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Disenchanted at the Discothèque This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.

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The velvet rope glares at me, a bulwark separating me from a supposedly good time. My friends push me forward, past the immense man in a black leather jacket who guards the door. I still can’t believe I am here.

Mom doesn’t know that I came to New Haven to go to a hip nightclub that shakes the foundations of the building with its speakers. She thinks I’m at a birthday celebration for a friend. “Where exactly is this taking place?” she asked me when I told her I had plans for Saturday night.

“Peppy’s Pizza. It’s gonna be great. Maybe I’ll get a little crazy and have a cannoli or two,” I lied, trying to avert her attention from the fact that the “pizza party” would be finished at 1 a.m. To my surprise, she sanctioned the outing, although I was a bit unhappy I had lied outright to my mother. She would flip if she saw me among the two-steppers, flashing lights, and deafening speakers – but she’ll never be able to flip because she’ll never find out my pizza-partying self was actually at a nightclub.

I follow my group into the main room. It’s early, and there are only a few others here. One person is dancing; a young woman gyrates to the thunderous beat. She tosses her hips from side to side and plummets to the ground in perfect rhythm with the beat. She is a jiving giantess who is comfortable in her skin, and none of the onlookers’ glares or giggles phase her. She would put Beyoncé to shame in a dance-off. She is spectacular.

I once again focus on my surroundings. My coterie is busy stripping off their coats and re-assembling their skimpy, sequin-clad club garb. They regain their poise then become wallflowers; we stand and wait. For what, I’m not sure, but everyone is doing it.

I am so bored that I begin to conjure up memories. I remembered the day Caitlin invited me to come here. I wasn’t excited, and had even rejected the offer. Caitlin, though, was quite the master of persuasion: “Tony, don’t you understand that every other kid our age goes clubbing? Don’t you want to do something fun for a change?” I wondered if everyone really went to clubs. Was this some well-kept secret that had never reached my ears? And what did she mean by “for a change”? Playing checkers at Starbucks with blue Equal packets and yellow Splenda packets is the stuff of good times, not including the mountains of foreign films we watch every other Friday night. And so I agreed, thinking it would be good to do something different.

Slowly, more and more people begin to enter and mill around. The DJ must have noticed because out of the speakers comes a cacophonous rumble. Bodies start moving. The dance floor is no longer only the realm for the gyrating giantess, but many others, too. Hands go up, cheers emanate from the clubbers, and all hell breaks loose. Apparently, Pitbull’s command to Miss Bojangles, “Bring it back,” has a hypnotizing effect. The crowd loves it. I don’t. I leave the dance floor and sit on a couch in the corner. Watching this exotic sight is enough fun for me. In fact, I have never seen people move like this before. I didn’t know that most of what is happening was anatomically possible.

My thoughts take over again. What if Mom finds out? Will I ever be allowed out again? Have I sacrificed aspartame-laced checkers for one night of dancing? What would I do if she suddenly appeared in the crowd? What would she do? First she would bless herself and extract her rosary from her handbag, which should not be on my mother’s shoulder but rather on the hips of the Pope. It is fully equipped to serve as a Roman Catholic utility belt, complete with an array of holy waters imported from around the globe.

After procuring the grace of the Lord, she would navigate the dance floor. “Put some clothes on” is a regular refrain in her conversations with young women. “Move out of my way, you hell-bound stock!” would be another you could expect. And if you listen very closely, not to the music, not to her chastising comments, but to her self-muttering, you would hear her repeating this mantra: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil …” You would see that she has a heart of gold, is a woman who just fears the worst for her child, and only wishes him the best.

Back to the club. My friends are not pleased with my behavior. They will not allow me to sit about, reflecting on my thoughts while they dance in the sweaty mass. With surprising strength, they drag me out to the middle of the throbbing sea of motion.

I am lost. I’ve never done this before. I don’t know how to dance. I’m wishing there was some prep class for clubbing. I’m disoriented and confused, and can’t hear a thing because Fergie and Will.i.am are having an obscenely loud spelling bee over the speakers, and everywhere I turn, some foreign moisture lands on me, and after this, I don’t think I’ll ever misspell delicious or tasty (many thanks to Fergie Ferg for that boon to my vocabulary).

Oh and, lest we forget, I can’t dance. When I do, it’s like watching Britney Spears at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. I am so bad that when others look, they feel embarrassed. I am embarrassing everyone here right now.

Thank God! My cell phone tells me that it’s 12:30. Time to go home. As I set out to collect everyone, the music changes and more cries of approval come from the crowd. I have no clue what song it is, but I couldn’t care less because soon my eardrums won’t be at the mercy of DJ Bam Bam or whoever is manning the booth.

As I make my way through the labyrinth of vibrating bodies, I feel a tug and I’m violently pulled backward. All I can think of is my mother standing in an empty club with a chalk line traced around where my body was found. I’m jerked back and forth to the beat of MIMS explaining why he is so hot. I look up and what I saw will haunt me forever. Holding onto my shirt is a very large hand, belonging to a very large, strapping woman – the gyrating giantess who twisted and shook all alone on the dance floor! She is rapping along with MIMS while jerking me back and forth. I feel like a puppet, suspended and moving with every twitch of her powerful hand. Utter terror. She finally lets go. I grab my friends, they grab their coats, and we are out of there like bats out of hell.

At breakfast the next morning, my mom asks me how Peppy’s was, and what we were doing that could have gone into the wee hours of the morning. Her eyes are puffy and bloodshot. She had been sitting in the living room when I walked into the house at 1 a.m. “I never want to go back to Peppy’s again,” I reply. “I don’t care if everyone likes it. I don’t!” “Good,” she says. “I knew you wouldn’t have a good time. I would never go to Peppy’s for pizza. I told you it would be disappointing.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the April 2008 Teen Ink Nonfiction Contest.




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This article has 10 comments. Post your own!

erinw--Jov said...
Apr. 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm:
this is a funny story! did your mom ever find out?
 
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Michael C. said...
Nov. 20, 2011 at 10:12 pm:
This is really good.  very well written
 
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Jackie.C said...
Oct. 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm:
Wow. Great job! Check out my personal experience article?
 
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WickedStarcatcherThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm:
his was soooo hilarious i can't catch my breath im laughing so hard! ur writing=awesome! :)
 
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spency said...
Apr. 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm:
good job 3/3
 
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charzard said...
May 19, 2010 at 10:27 am:
i really like this! great analogies! nice work. (:
 
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Sthi45 said...
Dec. 16, 2009 at 8:44 pm:
Lovely analogies =] And this is hilarious. the description is great too, I felt like I was right there, being tossed about by a giant hand LOL! keep it up! (well, keep up the good writing, *cough*)
 
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Carmen T. said...
Sept. 19, 2009 at 6:55 pm:
haha! I love it! I love how u say that will.i.am and fergie are having a spelling bee! its so funny and so true! my friends and i always impersonate them spelling words and stuff! :) haha! anywayz, great story!
 
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Mollybug16 said...
Sept. 12, 2009 at 6:41 pm:
I love this!! my mother is the same way! she went to one of my dances and i was scared she was going to come in with a cross and try to connvert everyone!! lol anyway i ejoyed reading this story!
 
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alice t. said...
Jan. 14, 2009 at 1:33 am:
i loved this, and totally understand what you mean
but yeah the little details were great and i was reading this with a huge smile:)
 
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