by Gita M. Smith

I went down to the club on the beach, drawn by the colored lights trimming the faux grass roof and tiki-style decorations. I wanted to be part of something, even if I just nursed one drink and listened, even if no one leaned in and asked my name or laughed me into his circle of friends the way people do when the rum makes pals of anyone else holding a drink.

I tried to divide the wall of sound into its separate components, and after some minutes I could actually make out the surf as a separate rhythmic woosh and the rub of women's dresses as a soft susurration.
I was able to carve human voices out of the din, and among them I heard separate categories: predators, prey and the few with no agenda.

I heard the music of wind on moving sand, of jazz piano coming from speakers and, off in the distance, something else, manmade and lonesome -- a ship's horn, maybe.

The bar sounds grew (as bar sounds will) until everything rushed together -- clinking glass and  tinkling ice and laughter and zippers going down then up and all that liquid changing place from bottles into bloodstreams and kidneys and bladders and into toilets and into pipes and into darkness  and later (from those who wanted to) into cocks and pussies and mouths and hands and sighs and finally… sleep.