September. Me and Billie Jean had planned this Weekend for months. Living Smack Dab In The Middle of a Midwest nightmare we knew we had to get away or go all Stomp on each other.
“I Love The Night Life,” Billie Jean had said. “Let’s ride the Cosmic Wind wherever it takes us.”
I suggested we kick it In New York but Billie Jean said she’d had nothing but Bad Luck there and could we go somewhere else.
“Shame,” I said, “I love that place.”
We decided to head south, thinking a Miami Heatwave would do us both some good. Besides, Billie Jean said she wanted to Party like a Street Player on Wild Safari and what better place to do that than Miami?
So I booked a room at a ratty little hotel in Funky Town called Double Dutch Bus. It was located on the second and third floors above the Y.M.C.A. at 212 North 12th.
The Mexican working the front desk was real Le Freak. All Rhythm Talk. Superslick. Kept hopping from one foot to the other like he was infected with some kind of crazy Cocomotion.
After a minute Searchin’ the ledger he assigned us the school bus room. Then, smiling and giving Billie Jean the once-over like she was his own Sweet Dynamite, he said, “The gym on the ground floor is open 24 Hours A Day. Supernature, baby.”
“Magnifique,” Billie Jean replied, Movin’ to her own Body Music.
The Mexican threw Billie Jean a wink and me a key.
“Okay Mr. Big Stuff. Whistle Bump your way to the third floor, first room on the right. And if you and Hot Butterfly are here for the Night Life get yourselves down to Disco Inferno. That’s Where The Happy People Go.”
“All right, Woman, let’s do this,” I said.
We rode the Express to the third floor and keyed our way into the room.
“Rough Diamond,” Billie Jean said, squinting at the yellow-and-black motif: the vinyl bus seats, the Honey Bee wallpaper buzzing across the exterior wall, the lava lamp a mini sun glowing on the nightstand.
“Ha Cha Cha,” I said. “A schoolboy Fantasy.”
There was no time to Take It Easy. So we hit the streets looooking gooood and booked into the night, two shots from the Devil’s Gun. Twenty minutes later it was like we had fallen into a bottomless Boogie Wonderland at The Best Disco In Town. Breathless. No Ten Percent for us.
We lit the Fire, entered the Promised Land and put on the coolest I Ain’t Jivin’, I’m Jammin’ moves we could roll with until a tiny booth opened near the bar.
“Sweet Lucy,” Billie Jean said, her ivy-green eyes illuminated by the reflected light of the disco ball. “Could Heaven Ever Be Like This?”
“If All We’re Gonna Do Is Dance, I hope so,” I said.
During the break we ordered drinks, me a Harvey Wallbanger and Billie Jean a Grasshopper. Halfway through our cocktails a cheese-eater calling himself Dr. Doo-Dah spied us and invited himself over. It was clear he had bone jacked some celebrity, one of those mobster-types from the 40s who if you looked at him the wrong way would Shake Your Body Down To The Ground.
He strutted up like he had just stepped off a luxury liner from Cuba, offered his name, and, without any consideration how we might react, said, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel.”
I was willing to play it Nice And Slow, see what his gig was until he opened his mouth. But then I suddenly felt the need to introduce Dr. Doo-Dah to some Love Pains, some Serpentine Fire. As I was about to go Boogie Oogie Oogie all over his A-Freak-A, Billie Jean slipped an arm around my shoulders. Knowing I could be a hardcore Trouble Maker when provoked, she obviously didn’t want me to Rock The Boat, put the dissipate on our Salsoul Rainbow.
“I’m OK, You’re OK,” she said. “Let’s not make this a Situation.”
“I’ll Be Good,” I said. “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent.”
Aside from Driving Me Wild that’s one of the things I like most about Billie Jean, how she is able to Pull Up To The Bumper, stare into the face of Danger and make it seem as harmless as K-Jee on a teeter-totter.
Anyway, once the Music, Harmony & Rhythm went to cooking again Dr. Doo-Dah braced a chair and sat looking at me.
“Hi-Jack,” he said. His body screamed Sea, Sex And Sun and it was super hard not to give him the Rapture right then and there. But I’m A Man. I can do the Gone, Gone, Gone no problem if it will keep me from disappointing Billie Jean.
Still, I thought I’d have a little fun, cause some Mischief of my own.
“Watch this,” I whispered to Billie Jean. “This will leave no doubt that Your Sweetness Is My Weakness.”
When I turned to our uninvited guest it almost appeared he was giving me Angel Eyes, like tonight had morphed into a weird Disco Circus and I was the Jingo everyone would soon be laughing at. But I figured it was only a Hot Shot look he was concocting for Billie Jean so I let it slide.
“Hey, buddy,” I said, real stellar like suddenly Dr. Doo-Dah himself had become the sole object of my Night Fever. “What say you and me get High On Mad Mountain? Come on, Share The Night and Boogie With Me.”
This seemed to get a Rise out of him. He paused for a second to Think It Over.
“Better, yet, why don’t you ditch this chick and the two of us head on Down To Love Town?” Dr. Doo-Dah said. He eased a stick of gum in his mouth and leaned forward, his scent a mixture of Monsieur Rochas and Bain De Soleil, and continued, “Take It From Me, I’m a Savage Lover. No Touch And Go here, Sinner Man. So if you want to funk it out, diversify, bump it with a heavy dose of Love In C Minor, if you catch my drift, show this babe your backside and Runaway with Dr. Doo-Dah straight into the Twilight Zone.”
Billie Jean sat laughing like a Native New Yorker stepping on a Florida beach for the first time. “I don’t know, Dazz,” Billie Jean said, her hand tight against my thigh. “That sounds like an invitation to one truly unforgettable night, or a really bad Love Hangover.”
The realization that Dr. Doo-Dah intended to, how shall I put it, make me his Sugar Pie Guy, was an image I could do without. Talk about a Double Cross.
Anyway, sensing our Disco Train had veered off track and deciding it was time to Turn The Beat Around on our misguided lover, Billie Jean got all Frenesi and cranked the serious dial straightaway to hyper-drive.
“Listen,” she said, giving Dr. Doo-Dah a look that warned she was Law Of The Land and he best take her advice. “While I appreciate your interest in my man, I think you’ve made a serious case of Pilot Error here. Dazz isn’t interested in your brand of Show And Tell. He’s more Hills Of Katmandu. More, In The Bush, if you catch my drift. Now, unless you want a Date With The Rain I suggest you Put Your Feet To The Beat and go hit on Somebody Else’s Guy.”
“That’s right, Just Walk Away,” I said. “Ain’t no way you’re going to Mainline me with your Love Injection.”
Apparently Dr. Doo-Dah knew better than to argue with Hot Stuff and The Boss. He unbraced the chair, shifted into Glide and then made Bourgie Bourgie like he was Funkin’ For Jamaica.
When we were alone Billie Jean wiggled her way onto my lap.
“All right, Doctor Love,” she asked, giving me a kiss that said Hot For You.” Where Do We Go From Here?”
“Can’t say for sure,” I said, “but wherever it is, Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.”