The lights went down, and Dave, Zeljko and the drummer stepped onto the small stage.
There were some chairs set up along one wall, and the Japanese girls who had come were sitting in them. For the first part of the evening, they swayed back and forth and clapped to the music, which I thought was an odd accompaniment to “Start Me Up” and “Wild Thing.” Later on, they abandoned the chairs and stood in groups around the room.
Massoud had been standing near the bar. Suddenly, he pushed forward into the small space in front of the band. His head was down, and he flailed his arms around him. He bent his knees, splaying his legs, and lifted his head up. His eyes looked straight ahead, his mouth was a straight line, open only enough to breathe. He jumped up and came crashing down, jumped up again, and then went down to the floor, in a Russian squat, kicking out his legs, with his hands down on the floor to support himself.
Then he sat down and spun around and was up again. He lifted his head to the sky, panting. His whole body was shaking, and he flung his legs and arms, as if trying to throw them off his body. His head was tilted back, and his mouth opened up into a wide grin, as if he could see something up there the rest of us couldn’t. When the music stopped, he stood there for a moment, frozen as he had danced, and then stumbled backwards, caught himself, and turned back to the crowd.
The room was silent, and then suddenly exploded in cheers and applause. Andrew the architect grabbed a beer from the bar, walked up to Massoud and handed it to him. Massoud took it. Andrew stuck out his hand, and shook Massoud’s hand. Massoud said “thank you,” between breaths.
“My man!” said Andrew.
The band was starting to pack up, and people were starting to drift back to the house. I left with Nuri and Jody.
When we got to the top of the stairs, we saw two policemen asking to see Alien Registration cards.
“Oh what Bullshit!” Said Jody, “come on!” She led us around the policemen before they had a chance to stop us.
From across the street, we looked back. Massoud stood there as the police went through his things, searching his pockets and his bag. “They think he’s got drugs,” said Jody. They asked Andrew for his Registration card. He showed it, and they waved him on.
“Should we stay?” Asked Nuri.
“No, we can’t do anything,” she said. “Ah, he’ll be alright, Dave and Zeljko are still there.” The police waved more people on, still scouring Massoud.
“The bastards,” said Jody, “come on then.”
Read the whole thing here.
Excerpted from Memoirs of a Gaijin.