This is how it works-
Category: Romance and Relationships
When I was sixteen I had a very very brief relationship with the world of modeling. It consisted of a few car shows and *one* walk down a runway wearing a tuxedo. This was in Dallas, during my glorious and wonderful (and there is absolutely no sarcasm or irony in this statement) time in high school, and it was for a GLBT Community Center Fundraiser at the Arboretum. Chelsea and Geb may or may not remember it, but for two weeks leading up to it -
I was fuckin' Kate Moss.
Except that my mom was in the audience, and really, how lame is that?
I mean, she waved at me.
After the show, the arboretum became the site of the after-party and since the theme of the night was romance and gay marriage, they played some slow tunes for the happy couples in attendance. Beautiful stuff, too. As I sat at a table with a group of friends and my mother, a handsome stranger came up to the table and asked me to dance.
As I live and breath, Arnie is the first and only man to ever have asked me to slow dance. Most guys balk at the very idea of slow dancing, and must be dragged forcibly to tiles just so they can hold you between their wooden arms and look around self-consciously, and that sucks. But here he came and fulfilled one of my lifelong fantasies. It was a wonderful few minutes. I'd go so far as to say one of the most romantic moments of my life.
Things quickly went pear-shaped after my little dance-floor affair with Arnie. We never went anywhere cause I was sixteen and he was in completely 'nother age bracket. But shortly thereafter, for various reasons, my view on romance and all its trappings went from blissful to seriously in need of something therapy.
Still with me? Good, cause here's the payoff.
(Yeah kids, I'm thinkin' I'm done with the "woe-is-me" bit. At least for now.)
Last night, I went out with long-time friends and new-found friends together. We danced, made merry, gagged on the sub-par-even-when-gospel-house-WAS-popular music and generally had a ball.
And between drink two and drink three, as I talked comics with Forrest, Arnie appeared at the bar, beside me. It took a few minutes for us to put two and two together. But it happened. And the feeling was unlike anything I have felt in a long time.
It wasn't love, or the illusion of attraction; Not for either of us, I think (I think he was there with a guy), was this a "Before Sunset" kinda situation. What happened last night was that my present communed with my past and I experienced what can only be described as magic.
The feeling that I had during my only slow-dance was hope, and faith in the idea of a future unmarred by anger or cruelty or misunderstanding or inabilities to communicate.
I knew there was no such thing as perfection, but I secretly wished for it.
I allowed the combination of time and experience to fake me out and for the past ten years I have allowed a splinter of cynicism to fester within myself. And all the while, to assuage the pain, I called it "growing up," and I wore sly, knowing grins. I smoked cigarrettes and sneered at those who still had stars in their eyes. I replaced songs of love with songs of regret and anger on mixed tapes. After all, I thought, aren't they more real? More prevalent?
Last night, my sixteen year old self and I had a chat.
Turns out love songs are just as beautiful, and the tears they can bring are just as fiery as any song about heart break.
Turns out, "knowing grins" don't have to carry poison with them, 'cause at its best "knowing" includes understanding and embracing..
Turns out, any splinter can be extracted. No matter how deeply it's buried or how long.
Sometimes it just takes a bit of work.
But sometimes, it works itself out unexpectedly.
Currently listening : Bag Lady By Erykah Badu
Release date: By 12 October, 2000