At the start of huge contra dance last night, I saw a girl sitting out a dance, just watching the teen line spin by, and smiling. She had short--almost buzz-cut--red hair, and silver dangly earrings, and I fell for her instantly. I spun by her in the arms of whatever guy friend I was dancing with, unable to stop thinking about her, telling myself I had to dance the next dance with her. Another guy friend asked me to dance when he was spinning me around, and, well, he's a good dancer and a good guy, so I didn't refuse.
Though I danced with more girls than guys that night, I never danced with her, never even passed her by in the line. I saw her pair up with some of her girlfriends over and over, and I mean, I had never met her, never introduced myself, and who would whisk some random girl who might even be straight off to dance unless they had--cough--indecent intentions? Once I saw her standing around at the end of a dance, looking--slumped--for a partner to dance the next one, and oh she was so beautiful, oh I wanted to fall into her arms. But someone else asked her before I could work up the courage for the offhand, apologetic, "Want to dance?" that must be from girl-stranger to girl-stranger if you do not know her, if you do not know if she is straight.
I had forgotten all about the straight crush on my used-to-be-close (until I stopped talking to her because I loved her too much) friend, the friend who was wearing a bosomy shirt and looking gorgeous in her own bohemian, thrown-together way. I was elated, in another world, in love with a complete stranger.
A stranger who I couldn't bring myself to meet, a stranger who will go filed along with all those other girls who I never pursued, who maybe I liked them or maybe they liked me, or maybe we both might have liked each other if only I gave her a chance. Because who wants to admit they are sexual when they are afraid no one will think they are beautiful, who wants to burden anyone else with their growing, confused selves?