You guys are probably going to see videos of me on ratchetblackness.com or World Star – but before you judge me, allow me to confess and explain how all of this happened.
Before he was struck by an illness that has kept him housebound, a friend of mine used to go soca parties every other weekend. Not only did these parties keep him connected to his Virgin Island culture, they gave him veritable LIFE. There aren’t words rich enough in the English language to describe the light that emanated from him in the wake of his post soca party euphoria. I determined then that I would attend a soca party one day and promptly added the activity to my bucket list.
Why a bucket list for a mere party, presumably that would be held in a warehouse in Any Metro City near you? Because of one detail – that little hiccup that would make my presence at such an event unseemly: I was married to a deacon, now a pastor. ‘Going out’ for us is dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and/or catching a movie, not getting sweaty to samba and certainly not shaking it to Caribbean tunes. Saints don’t participate in those forms of debauchery: dancing yourself into a molten hot puddle. But as I mentioned on Facebook a while back, my decision making post-surgery can generously be described as questionable, so when my sister (now a soca fanatic since her return from Carnival in Trinidad) said that she wanted to take me to a soca party before my return to South Africa, I did not refuse the opportunity! That’s how I ended up on my back in the middle of the club with a stranger dry humping me.
So, what had happened was this:
I spent two weeks watching soca videos in order to do research on how to conduct myself at this club/party. We only play worship music in our house, if ever at all, and I needed to familiarize myself with soca protocol. Nothing in any of the handful of videos I watched looked anything like what my body was capable of, so I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to rely on some old faithful boogies, namely azonto, cultural dancing and the running man if it came down to it.
Next came the question of attire. As the mother of four human beings sporting a belly that looks like I’m about to deliver a fifth, there was no way I was going out looking as though I was going to a soca club. I opted for jeggings, high top sneakers and my Cobra Kai Dojo tee from Walmart. As I applied moderate make-up, I felt and looked comfortable…until I started sweating.
“Are you hot?” I asked Adj.
She was fanning herself vigorously, replying in the affirmative. She scuttled off to her bedroom and turned on the standing fan to cool herself down. It was at that moment that I toyed with the idea that the spontaneous burst of heat we both experienced was probably due to the fact that I was going to hell, and had not warned my sister about the ills of club life as a good Christian ought. But whatever. It was too late and the plans had already been made.
At 6:30pm, my brother-in-common-law prepared dinner for the house; oven fried chicken and broccoli. He doesn’t salt his meat, so I loaded up on the broccoli and reluctantly nibbled on the chicken. Adj (my sister) had announced that we’d be leaving at 8:30 to drop the kids off at an auntie’s house before heading to the party.
“It starts at 10pm, and I do NOT want to open the party,” she said.
When we arrived at 11:15pm, the party looked like this.
But that’s not even the worse part. The worse part is the drive to the event. We had to take my adorable niece and nephew aaaaaall the way to Bowie, MD for the evening, and for the duration of the 45-minute drive, I was subjected to an inane line of questioning from a 3-year-old wanting to know who was driving the car and why were the street lights on. In addition to this, my sister did not want to listen to music because it was “too loud”, which meant there was no ambient noise to drown out the sound of my niece’s voice. I sat in the back seat yawning, contemplating how different this pre-partying experience was from my college days when I used to go out. I thought fondly of my bed and yearned for it.
“I don’t see how people go from parenting to partying so quickly,” I mused. “Especially when the lead up to your night out is the ride we just took.”
Chris agreed, adding, “You just gotta push through that hurdle and commit!”
So commit we did and on to Karma we went for the post Carnival relief party! (Side note: there have been relief parties all over the city, since revelers tend to experience withdrawal after leaving Trinidad/Carnival so severe that it can lead to depression.) After a 10-15 minute jaunt from our parking space down the road, we were greeted by security at the doors who asked for ID (which I proudly remembered to bring with me) and subjected us to a vigorous pat down. I gasped as a husky woman sporting box braids lifted each of my breasts and pressed into my sternum.
“You ok?” she asked.
“Yeah…it’s just that that was the most physical contact I’ve had with anyone in two months,” I replied.
The other members of the security team howled with laughter, and she muttered something that might have passed for an apology. I told her not to worry about it.
“I’m sure it was just a precursor for what I’m about to experience in there!”
Laughter ensued. We ducked into the club. We sat and looked at each other for what seemed like an eternity. The music was NOT good, although the set up and décor was very pretty. There were a lot of people at the bar just standing there, giving a creepy voyeur vibe. And then there was this guy running around covered in flags with a whistle around his neck. The whistle indicated the nature of his employment – Mister Floor Opener, Dancing Facilitator or Winding Orchestrator. I’ll send a box of Cheerios to anyone who has correctly guessed that this is also the individual who would end up dry humping me into oblivion. We’ll get to that.
Bored and quickly becoming aggravated that my first soca party was clearly destined to be a dud, I stood to my feet and began to sway to beat with Chris – a man who needs NO excuse to party and had already committed to winding his waist against the raw atmosphere. Sensing my disappointment, he told me not to worry and promised that things would really start humping at 1 am.
“1 am?” I thought to myself. “You mean, I won’t be back hom and in bed by then? Crap!”
I began to wind atmosphere along with him.
At this point, my other “sister” had joined us at our perch and was scanning the room. She recognized two women that she’d gone to school with and they formed a part of our circle for the night…and number that would eventually swell to 11 women, plus Chris. Now that the music was getting slightly better and that I had committed to having fun no matter what, I began to dance in earnest, twirling my towel and doing borborbor or whatever other move came to mind. That’s when I felt someone behind me.
I braced myself for the impact that was coming, remembering Chris’ clarion admonishment about Carnival/soca: “You must accept the wyne.”
So when a man’s paw pushed my neck towards my kneecaps, I submitted and let him push up on me. Ah. But he was so aggressive! Why? It seemed to go on forever, and it was only until I resurfaced for air that he released me…but only momentarily. By this time I was in a playful mood, so I shook my wobbly bits to the beat, which he took as an invitation to jump on my back.
Yes, you read that right. I had a 6’3” nigga on my back in a darkened club lit up only by fluorescence and the roaming spotlights. But that’s not the worst of it.
As time went on, more folk began to trickle in and we few were determined to make the most of the scene. By now I was dripping in sweat (which is not unusual) and I was just happy to be amongst such happy, unpretentious Black people. I sat on the edge of a sofa and The Facilitator popped out of nowhere. Since I was seated, I figured there was no way he could force me into any sort of position where I would be compelled to ‘accept the wyne’.
He grabbed me by my feet and lifted them around his waist. I immediately pulled a move I learned from my 6 year old and went limp. Dead weight. All 245 lbs of it. It didn’t matter. He hoisted me onto his hips and began to pump/wing/grind aggressively. I held on for dear life, fearful that he’d drop me in the middle of this club and burst my still-healing cranial stitches. When our interaction exceeded the threshold of comfort and reason, I bucked and tried to get down. It was at THAT point that he laid me on my back, parted my legs, and began to simulate the act of dry humping. There was never any pelvis-to-pelvis contact…just the appearance of it. Over his shoulder, I saw a woman pull out her pink iPhone and begin filming. Why? My sister sprang into action and tried to get this massive, and deceptively very strong man off of me, but because I was laughing hysterically at the absurdity of it all – ME, a pastor’s wife in a Walmart t-shirt, struggling to hold in explosive flatulence brought on by the broccoli eaten hours early, on the club floor at her first soca party – she assumed I was enjoying the experience and walked away. As in she left me there. The wave of hysteria passed quickly though, and I scooted away from under him and sought refuge on the sofa again, breathless and bewildered. (Honestly, I was really unnerved by how quickly and efficiently he was able to maneuver my body into such a compromising position. I’m no willow.)
If you see me on some ratchet Black website, please know that it was not my intention to disgrace my family or myself. It simply just went down that way! I thought about all of my friends who work in entertainment and who so carefully guard their public persona; People who I admire. I relayed what happened to one such woman early this morning.
“Oh girl, please,” she said. “I had something similar happen to me when I was in New York!”
I told her that it felt good knowing that we would both be in soca hell together when Judgment Day came. How will Saint Peter allow us into the pearly gates after exhibiting this level of no behavior?
And speaking of no and worst behavior, boy did I show it all.
I even stood in place and marched.
We jammin’ still!
I had THE best time I’ve had in a long time. There were no egos, no women were fronting on each other and apart from the crazy man with the whistle (who I spent the rest of the evening avoiding), the men were respectful. And as promised, by 1:30 am, the place was packed, the dance floor was covered in puddles of sweat and a guy impersonating PM Dawn was gliding through the crowd, like an apparition after a fever dream.
This morning I got home at 5:30 am with no regrets.
PS: Just so you ladies know, it is only mandatory to accept the wind at Carnival. In America, you can shoo a man away with a flick of the wrist or a waggle of a finger. I only learned this after the rottweiler had had his way with me. This was a great experience, but it will certainly be my last. I need to redeem myself with prayer and fasting and Hillsongs…