The beats bounced around me. Their vibrations caressed me, pulsed through me. The driving four-to-the-flour pounding bass engulfed my entirety. There was nothing but the sensation, that wonderful joy, of having the music fuse with my nerves. I was the beats and rhythm. I was the snare and breakdown.
I have no idea how long I’d been sitting in front of the speaker, a giant Tonka floor unit, with my back pressed against it and my eyes closed when the tap on my shoulder startled me back to reality. Well, as back to reality as I could manage at that moment.
My eyes blinked against the flashing strobe lights, the tracers lagging vibrantly behind twirling glowsticks, the rising and falling of the dancing masses, and they shut again. It was too much to process. But a shudder of pleasure radiated out from my shoulder again as the tapping returned and my need to know who was trying to get my attention snapped my lids open. I turned my head slightly upward to peer into their face.
He spoke but I couldn’t hear him.
I focused on his lips but I couldn’t process the movements. They were beautiful but I didn’t know what words they were trying to form. Such simple movements, slight twitches, slight tugs one way or the other, that hold such power. Without them there would be no words, no voice. Beautiful seemed inadequate to describe them.
I shrugged my shoulders. I think I did anyway. He shook his head and held his hand out to me. With much effort I pulled my gaze down to his hand, but couldn’t see what was there. Was he trying to give me something? Was he trying to help me up? Was he just trying to shake my hand?
I can’t tell you for sure, because the DJ dropped a new track, the bass pulsed in time with my heart and my eyes closed as the ecstasy of music rolled through me.
Time slipped, again.
When I remembered the man and his outstretched hand I gathered the strength of will to allow my eyes to brave the swirling lights, but the man was gone, and I was left to wonder if he had ever been there at all. If he hadn’t, why had I imagined him? If he had, what was he trying to tell me? What was he trying to give me?
These are just a few of the unanswered questions that would haunt me in the days that followed. They piled up and tormented me, and eventually forced me change my lifestyle. I couldn’t handle the not knowing. I didn’t ever want to be that far out of control ever again. It was reason enough. It worked.
But, those unanswered questions and lost moments where time slipped remain. They haunt me still.