Opinions and criticisms are sought. Also, please give a nice round of applause to Coppe who helped hammer this into something readable: You might wonder what I’d be doing going out to clubs and pubs; the bar-diver scene’s a bit social for me after all, right? Well, it’s like this: The human ear can’t hear anything below x cycles per second, instead those really deep bass notes are felt, right behind your breastbone, shaking you from your lungs to your toes. I remember once my parents took us to one of those activity nights at the Y, try out some of their classes and activities for free sort of thing. I sat in on some Jap martial arts class, and the instructor – round-eyed gaijin with a bald patch – talked about qi. Your qi centre is below your navel but above your groin, a metaphysical bladder that fills itself with energy. I’ve always liked to believe that when the music’s just right you don’t feel those low notes in your chest, you breathe them in through your qi, Yang triumphant. You can’t get that kind of volume in any home stereo I could afford, and the neighbors would take exception – neighbors always have shit taste in music, this is a law of nature. So here we are, the bar scene. University co-eds in free drinks push up bras and middle-aged homosexual predators who offer speed for a bathroom blowjob, all under cycling colored strobe lights. The humanity of youth culture, with its sweaty bodies, salted beer, poorly washed glasses and plastic cups that dissolve from a gin and tonic… But you can’t beat the sound, or the throbbing atomic motion of the dancers as they masturbate themselves against each other. The band was good, they had that lean hungry drive that separates successful musicians from true artists. They’d get noticed and get signed one day soon, and then that tortured soul at the microphone would cash in his hard won truths and individualism for whatever post-alterna/goth/indie/emo teenage craze was the dépêche mode du jour de rigueur. I didn’t come for the band, though, good as they were. I came for the music, that white light little death; a rollicking boogie that was the holy lovechild of a Gibson guitar and mongoose. All riki-tiki-tavi, fur and teeth. It grabbed you from somewhere below your breathless qi and took you along a full Gee rollercoaster of Yang. It would be criminal to waste good amphetamines on pulling the young gays (and the merely curious) in attendance so I bought a drink for one of the mutton dressed as wolves and charmed him for a while as the guitarist replaced a string. I’m a white boy, through and through, and this was white kid college rock, but sometimes you have to let go. Crest the wavefront on that perfect union of sound and chemical and give birth to motion. There was a black prophet once who left a gift to the white man, a perfect Zen koan: “free your mind and your ass will follow.” I got out there and danced, joy and music and motion, mongoose and cobra, arms waving free like that lonely little NH2 amine that made it all just right. There are times when everybody needs somebody to dance with. A room full of strangers, every one of them a nation of loathsome humanity building up their GDP of groove, dancing to paradise. I didn’t want to know names, I didn’t want to remember faces. I got out there and I moved with the speed behind my qi, soaking up that Yin. No matter how much you try to stay to yourself, there’s always something you need from someone else. Human mercantilism doesn’t work, we’re social animals. Even so, John Donne was wrong. You have to work at it, but you can make time to yourself. There’s a joke I like to make about my surname, a little pun for one. My name’s Thomas Everyman, and I’m an island unto myself.