I've met a lot of insecure men in my life, Black, White, Brown, and other, but this one takes it all! It was at Cosmos Night Club, a hole-in-the-wall Salsa club in East Oakland's Fruitvale District where everyone came to party hearty. Yet I almost had to defend myself on a couple of occasions against a jealous husband because I was doing nothing but sitting on the bar stool focusing on the music and the dancers.
This African-American man was routinely
and intensely checking on his wife who worked in this club as a cocktail
waitress. He wanted to know why I was there every Friday and Saturday
night. This is little Tijuana, he uttered in contempt! He then looked me and asked, you are not one of those Black Puerto Ricans, are you?
explained to him that I grew up in what used to be the salsa music
capital of the world, New York City (Now, it's Cali, Colombia), where I fell in love with the music. He simply could not
believe that a brotha could be this deep into Latin music, and thus,
did not buy into my story. He thought I was fooling around with his wife, or trying to.
This poor, insecure man did not
understand that I'm from an entirely different world than he. I fell in love with Latin music, more specifically Salsa and Afro-Cuban, music at a young age primarily due to an African-American radio station, WWRL-New York, that gave airtime to Puerto Rican musicians, like Joe Cuba, Willie Colón, and Ray Barretto, and whose recordings hit #1 on the African-American charts more than once and lasted many weeks at a time.
The Oakland/San Francisco Salsa scene was a place where many couples come in together and dance with everyone in the club who knows how to dance, then the significant others would generally go home together and call it another lovely evening. No one gets into fights or exchange cross words. People are just out to have “fun,” and go home, which was exactly what I was doing at Cosmos Salsa Club.
This distinguished gentlemen (ha-ha), who eventually got around to telling me to stay away from his wife, was eventually barred from the club because he was hindering his wife from doing her work. I could understand if I had been looking at her or throwing lines at her, but the only time I said anything to her was when I was buying a drink or sending a drink over to a woman whom I really liked. Certainly, I was not thinking about his wife. Poor guy (SMH)!