It is Saturday night and the dance floor is packed full of people. Everywhere you look there are bodies moving, some with rhythm and some without but still moving.
Ann and a few of her friends are dancing together. It is one of those things that women sometimes do in packs. I don’t claim to know much about women, let alone understand them but I know that the pack means that some if no all of them are single.
I am standing in the corner, beer in hand, head bobbing in time with the music. I am watching and waiting for the liquid courage to kick in. I am not a dancer. I don’t have the graceful movements that make women swoon over my moves. I know this and am very self conscious about it.
Sometimes I wish that I could move like Fred Astaire because I could grab a partner and make her into my Ginger Rogers. We’d glide across the dance floor and somewhere during the dance there would be a moment. She’d look in my eyes and I’d smile at her. A connection would be made and I’d know that if I tried to kiss her she wouldn’t turn her head to the side or use her hand to stop me.
Jack, the ever so suave dancer wouldn’t try that, at least not immediately. He’d make her wait and let the anticipation build. Let her wonder what it would be like. Let her imagination run wild and then at the perfect moment I’d help her find out if truth matched imagination.
At least that is the fantasy and the dream. In reality I know that I am not going to impress her with my dance moves. I am a second look guy. Got to get her attention and find a relatively quiet place to talk. If I can do that I might have a good shot. I have a good sense of humor and I am good at making women laugh. I know how to build a rapport and create a connection.
That is the theory that I want to put in practice, but I am sort of stumped. I have watched several of the guys wander over to the pack and watched the girls reject them. I don’t know what was said but I can tell that they just aren’t interested. This is more of a girl’s night out than a chance to meet guys or so it appears to me.
But I have had a crush on Ann for a long time now and have never seen a good opportunity to do something about it. Either she had a boyfriend or there was some other obstacle that I couldn’t quite figure out. It frustrates me. I am a very confident person but she is so damn hot I fumble over my words and stutter.
Even though it is dark I can see her smiling and can almost hear her laughing at something someone says. I down the rest of the beer and start thinking about what I am going to say. Ten feet separates us and now she has her back to me. I watch her hips move and wonder what it would be like to run my hands through her hair.
She gets such a strong response from me that I find myself wondering if there is some sort of pheromone in play. I take a deep breath and say, “fuck it! No guts, no glory.” Just as I am about to say hello I feel someone hug me from behind.
I don’t have to look at the hands on my stomach to know that whomever is hugging me is female. I can feel her entire body pressed up against me but instead of being happy I am irritated.
This is not what I want. I finally have worked up the courage to try and talk to Ann and some other chick has chosen to grab me. You don’t have to put a mirror in front of my face for me to know that I am glaring. And because lady luck is a fickle bitch this happens to be the same moment that Ann chooses to turn around and make eye contact with me.
Instead of being able to flash a warm and inviting smile she sees lightning bolts flashing in my eyes and quickly turns away.
“FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!”
Now I am angry. I turn to confront whomever hugged me. “Hi Jack, you and your Polo Cologne are so predictable.
Her name is Nancy. The year before we had a sort of friends with benefits type of relationship. It was fun while it lasted but then she got a boyfriend and I got the boot. I didn’t really mind much. The sex was good but once it was over I had nothing to say to her. Frankly once it was over I wanted to get the hell out of there but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings so I hung out for a while.
“I haven’t seen you in forever, come dance with me.” I don’t know if she didn’t hear me say no or if she just ignored, but when she took my hand I pulled it back and shook my head.
“C’mon Jack, I want to dance without being groped by some sweaty guy.”
“Is someone bothering you? Just tell him you aren’t interested.”
“No, no one is bothering me. I just want to dance with you.”
“I’d really rather not.”
I looked up and discovered that Ann wasn’t on the dance floor anymore. “Fuck!”
Nancy smiles and tells me that if I am nice I might get my wish. “Dammit Nancy, I am just not interested.” Tears begin to fill her eyes and I realize that I just rejected her in a big way. I try to apologize but she just glares at me and walks away.
Damn, moments before I missed my shot at trying to talk to Ann and then I ruined my chances for extracurricular activities with someone else. Decades later I’ll look back at this moment and smile at the thought of how inconsequential my problems used to be.