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The Principle Is Sound

Posted by on March 15, 2004

At the front of the room, the D.J. is having a loving relationship with his moog, an instrument which as far as I can tell was invented for my generation, like sex and Crystal Pepsi. He turns the dials of the moog and it beeps and burbles happily over the arrhythmic thumping blasting from the speakers. The Lad is unhappy with the volume because he has not yet been forced to insert his earplugs. He prefers music which has the potential to damage.

The first to arrive after us are a group I think of as the Clones, because they are all built roughly the same as the Lad, and they all dress in the same indestructible brown and green fabrics which are the only label free clothes to be found these days. The Clones are Serious Fans. They enter alone and slink over to the walls where they stand watching the D.J., who is watching his moog. The Clones do not speak to each other. The Lad and I, it turns out when I try to talk to him, are Serious Fans also once things get going. We slink over to a couch and don’t speak to each other. We watch the man who watches the moog. I am very happy, though, because I am nursing a cold, and nestling into the Lad on a couch with a pulsing womb-beat surrounding me is very soothing. I try not to sneeze on his arm.

We are all careful to leave a large space in front of the D.J. This is standard for a club — normally, once people start drinking, they will start dancing in the space — but this space will remain open and un-danced for pretty much the entire evening, because we are listening to IDM: Intelligent Dance Music. (Better known in my own head as Impossible to Dance to this Music.) Because no one is dancing, the space resembles the trench that zoos dig between the animals and the audience to keep one from eating the other. I am relieved to know that the D.J. will be unable to attack me across this space.

About an hour after the Clones arrive, the girls start showing up. They shimmy in wearing calf length skirts made of natural fabric. There are not very many of them, and they are not very big. They also arrive singly. The girls slide across the open space like water snakes. One of them is so thin that her bones cannot be larger than ice picks; without the interference of her careless skin, these bones could easily lodge in the flesh of one of the Clones like splinters. I want to feed this girl clam chowder and watch it settle on her hips. She is friends with one of the Clones, who clearly experiences a spiritual crisis when forced to choose between talking to her or listening to the music.

One boy — not a clone — is dancing in the space. He’s in his stocking feet and he dances in what seem to be very complex jumping jacks, with several crossings of the feet and curly arm embellishments. I worry that this dance might cause him to swallow his own tongue and I am grateful when he stops.

In between sets, the Lad and I try to come up with his D.J. name for his upcoming radio show. I suggest Ursa Minor, but then remember that also means the Little Dipper and I reconsider. I am struck by a brilliant neutrino and suggest Finger-Proof. What does it mean, the Lad would like to know. Nothing, I say; that is the brilliance of it. It sounds like it should mean something, but does not. The Lad rejects this without giving it proper consideration. I am devastated and decide to find a new boyfriend while he is in Europe. That will put a spoke in his wheel.

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