She loves doing things her husband thinks are disgusting.
Marcus leans down and kisses the top of my head. "Easy girl." I'm grinning up at him. This is going to be fun.
We first walk behind the drummers. Marcus greets most of them with a hand on their shoulder. The drummers smile and a few words are exchanged, but they never stop drumming. I see a few more drummers setting up alongside the main group. I'm still bouncing up and down, eager to begin. This is going to be so much fun.
We circle around to the other side, and Marcus greets a few more onlookers. From the conversation, these are the organizers of this drum jam. How many are expected? Where's the water? The latrine? Then he asks about a few specific people. I'm still hopping up and down.
"OK. OK. OK. Thanks guys, I'll check with you later. I gotta go before this one breaks her leash." I stick my tongue out at him. He spins me toward the dance floor and swats my ass. "Go." So much fun.
Yes, I'm free. I slip into the midst of the other dancers; hopping, spinning, swaying. We just let the rhythm of the drums flow through us. The beat is sounding through our flesh and bones. Bom. Bom. Bom. Bom. Bom. People are wearing anything and everything. There are jeans and shorts, fancy tops and T-Shirts. One lady is dressed in a cat outfit, tail and ears included. Four guys are wearing togas. A few women are even topless. Old, young, thin, fat, light skin, dark skin, and everything in-between. It ends up being one large mass of bodies, all dancing and swaying in unison to the beat of the drums. Bom. Bom. Bom. Bom. Bom.
Sometimes I dance alone among the throng of bodies, sometimes Marcus comes up behind me and we dance together. Marcus also gets the option of dancing with other people, but every time a man comes up to dance with me, Marcus blocks him. I shout over the rhythm of the drums. "Party-pooper."
His eyes are intense as he looks down on me. "You are MINE." Bom. Bom. Bom. Bom. Bom.
I press my body into his. "Yes." We dance until sweat is dripping down my face. My body is flush with heat in the cool desert night. He pulls me off the carpets and toward one of the pickup trucks. The bed of the truck is covered in a plastic tarp and filled with ice and bottled water. As a man hands Marcus two bottles, I stick my hands in the ice and run the cold water over my face. He hands me one of the bottles and it disappears almost immediately. He is a little slower and sipping his. After the water break we go back to the SUV. I hope we're not leaving already. Marcus opens the driver's door, slips his wet shirt over his head and tosses it in the backseat. I run my hand over his chest, my fingers seeking out the scars shining in the firelight. He takes my hands and kisses my fingertips. Then he opens the back on my top. Slowly he opens all three clasps and then slides the top down my arms and it joins his shirt in the back of the SUV. He kisses me again before closing up the SUV and leading us back to the dance.
There are more people here now. There's a man dancing on a large heavy ball. There's another cat lady, except her costume isn't as good as the first. The first cat lady has a LARP'er costume, probably custom made. The second one looks like a store-bought Halloween costume. There are four people covered head to foot in paint, each one a different color: brown, red, blue and white. Earth-Fire-Water-Air. The drum captain has changed, I see Marcus over talking with the first drum captain as a whistle blows and a faster beat is starting. Bom. Bom. Bom. Bom. Bom.
The crowd moves as one. We circle right, swaying and spinning and hopping up and down. Some have choreographed moves, others, like me, just letting the music move their body and soul. Bom. Bom. Bom. Bom. Bom. The soulful baying of bagpipes joins the night. More drummers have joined in, setting up in any open space around the mish-mash of rugs on the ground. The dance goes on and on.
Marcus is standing on the outskirt talking with a man and a woman.