There was always a certain vibe when stepping into a local establishment as an outsider - like introducing a new specimen into an ecosystem there were risks involved. Brandy could tell right away that a place like this, a place she might as well have been a unicorn for her rarely she was in a local dive joint such as this, that she was out of her element. In the dance clubs with reputations for their lines and their overpriced drinks and the buffet of hairspray and powder in any given bathroom, Brandy would've been a hot commodity. Not quite a star of the Hollywood silver screen but more glamorous than the dreamers and the day shift workers who needed to unwind after a day of insider trading or hocking foreign wares at marked up prices. But here everyone knew each other's name. The guy behind the bar was Sam and every local girl was Diane. Brandy? She wasn't Carla or Cliff or even Norm. No, she was an extra.
Right now the vibe was palpable. Dozen conversations going on, old friends discussing old habits, new arrivals ordering old favorites, patrons stepping out of the bathroom looking guilty as if people were ignorant of the fact that they weren't going there to take a piss. Well, not exclusively anyway. There was something about a local pit, the lack of an obnoxiously loud dance floor, the smell of dried waste and human misery, the last call for dreamers and believers to drown their daily failures in a glass of amber and ice while working up the courage to get back out there and make it happen. That was ultimately the vibe at a place like this compared to the tiring, boring clubs in the cities. Here, the customers came back out of a sense of loyalty, camaraderie, to be lifted up and encouraged, a truly inspiring tale of humanity; out there, in big city clubs, it's less about supporting local businesses so much as it is supporting individual desires.
And here was Brandy Valentine, a tourist leaving her little world and entering theirs. Brandy was certain no fewer than a dozen people holding their drinks or wiping their nose on the sly would give anything to walk a day in the sphere of familiarity Brandy had; the ironic thing being they absolutely could if they got rid of their morals and compromised what counted for integrity. Brandy was hardly anyone special, just someone who saw a window of opportunity and decided to break a door. But when morals were all the separated her from them, it was good that they kept theirs. That's why they came to a place like this, drinking shots and pining lots, because no matter what happened out there in the world, this place was welcoming.
Brandy didn't know if she belonged, but sooner or later someone was going to recognize her, be awkward about it, and that would be that. It wasn't so bad, being recognized, but this was their place, not hers. She was the intruder. The tourist. People she could only assume were locals were talking or getting hit on. The last time Brandy was here was...months ago and she had one drink and walked out for no other reason than it was one in the afternoon and drinking while the sun was up was a kind of depressing she didn't want to deal with. She would order a drink in due time, but her goal was near the back of the bar. A place like this having nothing playing from the juke was a cardinal sin.
She was sauntering her way through the bar, ears open to all manner of things. Someone ordering water at a bar. Something about contractors. This and that about a guy named Jed - and not the Clampett variety. Screaming Orgasms on the house. As she approached the jukebox, the sound of someone doing a spit take tickled the ears. Turning her head, she saw it. An unfortunate accident that could explode into something beyond control. Fortunately the one who had done the spit take had the good sense to vacate the scene and for a second Brandy was sure their eyes locked. The spitter seemed like she wanted
to look Brandy's way while Brandy was just observing in general. Still, it didn't stop Brandy from cracking a smile down the way before turning back to the jukebox.
As the music started to play, so too did Brandy, placing her hands on the top of the jukebox and moving her body in tune and time to the intro rhythms. As the voice of Laura Branigan started to play, Brandy mouthed the words right along. "Oh, the night...is my world. City light..painted girl...In the day...nothing matters...it's the night..time that matters..."
It might not have been a dance club kinda place, but that wasn't going to stop Brandy from putting her mark on the mood of the place, even if only for as long as she danced alone by the jukebox as the night continued around her.