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FastForward: Riding the Bull at Cowboy's Saloon Ladies' Night

FastForward is a weekly column documenting the nighttime scene in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach County. It's a weeknight stop at your neighborhood dive; it's a blurry, bass-filled Friday night in the club; it's that one moment in a conversation you hope you'll remember the next morning.

All I could see were his pointed chin and the slender, downward curve of his mouth illuminated under the bluish light of the bullpen. The rest of his face was shrouded in the shadow of his cowboy hat. With one hand raised to the controls and the other tucked under his arm, the cowboy lured curious passerby with his silent bait.

As I leaned over the fence of the pen, mesmerized by the mechanical beast bucking and twisting under the operator's spell, I let the teasing voice of my friend Danny dissolve my trance.

"Falyn wouldn't do it," he was telling Rene, my friend whose idea it was to hit up Wednesday's Ladies' Night at Cowboy's Saloon. The bar is sandwiched between a Bed Bath & Beyond and a Pet Supermarket in a Davie strip plaza. "She wouldn't last five seconds on that thing."

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Danny is my best friend and roommate from college, in town for the week for his sister's bachelorette party. I knew this was his tactic for goading me into trying something new. Rene could tell it was working.

"I really wanna do it, but I'm scared," she said to me, sucking innocently on her vodka cranberry. "If you go first, I'll go."

I looked between the two of them, Danny in his flashy, studded denim button-down, Rene a towering force in her white crop top and skinny jeans, and reminded myself that this night was not about staying in my comfort zone.

The massive line-dance floor was scantily populated, but already somewhat of a startling sight to encounter as a first-timer walking into the suburban nightclub. It was about 11, and the country girls stamped their boots in unison, linking arms, hooking their thumbs in their belt loops, their long, straight manes swinging across the tops of their butts.

I downed the rest of the Bud Light in my mini plastic cup and handed Danny my purse. Walking up to the cowboy, I warned him I'd never done this before. He handed me a release form to sign and gestured for me to take off my platforms. The strong, silent type. I shrugged off my jacket, stepped my bare feet onto the mat, and prepared to mount.

Cowboy's isn't the type of place you go to sit at the bar and bat your eyelashes so some guy with a popped collar can come buy you a drink. It's the type of place you get a little down and dirty. A place where the boxed blondes are proud of their fake tits, and invite you to give them a squeeze, or even pop one out over the band of their tube top. Cowboy's: Where the bartenders call you sweetie with a southern drawl and the bathroom attendant only sells one kind of cigarette, Newports.

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Falyn Freyman is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Miami. She previously produced videos for Univision and edited music content for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Her work has been featured in Vice, Bustle, Broadly, Time Out, and other publications. She has a master's degree from the Columbia School of Journalism.
Contact: Falyn Freyman

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