Little Temple, Silverlake.
We’re in the first room, closest to the door taking advantage of what little breeze actually comes through the door. The hottest day of the year has turned in to the hottest night of the year. It’s insufferable.
My favorite people are there. They’ve come out all the way from Ontario and Hacienda Heights to celebrate with me. They don’t seem to be enjoying themselves. Mike, my sister’s boyfriend, complains that his jack and coke costs too much. I look at him like he’s from the Inland Empire (IE) and has never been to an LA club. I wish he’d stop complaining. After all, he saved ten bucks on the cover charge because I know the DJ and he gladly put us on the guest list.
The Little Temple is my favorite spot to dance and chill. The music is a mix of good hip hop, some old school R&B, pop, and reggae. Of course, the DJs are not so snooty they won’t play the average overproduced pop or hip hop booty song.
I’m feeling good in spite of the heat, Mike’s complaining, and my guests’ unwillingness to get up and dance. I’m pretty sure my mood is a byproduct of still being in las nubes the night before. And I look good.
This isn’t one of those cases, but sometimes when I’m not feeling so great I take extra care with my appearance. Most times I’ll just make sure I match and run a comb through my hair. Today, I’m happy and all dressed up in dressy black shorts (it’s way too hot to even think about wearing jeans), an olive green blouse with sparkly trim, matching dangly gold earrings and gold stiletto sandals. My feet usually hate me after a night dancing around in those shoes, but this is one of those nights I’m willing to suffer for beauty. Oh, I almost forgot! I’m actually wearing makeup too. My sister helped. I’m cute!
My corner of the room is filling up with the siblings, cousins and neighbor sipping their drinks and beers on the low leather couches. We got smart and positioned ourselves in front of a fan.
Danny had just bought me my second drink, an amaretto sour (it used to be my drink back when I was young and cute), when Chris and Lamont, saunter in to the Little Temple. They each give me the wonderful hugs I’m used to receiving from them. It’s been way too long since I’ve last seen them. We catch up and Chris wonders when we got so old. When we met, Lori and Adrian were too young to get into a bar or club.
Jake and Esbeydy, fellow Puro Pedo writers, show up too. When I introduce Esbeydy to Adrian he gives me a weird look. “What’s her name? Es-bay-bee?”
No one is dancing. It’s like they don’t know how to dance. Or it’s just too hot.
“I already don’t like him,” Chris admits frankly after I explain that I’m still waiting for Ojitos to arrive. “He should’ve been here by now. You shouldn’t be waiting for him.”
Sigh. Chris is more protective than my brothers.
“It’s okay. It’s not like I’m alone,” I tell Chris. But he’s right, Ojitos is late.
He doesn’t keep me waiting much longer. Any minor annoyance I might have felt disappears as soon as I see him. He looks good in a casual white shirt and jeans.
I introduce Ojitos to the rest of my party. I want them to like him, to approve. The brothers are standoffish. So are Chris and Lamont. The cousins are polite. I introduce Jake and Esbeydy as two of the core people behind PP Magazine.
The night changes once Ojitos arrives. Even though I want my family and friends to like him, I don’t give them the opportunity to actually talk to him. Ojitos and I go off to the larger room to dance. We invite the others, but everyone else stays behind on the soft couches.
During one of our breaks from the dance floor, Lori plays photographer and gets pictures of me showing off my cheesy smile with all my guests. She snaps a few shots of Ojitos with my camera, but they’re all bad. Neither one of us can keep our eyes open. Lori takes pictures on her camera. She doesn’t show me the photos, but insists that our eyes are actually open.
Lori is the only one who really gets to interact with Ojitos. She notices his teeth. “Hey you have fangs like me,” she says pointing out his fang-like incisors. They laugh. I feel like the oddball.
Except for Chris and Lamont, all my guests leave early. When the siblings and cousins decide to leave, I tell them I’m staying. It’s only 1 a.m. I still want to dance.
Ojitos is surprised , a little concerned even, that they left me alone. “It’s not right,” he opines.
“It’s okay. They know I’m with you. Besides, they live far away, it makes sense that they left early. They were all bored too.”
He drops the subject and heads to the men’s room. I’m waiting alone. It’s a little weird.
When he returns, he grabs my hand and leads me over to the large room. The DJ is playing reggae, Ojitos’ favorite type of music. He’s in his element as he closes his eyes and sings along with Bob Marley, “I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love…”
Para los metiches: I went home alone that night.