A rough/first draft exercise for a writing class:
I remember the lights in the mirrored tent, as he spun me around the rickety dance floor. How odd it felt to be close to someone, and to have our friends watching as we danced. I don’t remember what either of us were wearing. I know my lips were painted red, and his long hair was pulled back at the nape of his neck. Other than that, the memory of those kinds of details is fuzzy. But the feeling of awkwardness, of feeling completely without grace or elegance, as his lithe, graceful body danced with mine, is clear in my mind all of these years later. I vaguely recollect a friend muttering ‘isn’t that sweet?’ or maybe it was ‘cute’, but the sentiment was the same. There was no hint of sarcasm in her voice, just a tone that said ‘awwww’. The song could have been anything, but I know it was something old-fashioned. We were there with other friends, all keen on old-timey jazz music, so it makes sense that it must have been an old song playing as we danced. I remember thinking ‘this is nice’ but still unable to let go of my feelings of inadequacy and embarrassment. Sometimes, I completely forget this night, this memory, and something will make me remember it. A song, a dream, a scene in a film. And I wonder ‘does he remember it, too?’ I have a feeling that he wouldn’t. That this would only be something significant to me, because of how few memories like this I have. I remember dancing with other friends, and feeling just as special, though, years before, at other places. A synthpop song blaring, being held close, sticky floor beneath my feet. Being told ‘I love you’ and wondering if my friends just told me that because they were high, or if they really loved me. I was always drinking water, always sober, and so I remember it all. Well, yeah, not all of it. No one ever could…could they? But I remember enough. Enough to make me smile and make me sad and make me wistful. The nostalgic feeling bubbling up as one memory of a night of dancing leads into the memory of another night, with someone else, at a different place. The night in the mirrored tent, might always be the most special, though. Until another memory takes its place.