Monday, January 18, 2010

Dancefloor Debates

We are in an underground dance club. The strobe lights are going, the music is blaring, and bodies are moving. Currently, I am double fisting with a double caipirinha in my left hand and a Jack and Coke in the other. I'm not sure how I got the Jack, but I'm not about to start asking needless questions. I need to get something approaching a buzz going before I head out to the dance floor.

I am being introduced to an exotic beauty by a good friend. He tells her my name and my Masters program. That's nice of him, playing a sort of preflight wingman. She, is hot. Definitely of Middle Eastern descent. She tells me her name (which I promptly forget--shit) and through the thumping bass lines, she shouts into my ear that she is half Moroccan. Ten points and things are looking up. Then, she drops the bomb.

"What do you think of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?"

What. My jaw drops. All I can manage is a stupefied, wide-eyed face and a desperate glance at my friend. He reacts much the same way. I try to recover and form complete sentences:

"Well, uhhh, goddamn, I uh... You know it's..."

This goes on for some moments. I am hoping that she'll detect my struggles and mercifully bail me out with a subject change or a quick "I got ya!" jab to the ribs.

Doesn't happen. She stares at me, waiting for an answer.

"Well sure, alright. Settlement construction is obviously ridiculous and inexcusable. I mean, it is illegal and deceitful."
She likes that response. "Deceitful." Great word choice. Fuck yeah, Matt. Mental self-High Five.

"I don't think that either side handles itself appropriately. I'm not pro-Israeli but I'm not necessarily pro-Palestinian either." I take this middle road path for a few moments and recognize that I blew it.

Lesson: When double fisting, avoid talk of Big Issues. You can't win.

No comments: