The crowd jostled and moved, dipped and swayed, not in unison but not against each other. Each movement was jerky or smooth, planned or erratic, but each was an attempt at keeping time to the thumping bass on the dance floor, oblivious to the heat waves emanating around the small room.
The music pulsed and the peopled danced, meshing and colliding with each other. A heavy set drunk in red stumbled backwards. Her shoulder length brown hair was plastered to the frame of her face as she sloshed into the arms of strangers. With their support, she regained her feet and a little of her posture. She turned with enormous eyes and a smile stretched wider than a taxi with open doors and jumped around, promptly losing her footing and tumbling again into the crowd. She was caught again but this time pointed in another direction, maneuvered towards the stage where her chances to balance herself were increased. She turned her smile-stricken face and jumped away into the throng of bodies, moving, beating, shaking with rhythm.
A main stage crowded the back of the room. Couples danced tightly, twining arms through arms, around faces and over shoulders as legs weaved to create a structure of support. Trios move together, complicating the already desperate attempt at finding a common ground and jiving, touching, pulling, tripping together while maintaining balance. Cigarette smoke climbs high into the air and the beer coats the ground, adding to the obstacles of their already complicated dance.
A girl with hair pinned up on her head, more straight than her dancing routine, treaded on stage as "Here we go again, I feel the chemicals kicking in..." blared from the speakers beneath her. A young man in a dark shirt promenaded playfully towards her as she turned her body to receive his advances. The bass dictated their movements as he stepped closer, bringing their proximity to uncomfortable in the sweltering room. They joined hands and reveled together in each other's grace and fluid motions. The girl's small frame and low visibility due to her dance partner's size rendered her unaware of another young man sauntering up to her dance partner. The darkly clad young man was enraptured with the girl and failed to see his pursuer, with dark jeans and a white shirt, stepping slowly closer to him and seemingly wondering how close, how close, this much closer...
The heat seemed to infiltrate the crowd, making one person for every two and filling the space between groups. Instead of swishing, skirts stuck. Instead of hanging, shirts clung. Movement increased and diminished as the songs became dominated by bass or lyrics. Words had a soothing effect on the pulse of the crowd while the music amped the reactions. Higher and higher the crowd climbed, as the beat pounded. Hands left hips and were raised above heads. Drinks were lifted to avoid the crash and crumble of the crowd. "I'm supposed to interfere, I'm coming from your fears" throbs from the speakers on the floor, flooding the room with techno sounds. Girl's hair is flipped this way and cleaves another's shoulder with a sweaty grip.
The last song drips from the speakers as people drain the last of their beers, fix their tabs and find their original or new escorts. "Payin' anything to roll the dice, just one more time" permeates the thinning room as the crowd spills onto North Main Street.