When the boy took me home, the house was dark. Most dads would be waiting, but not mine. He might be home by two in the morning or sometime Sunday night. I could never be sure.
I kind of liked the boy, JC, but mostly I was grateful he’d asked me out. My first date and I was 17.
We stood in the empty carport. At least Dad had remembered to leave the outside light on. “You’re not afraid to be in there by yourself?” JC asked.
“I’m used to it,” I said. The date had been…okay. I hated the movie, Police Academy some number or another, and the video arcade, but he was nice. And prom was coming. I really wanted to go to the prom.
“Well,” he said and stepped backwards. “I’ll see you at school on Monday.”
“That’s right,” I said. “Thanks for the movie.”
“I had fun.” He took another step back.
I stood at the kitchen door in the glare of his headlights, waiting for him to back up out of the long drive. There were never cars to wait for, and he was quickly gone. Unlocking the door, I didn’t know how I felt about no kiss goodnight (foreshadowing), but I hurried inside to call my best friend, S. She was up and waiting for me to call.
He didn’t ask me to the prom. He wrote me a note and explained that he liked me and I was smart and funny and many other great things I didn’t care about, but he wanted to take someone who would impress his friends. Brandy was that kind of girl.
“Well,” I told my best friend, “he doesn’t dance anyway.”
“He doesn’t dance or he can’t dance?” S. asked.
“It’s against his religion. He said he’s religious.”
“What’s wrong with dancing?”
“I don’t know. I love dancing,” I said, thinking I’d have given up dancing for the ability to impress a boy’s friends.
My grandmother was a dancer. She’d been one of those dancers who wear the beads and feathers and walk down stairs with a dozen other girls.
She taught me to walk with a record on my head and how to walk down stairs to “show off your lines.”
What is wrong with dancing?
I can’t really tie this into writing tonight (too exhausted from digging too deep into certain memories and trying to climb back out), except that I wonder if people who think dancing is a sin, don’t think all creativity is a sin. And who wants to spend time with these people?
Well, I suppose that one night I did.
But this is for sure–when I find the end to my novel, I’m going to dance whether I impress anyone or not.
Dancing is a wonderful thing.