The Dance
This is an early scene for my #RiverNovel  . Links to all of the scenes that I wrote so far, in proper sequence, are at my blog http://WeaverGrace.com .
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I'm wondering if the conversation is too feminine to be of interest to men.
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The first of the month came, and a bunch of friends moved me into my apartment. The weather was conducive; we got a welcome break from the end of winter. Del stuck around to help me settle in. We were sitting on my sofa in front of my fireplace, wearing almost nothing because of the heat, when she asked me how Friday night went.
"So, you know that I moved into the rooming house 3 weeks ago, while I was waiting for this apartment to be ready. I heard that this guy lived there, but he was always gone visiting his girlfriend."
"Uh huh?"
"So, in the morning, I went downstairs to make a stirfry for breakfast. It was going to be my first fresh asparagus of the year, from the roadside stand, and lots of parsley and chives from the back yard, with leftover black beans."
"You eat the weirdest foods for breakfast. Maybe because you're a vegetarian? Or maybe you're a vegetarian because you like to eat weird foods?"
"Yeah, well, food is important to me. I can't eat like normal people. It makes me sick, and then I can't do what I want to do. When I feel well, I don't even want to eat anything from a bakery or the cookie aisle. Just the thought of it turns my stomach. I look at the stuff in the display cases that are overwhelmingly tempting on some days, and and on a good day I feel like I'm going to vomit. It's a great feeling, because that reassures me that my body is healthy. But when I'm stressed out, you know how I can go through a half gallon of ice cream, no matter what the brand is."
"Yeah. You freaked me out when you did that."
"Yeah. And it knocked me right out. I slept well after that."
"You never get the 'sugar high' that people talk about."
"No. I don't."
"Do your parents eat healthy?"
"No! My mother eats instant box mixes; whatever is the cheapest. But my mother always noticed that what I ate matters a lot to my health. When I was little, I could be doing well, and then crash if I had one chocolate bar or popsicle or something like that. She convinced me that if I was curled up on her lap, it was because I had stopped at the candy store on the way home. So, I started eating as much vegetarian organic whole food as I could find from the time when I was in my early teens.
"Anyway, Friday. So, a couple weeks ago, I wore my usual jumbo long flannel nightgown, you know. I hadn't yet put in my contacts, so I was wearing my big old ugly glasses. My hair was a fluffy mess. I got out my jug of apple juice, shook it well, and poured a glass. He was busy at the stove, cooking his breakfast. It was a squirrel "saddle?" in a frying pan. I couldn't cook beside him. That was perhaps the most horrid thing I ever saw. Squirrel? Who eats squirrels? I feed squirrels at my bird feeders. How could someone eat one?"
"Squirrels? Are you serious? That's disgusting. That's like eating your pet cat."
"Yeah. So my glass of apple juice had a thick layer of foam on top from me shaking it so hard. He thought I was drinking beer for breakfast. I didn't bother to correct him."
"You're bad."
"Well, I heard that his girlfriend wanted him to move down to the city, so it's not like it would make a difference. I miss the city. I'd go if I were him. This place is pretty, but quiet. Very quiet."
"Very quiet! I don't know how you survive up here. Yeah, it's gorgeous, but it's too quiet."
"Yeah. So, his girlfriend wouldn't move up here, and he wouldn't move down there. So, a week ago, we came home from work at the same time, and he pointed to the bumper sticker on my car, "I'd rather be dancing", and said that he would dance me off the floor. I laughed and said that I doubted it. We were supposed to go out that night. He called me when I was ready and waiting for him. His mother was in town and he was having dinner with her."
"No way! What a creep! He makes a date with you and then cancels when you're supposed to be out with him?"
"Yeah, well, we weren't really going out. He has that girlfriend. So, I took a rain check, and we went out the night before last. What a dancer! What a great time we had! We found a live band, and danced every song. He spun me, held my hands and twisted with me, and did crazy footwork. He really grooved into it. He held me in the ballroom dance position, and pranced me all across the floor. We had such a good time. And for the slow songs, he really held me close. I liked the feel of my body against his."
"Uh oh. Look out Girlfriend."
"He was really good at moving me across the floor."
"You're a good dancer, too, you know."
"You're sweet. I don't think I've ever seen you on the dance floor."
"My mother made me take dance classes, and it doesn't do anything for me."
"You'll have to dance with him, and see what happens."
"Not likely. So, go on."
"So, at one point, the drummer beat out a quiet rhythm and asked everyone, "Do you wanna hear blues?" I yelled out Yes! No one else said anything. He continued, "Do you wanna hear country?" Everyone was quiet. "Do you wanna hear moldy oldies?" I was the only one who cheered again. "Do you wanna hear rock?" Everyone hollered, and the band broke out with Eric Clapton's "Cocaine", except they sang it as "Champagne." They handed him and me a bottle to share with them. Just him and me and them! They singled us out! Then the floor cleared, and people formed a circle around us. He went into overtime with fancy footwork. I had to close my eyes to resist freezing up with self-consciousness. As long as my eyes were closed, I could bring the song into my ears, and let it pour out through my bones. Then the band slid into "After Midnight" and everyone was back swaying on the floor, packed like sardines. We all went into air guitar mode during the riff, imitating each other. It was great. I had such a good time."
"Wow."
"Yeah. Wow."
"I'm really impressed that he let us visit alone, that he isn't hovering."
"Hm. I kind of wish he did stay so you could get to know him."
"Look out Girlfriend."
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