
“No it’s not!” I hated being out after the sun came up; I asked whether we could leave. It’s an early departure time for the Black Party, but he had no problem with this either.
“Do you want to come back to my place?” he asked. Of course I did.
When I grabbed my clothes from coat check he stood beside me while I dressed. “It’s very bizarre,” I said. “When you meet someone they shouldn’t watch you dress—”
“—they should watch you undress,” he finished. “Yes, it’s very funny.” When I put my shoes back on I almost fell over but he caught me and gave me a quick kiss. I wasn’t used to this sort of intimacy.
The sky was just starting to lighten up when we left, but there were people still lined up to get in. I heard that the party went on well into the afternoon, which I couldn’t imagine doing anymore, but it was nice to know that stuff like that still exists.
“I’m not sure how safe this neighborhood is,” he said, leading me through the streets with his hand on the small of my back.. A cab finally came by, so he hailed it and we got inside. I fell asleep almost immediately on his shoulder, and apologized profusely when I jerked myself awake. “Don’t. I liked watching you sleep,” he said.
He wasn’t a tall, dominating, Mediterranean-looking man — the one I came to New York in search for — but I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the guy I needed to find after all.