Saturday, December 31, 2016

"Last Dance with Emma", the full version

A short story from my Hay Moon collection:

The dance club was full of women, and they were all writhing to the beat of the music that blared from perhaps a dozen overhead speakers. Randy thought: Yes, Eric was right, even I should have a chance of scoring here.
Most of the women were young; many looked barely out of high school. And those outfits. What an odd world this was: the last gasp of the disco era, a time when women’s clothing was revealing, glittering and gaudy. Low-cut dresses covered with sequins reflected back the strobe lights. Ridiculously high heels scooted across the dance floor. 
The ceiling above the central part of the dance floor was dominated by a mirrored disco ball. Near the disco ball hung a series of twisted neon tubes that formed the numbers “1979.” The numbers were mounted to a metal frame. At midnight the neon tubes would light up and the numbers would descend to a place of prominence directly above the dance floor. Welcome to the last year of the swinging seventies. Groovy, man. 
Eric tapped him on the shoulder from the adjacent bar stool. “Was I right or was I right?” Eric gestured toward a group of particularly rowdy women.
“I mean, was I right about coming here or not?”
If the objective was pure, unadulterated hedonism, Randy had to admit that indeed his friend had made a good choice in selecting New Year’s Eve 1978. The Sexual Revolution was now more than a decade old, but no one had yet heard of AIDS. Randy, like his friend Eric, was a physics graduate student at the University of Minnesota, but he also knew his history: If you wanted to party, then this was the place—or the time—that parties were made for....