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.