Saturday, January 3, 2009

Are we human, or are we dancer?

November 14, 2008

After a week of coming home hating my students more and more each day, I decided to take the rugby girls up on their offer of "hittin' da club."

I haven't gone out in a while. Which means, I haven't had a few drinks and danced naughty with people who aren't Mindy in a while. Here's a little known fact: I like to dance.

Ah, but only when the music isn't crappy new hip-hop. I recognized one song last night, and that was one that the drag queen danced to. I can't remember what it was right now, but it was circa 2000 and brought back memories of Houston and the gay bar I went to, which the older girls called "The Barn"

I had a fake i.d. Well, it was an expired driver's license of a friend. Ok, she was kind of a friend, but more like a girl i really liked. She had five tongue rings (that she'd done herself), pink hair, and drew carey glasses. Anyway, she gave it to me. The picture of her was taken when she was 69 pounds an anorexic. I guess it kind of looked like me.

But there wasn't just her. No, there was the tall, older butch girl who I worked with. She had a short skater cut, you know, with the underneath all shaved. (or maybe you're too young?) We were friends first, she introduced me to rugby, to bars, to ideas.

And then there was another girl. This one I would fall madly in love with. She was a painter, an anthropologist, a smoker, a debutante. The next 3 years I'd spend most of my time with her or without her and in tears.

But then, I can't leave out the reason I moved to Houston in the first place. I'd sworn my life to a shy, tone deaf, blonde haired, blue-eyed physcologist (who now is Dr. and works for NASA) when I was 19, but within months realized all the options I'd yet to explore.

And explore I did. There were the older rugby girls. One night she wore a skirt, had a little too much to drink, and happened to dance with me for one song. Maybe not even the whole song. That was all our relationship lasted, and she didn't even know she was in it with me. She had big hands, that's what I remember most.

I lived and dated and loved like I had to get everyone in before I made a choice. Because if I didn't meet everyone in the world, how would I know I'd chosen the right one?

In those sweaty, bumping bodies last night I saw myself. I was in among them, too. God, how beautiful we all are as a swarming mass of youth. The looks on their faces so bright from hormones, drink, and dance. Those are the times we are infinite, when when can conquer the world with our hips.

I drove home through the rain to my wife. My mortgage, the cats and bills. I woke her up and buried my head in her neck where she smells most like herself. "I'm attracted to them," I said, "I'm sorry." She held me tighter, giggled and said, "but now you're home."

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Writer, teacher, and archaeologist. Contributing essayist in the anthology "Crooked Letter I: Coming Out In the South" from NewSouth Books.