By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
"Oh, about once a week," he states, sippin' on a bottle of Bud Light. "I've been coming here for nearly two and a half years."
"And what do you like about it?"
"The crowd. It's a mixed crowd, all types of people. Older. I'd say about 28 to 45. I like the music, and the atmosphere. And of course, the pretty ladies," he smiles, focusing his attentions on the Jettster.
I decide to let them make goo-goo eyes at each other, so I shuffle off with my brew in hand, and ease up on this lovely couple arm-in-arm in a booth, Melanie Weaver and Mbonani Mia. Weaver's in a white dress, with silvery braids flowing from her head. Mia's lookin' sharp in a white Lacoste jacket, puffin' on a Black n' Mild cigarillo. It's Mia's first time at Chez Nous, Weaver's second.
"A friend showed me this place, and now I'm showing him," confides Weaver, nodding her head toward the handsome Mia. "It's a cozy little getaway. Nice and dark."
"And people are having fun," says Mia, looking out at the dance floor.
I make note of Mia's accent and ask him where he's from.
"Central Africa," he relates. "I've been in Arizona almost eight years. I'm here studying engineering, but I'm taking a break right now from studies."
"How 'bout you, Melanie?"
"Oh, I'm not a student. I work in accounting, in accounts payable," she says.
"So tell me, Melanie, was it that sexy accent that first attracted you to Mia?"
They both smile, a little bashfully. "Actually, I met him at Club Central, and I liked the way he danced," she confesses. "We've known each other for two years, three months, but we've only been dating one year and three months."
"Are you two going to dance tonight?"
"Oh, yes," she answers, looking at him admiringly. "We love to dance."
Obviously, I'm the odd man out again. I leave these two lovebirds alone, and amble back to the bar, where I see Jett with yet anotherfella, this time getting a massage from him.
"Hold still, now loosen up," this tall gent with a clean-shaven head is telling the bi-Rosario Dawson, as he presses her willing flesh.
"Oh, God! Oh, yes, right there!" exclaims the Jettster, in the throes of massage ecstasy, her cries muffled by Roscoe Taylor's melodious growl, as the crooner dances his way through the club, mic in one hand, singing as he goes. Jett's masseur, whose name is Mark, finishes up his session, and gives the J-girl a big hug. Seizing the moment, I sneak up behind, attempting to engage them in a hug sandwich.
"Whoa, Nellie!" yelps the Jettster, pushing me off her. "One at a time."
"Come on, Jett," I josh, pulling her back toward me. "Like MC Lyte said back in the day, 'If it ain't rough, it ain't right.'"
"You'll enjoy this, then, blubber belly," she says, elbowing me in the plexus.
"Ow! Mounting you, Jett, is tougher than Final Jeopardy!," I cough, taking the barstool between her and Mark. "At least, for me it is.
"So what's your story, Dr. Feelgood?" I ask Mark.
"I'm an artist and a Libra," he explains. "Not only that, I'm spiritual and intuitive."
"Nutty," I reply, sipping my Heiney. "And for a living?"
"I'm an electronic engineer, only because there's money in it," he tells me. "But I'm a visual artist. Right now, I take pictures for an escort service."
"I have an eye for it," he says, nodding his head. "So I'm taking advantage of that. The girls want good pictures. That's what's driving the world right now -- perfection. It's all about the woman. Women control the world, but they don't know it, because the man is keeping them down."
"On their hands and knees, hopefully," I say.
"Don't talk about yo' mama that way, Kreme," cracks Jett. "Tell me, Mark, what's the perfect woman in your opinion?"
"Only one woman is perfect -- the Virgo," he tells her. "Virgos are gonna rule the world. You know why? Because they know what it takes."
Anyhoo, this crazy confab continues for some time, ending with Mark telling me I'm stressed, and giving me a massage as well! Sure, he's a studly dude, but I don't take it personally. Before the night's over, seems like Mark's massaged half the bar.
As the night crawls toward closing, Jett switches from beer to Jack 'n' Coke, and before you know it, I'm peeling her off the ceiling, paying our tab and exiting stage left, one drink shy of a Tara Reid-like wardrobe malfunction.
"How do I know you won't take advantage of me?" she gurgles as I pile her into the Impala.
"Because you smell like a sailor's britches after 48 hours of shore leave," I sniff, rolling down the windows. "In fact, if I'm smelling what I think I'm smelling, I'd say ur-ine safe hands."