Mulholland Dancer

Will you dance for me, if I play the music just right for you?

I must have forgotten how you liked it, the music. Before I saw you, before you had me, it must have been nearly perfect, else how could you have been drawn to it? That summer I made the patterns, and the rhythms. It was a trance, those hot nights, and I was in it.

You danced for me then. How did you do that thing, that look where you are shy and suggestive at the same time, innocent and nasty? All the gyrations and shimmies, the little halter, the bare brown skin, but it was that look that took me. Later you said you were a belly dancer, and maybe you were, but you would never give me a private show. You said it was too nasty. Only tramps do that, or a woman for her husband. It was the only thing you wouldn’t do, and it became the only thing I wanted.

That first night you gave me your phone number, and I had it in my pocket for months, and I still can’t say why I didn’t call. I waited until it was too late, the moment was long past, the scribbled note a dead leaf in my jacket pocket, flaked and crumbled. I could squint and read the number, but you were gone from me, and, to be honest, I was afraid, the way I am when it matters.

You wouldn’t remember me. You’d found a boyfriend. You didn’t want me to call. The number you gave me was fake, a way of getting rid of me.

How many times in these reminiscences can I get away with saying I was young and stupid? I think I’m pretty smart, but when did that begin? Surely sometime after you happened, precious dancer. I was young, but you were younger, and wiser. The second time I saw you dancing, I couldn’t believe my luck. But it wasn’t luck at all, was it, sweetheart? You simply came back and got me. Sent your girlfriend home with the car and told me I had to drive you, somewhere way the hell down Mulholland Highway, out into the Valley.

I made the music. You made the magic. I can see your storm of black hair flying as you spun, later spreading on the sheet. It wasn’t rock’n’roll sex, there was no cocaine or absinthe, no leather. You were kind of new at it, but you gave yourself so sweetly that I almost cried, and you really did cry, and we tried it many times that night, and many nights that summer.

The whole thing collapsed of course. My fault. Young and stupid. Your mother may have been right: if you pursue, you are a tramp. A piece of ass. Sorry, babe. I am so, so sorry.

I’d give anything if you would dance for me, one last time.

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7 Replies to “Mulholland Dancer”

  1. Regrets:
    Suffer with them in perpetual ingnorance, or learn from them and move ahead with greater wisdom. You seem likely to choose the latter.

    Hint: Find a new dancing girl and enjoy the shit out of her. This beauty from the past is long gone.

  2. I have to agree with theresa on this one. She is spot on. There is another dancer out there somewhere, waiting for you to find her and ask. Maybe it’s not quite the same as when you were basking in the beauty of youth, but maybe it’s better when basking in the wisdom of age? We definitely appreciate things more now, don’t we? I know I do.

  3. Hey! That Hot Chik in SD agreed with me!

    I wrote that stuff above because it sounded like something Larry would say to me … and then I’d go out and do some dipshit thing anyway.

    Whatdya say Larry? Wanna dance with me?

  4. Theresa – I thought we were dancing.

    No Bad Days – “Basking in the beauty of youth.” Jeez, you’re making me cry.

    Steph – Let me set the record straight: I am not talking about a lap dance here.

  5. Theresa and Nobody are fulla shit. One of the things an artist does is admit to the weaknesses and other foibles that Normal People want to deny and want to tell you, “Aw, buck up, you big crybaby, get on with your life. I don’t care much if you get on with your life (do I know you?) or not, I want you to make art and express the things that the rest of us clam up about and “get on with it”. Beware of people who have advice about how you can straighten up your life or your fucked-up attitude, including me. I thought, though, that the dancing girl bit was exquisite.

    “I once had a girl
    Or should I say
    She once had me…”

    Beatles, Norwegian Wood

  6. Sorry, Theresa and Nobadday. I lost control. I went Canine. My Ballistic button got pushed. I felt like chewing up somebody else’s toy. Now I don’t have to bite anyone else until tomorrow. But I still love regrets and nostalgia…

    “Well, just bite me back.” said the dog to the kittycat.

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