BELLY DANCER

BELLY DANCER
(WAY OUT CLUB, SOUTH JEFFERSON AVENUE)
I feel bad for the guy she came in with. Half an hour after they arrived, he sits alone with his beer, trying not to watch his date — a mischievous coquette in a tight black sweater (to match her short-cropped black hair) — flirt with some other guy, on whose lap she now sits. Arms wrapped around him, she throws occasional sideways glances at the fellow she came in with. Is she taunting him? Gauging his reaction? Hard to tell. She’s trouble, though: This guy’s in for it, if not now, then later. He’s cooked, finished.
Eventually she’s back with him, making a big show of her affection. All gooey sex and murder. Can’t keep her tongue out of his mouth. Then back to her perch on the other guy’s lap.
It’s times like this when the humanitarian in me gets anxious. I feel like leaning over, saying, “Get out now, brother, while you still have a shred of dignity!” But I don’t. Poor dope, he’ll have to learn just like the rest of us: the bitter hard way.
The belly dancer onstage has wrapped herself into her black veil to the point where she’s seemingly lost inside it. Hard to tell if this is part of the act or a quiet little mistake. Who knows? For a moment all I can see is her belly and her legs.

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