Tag Archives: boys

Will You Go To The Dance With Me?

4 Sep

There’s a cold sweat running down your neck as you see him turn the corner. Every other body in the hall turns into a blur and you see only him, casually strolling towards you. He doesn’t see you yet. You have time to unstick your dry tongue from the roof of your mouth and form the words you’ve been practicing in front of your dog. You know he wants to go with you. He has to feel what you feel. You will walk in together and a slow song will start playing and as you’re holding each other close, he will whisper he loves you and how perfect this moment is. He will pull back and look into your eyes and finally, slowly, give you that kiss you’ve dreamed about 800,000 times.

As I was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer last night, she has a line early on about how her life has drastically changed since becoming a slayer and her biggest problem used to be decorating the high school dance. While I am not the Chosen One and destined to slay vamps, I long for the days where asking a boy to dance was the be all, end all of my universe. In those moments, I never thought I’d want them back, but here I am wishing for them and now, writing about them. What I would give to walk down those halls thinking about nothing but “When will he ask me?” “How do I ask him?” “Why don’t I have bigger boobs for this crucial moment!!!!!??”

In middle school, we had dances called Sock Hops. We had them once a month, I think, and they could only happen if we got enough chaperones which meant we usually had to beg our parents to come and stand around watching us deal with our early teenage emotions on a Friday night with disco lights and 90’s music.  At these Sock Hops, the goal was to dance with the person you liked. Your friends would all stand around you and the guy or girl’s friends would be around them and you’d both be in deep discussion in your huddle, awaiting a slow song to come on so you could go ask or be asked. The prized possession was “Stairway to Heaven.” It was the longest song the dance would play and if you got asked to dance during that, it was clear the object of your affection like you back. I had a massive crush on this boy, DH. Such a crush. All I wanted was him to ask me to dance during “Stairway…” It was my dream.

One Sock Hop, my friends had arranged it so he knew I wanted him to ask me. I mean, I didn’t hide my crush well, I am certain he knew the entire few years I doted on him. But it happened. I kept glancing at him, he kept glancing at me. Everyone was involved in this happening. My heart was beating faster every time the song would change. It was awkward and extremely long. I mean, it’s a really long song. Every one of our friends were watching and giggling and whispering. It was kind of a surreal experience. He was warm against me and I could hear him breathing in my ear. His hands were loosely around my hips. I kept wishing them to tighten so I could feel him holding me more. I worried if we kissed would his braces cut my lips? I was ahead of myself. We didn’t talk, we just danced.  At the end, we just sort of pulled apart and that was it. I don’t remember saying anything or him saying “Thank you.” I went back to my group of giggly girls and he went to his guys. I could still smell his cheap teenage boy Tommy cologne on my clothes.

In high school, we had more structured dances with actual dates. We had a Winter Ball and a prom. I had a crush on a boy who I have written about before but let’s just call him Charming for now. I loved Charming in a jump back onto the Titanic Leo loves Kate way. I would have done anything for this boy. Charming knew I existed, in fact was one of my close friends. But he never quite figured out how I felt until the Winter Ball one year.

The Winter Ball was, in my opinion, better than prom. You went out to dinner with a group of your choosing at a restaurant of your choosing before and then headed to the dance. More than anything, I thought this was the most perfect opportunity to confess my deep love for Charming and he would realize he felt the same. We were in between classes in the hallway. I stopped him and asked him, point blank, if he would go with me. The conversation went like this.

After I asked if he would go to the ball with me:

Charming: Oh. Really? Um. We’re just friends. (and he laughed like this was the most absurd thing I could ever say)

Me: Right….but I think we’d have fun…and um…

Charming: Well, I really want to ask Laura. I kind of like her. Do you think she’ll go with me?

Me: Oh. I don’t know. Probably. Ok. (and I legit turned and ran down the hallway)

At this Winter Ball, I was going with a very good friend and we had a total blast but seeing Charming with this girl, Laura, was devastating. Then he saw me and his face changed entirely. A wave of shock came over it and then it lit up. He came up to me at one point (my insides burst into flame thinking he’d ask me to dance. He didn’t). He touched my arm and said “You know, I should have gone with you. I’m kind of bored.” My heart stopped. I’m pretty sure it stopped entirely. I think I laughed and said something that I hope was witty but it warmed every inch of me.  “You look so different. You look really pretty.” I died and came back to life in that moment. It gave me hope that someday he would love me like I loved him. That deep down he knew we were soul mates and destined to be married and live happily ever after. I did look good that year, too…just want to add that in.

This wasn’t the year but I also looked good this year. We all did.

Why was this so important? I can’t wrap my mind about what I was going through at that time. It seriously was all I thought about. I had nightmares around the time the dances were about to happen. All my prettier girlfriends were having their crushes and boyfriends asking them. My crushes never asked me. Don’t worry, I had the best dates on the planet to these dances. Many of them were boys who liked me and I was too busy crushing on others to realize.  I remember how utterly destroyed I was when it didn’t work out. I was a brave girl. I always took it upon myself to ask. I even asked a senior to a dance once! They always answered that we were ‘just friends’ or that they liked Bethany or Alia. That seemed to happen a lot. Damn blonde best friends.

It was silly to hate on myself and let it consume me but at the same time, I am so glad it did. I can still feel the butterflies in my stomach flapping around when I would face the boy and ask him. I mean, how fucking brave was I? That’s kind of insane I did that. I still did that when I was dating, actually. I guess I’m a forward lady and I had to have learned it from these dances. It makes me want to write a letter to teenage girls out there and let them know that this deep pain they are feeling is nothing yet. It may take over your life for a few weeks a year but when you are older, you are so grateful you had that tingling sensation up your spine. I wish life were still that easy and I only had to worry about who I was going with to the dance.  To me, having that boy coming over to ask you to dance was the greatest feeling in the world. It still is.

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The Road (A Random Entry)

5 Jul

I haven’t written in a bit. I have a list of stories to write about and some drafts started but then I found this. I had written it a few years ago as a release of some sort. It wasn’t about any event or person in particular. I think it was after my tour, when I had just come back from experiencing the desert. It was just a short story about a girl and the road.

And there it was. The bluest sky she had ever seen. The emptiest place she had ever been. The loneliest feeling she had ever known. She paused, foot pressed lightly against the brake. Her hands gripped the steering wheel. She could feel the cool leather under her burning fingertips. She took a breath and felt the burn of the desert air in her throat. She closed her eyes and everything flashed before her against the dark lids. Flashes of color like when you press your hands hard against your eyes. Bursts like fireworks. They formed into visions and scenes from the past few days.

She saw him. She felt him. She closed them tighter, trying to squeeze him out but instead it only intensified the image. She heard the words, felt the slap. She saw herself making the realization. Then packing. Then slamming the door. She smiled at herself remembering she hadn’t even taken a moment to look back and survey the carnage.

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Now she opened her eyes slowly. She was still sitting in her car on the road. The empty road that lead to nowhere. A surge of emotion hit her. She had never been alone in her entire life. This was the moment people talk about when they leave their lives behind. The epitome they have when they realize they only have themselves. Where you know you don’t ever really know anybody. You can never trust anyone. Where you realize your heart is yours again. And she screamed.

She screamed so loud she thought he would hear her from five states away. Part of her wanted him to. To hear her cry of anguish and pain and victory and freedom and come running to save her. To be the man he was. The man she wanted. Then she stopped. Her mouth hanging open, gasping for breath, she lay her forehead against the wheel. She felt the sobs coming. She gasped and panted and moaned. She hit the wheel with her palms and kept on yelling. The curses flew. She felt her stomach twist and turn. She let the sobs keep coming. How did she get here? She had to go back. She would just hit reverse and turn around and knock on their door and beg forgiveness. After all, it was her fault.

She was too difficult. She asked too many questions. She was insecure and she let that get in her way of letting him love her. Letting him in and letting him protect her. She should have trusted him more. Let him hold her more. Listened when he told her she was acting crazy. She shouldn’t have bothered him so much. Pushed him away.

                Wait.

“What the fuck?” She sat up. She opened her mouth again but this time laughter came out. And it filled her entire body. She let it shake her and control her. For once, her smile felt good, natural. Not forced. She laughed. How the fuck could she think it was her fault? Was this a moment of madness? She was so clear when she ran. She knew she had to leave to get rid of the rock that was turning into a mountain that had taken residence in her stomach. The mountain that wouldn’t let her sleep or eat for days at a time. The mountain that looked like a face that she woke up to every morning, watched every day, fell asleep to every night. A face she questioned constantly and even when rewarded with an answer, it was never satisfying. It was never the truth. So she laughed.

“God, what a fucking idiot.” She was speaking of herself. Then she laughed that she was talking to herself. “This is what happens when you leave everyone behind. I am my own best friend.” Not bad company, she thought. Then she stopped for a moment. She had forgotten that she was great. She had forgotten who she was without him. She didn’t even know who she was anymore.

 She stared back at the road. Perhaps this was a beginning of a new friendship. She stared at the hard blacktop and realized this was the first moment since she had driven away that she had thought of anything. She had gotten in the car and gone. Just drove to nowhere. She took random exits, following the signs that said west. And here she was in the desert. She always read and heard about people finding themselves in the west. Isn’t that where everyone went in books and movies? The wicked witch found her place there…and her death…not the best example. Of course her pigment was a natural peach and she had no desire for ruby red slippers (although that would be an improvement to her current wardrobe). She looked down at herself and laughed at the fact she was wearing sweatpants and her ratty Zeppelin shirt. She had been wearing this outfit for four days straight. She didn’t even dare look in the mirror but she felt the wind in her hair and half imagined it filled it with sand and grit, making her filthy and caked with grime. She liked the feeling.

                The road still stared back. Then it spoke to her.

“I am open, endless, free. I am your answer. I am everyone’s answer. I am unforgiving. I am mysterious. I am a liar and sometimes a cheat. I give time and I take time. But I will never let you down. I will only lead you onward. That is a promise.”

I am talking to a road, she thought. Great. However she found the road had more personality than those she had left behind. She glanced at the passenger seat and saw her phone blinking again. 14 messages. She assumed they were from him. Of course, they could be from the girls she was supposed to be having dinner with the previous night. Or her boss. Probably her boss. She should have called. No, she shouldn’t have. That wouldn’t be leaving the way she wanted.

She wished for a destination. She always heard New York City was where people went to follow dreams and when they were homeless and alone. But she wanted sun. She wanted California. That name just seemed magical to her. Perhaps her passion for the 60’s drew her there. She grabbed one of her duffel bags and pulled out her CD holder. She flipped through until she found the Beatles. She placed the CD into the slot and turned it up. Then she took her foot off the brake. The car began to roll slightly. She pressed it back down heavily, yanked the car into park, and cranked the dial again. She opened the door, jumped out and stood there on her friend, the road. She felt the heat of the sun and lifted her arms up as if offering herself to the sky. And she screamed again. Not in panic or pain but in pure victory. And then she danced. She felt the song and it made her chest ache with memories and pleasure. She danced in circles. Pounding the pavement, doing pinwheels, laughing and singing. She pretended she was the girl they were singing about. She was the face he had just seen and she was the girl like no other. And maybe she was. The chords faded out and the next song came on.

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“Nothing’s gonna change my world,” she whispered. She laughed. She was destroying her world and actually living in someone’s else. Or everyone else’s. The big world. She had left her bubble and taken her broomstick and flown west. And now she was here, standing in the desert, dancing to the Beatles.

It’s funny to take yourself back years ago. Mostly you go back to your childhood or another time when you were stressed and freaked out over something small and think “Shit, who would have thought I would be lead here in this moment?” You have plans for yourself but rarely that is what actually happens. Usually it’s a different version of the play you write for yourself. And here she was, starring in the epic journey of another brokenhearted dreamer.

She got back in the car and a new song began. Hard guitar, angry vocals, perfect. She shut the door, pressed the brake, and put the car back in drive. She took a breath. A real deep breath and let it fill her whole body with the dirt from the air and the sun from the sky. Her skin tingled with the heat. She stared back at the road and thought, “Ok, here we are, you told me the truth and now I expect you to keep your promise. You lead.” She took her foot off the brake and began to drive. Still, even with her eyes open, she could still see his mouth. The mouth she longed to kiss and could still imagine how it tasted. She licked her lips and tried to erase the salty cigarette taste she remembered. Maybe she could keep that one memory…just that one…

                She let the road lead on….

 

History of Boys: When in Vegas

5 May

In 2007, I was on tour with a children’s show out west. We were in Vegas for several days over Thanksgiving (we had Thanksgiving dinner in the Paris casino. It was weird.) My cast mate and I had obtained passes to get into the Hard Rock club and on a night when everyone else was spent, we decide to go dancing there. That was where I met the Rockstar.

We were dancing on the main floor. Suz, my cast mate, and I were having a blast dancing with each other and having some drinks. I was very helpful at finishing hers because she isn’t a big drinker. We had dressed cute, not planning on anything spectacular happening, we just wanted to dance. We were shaking our asses up on this platform when this guy came up to us and started flirting. We went along with it and he asked us if we wanted to go to the VIP area. When in Vegas, when you hear the words VIP, you go. He said he was with his band and they had bottle service upstairs on the balcony.

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Dancing with ourselves

When we got up there, it was clear it wasn’t like a Jay Z-Beyonce VIP section, it was merely a few bottles of vodka and mixers on a table overlooking the dance floor. But it was free. There were already plenty of scantily clad girls up there so Suz and I were extremely confused how we got invited but we proceeded to have a drink and continued dancing. We were soon interrupted by this boy who came up and started grinding on me. I have never really enjoyed the stranger grind so I kind of shimmied away until he realized he probably should introduce himself first. He said he was the lead singer of the band and asked us what we were doing in Vegas. We told him we were on tour with “Babes in Toyland” and he told me that he did that show in elementary school. It was a cute coincidence. Suddenly, this humping stranger seemed more attractive. Well, he already was. The perfectly spiked gelled hair of the prime Blink 182 days and a half way unbuttoned collared shirt. He was a prime Tiger Beat dreamboat. And we kept on dancing.

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View from “VIP”

When Suz and I realized how late it was and we needed to catch a cab back to the hotel, Rockstar pulled me aside and asked how long we were in Vegas. We had about two more days. He said they had a few more and asked what I was doing the next night. Surprised, I said I was free and he asked for my number and if he could take me out. He had mentioned he had lived in Vegas, though currently was in Utah, and knew part of the town I wouldn’t normally see as a tourist. A little buzzed and extremely flattered, I accepted. He promised to call me.

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Rockstar and myself in the classy “VIP”

He called me. He asked which hotel we were at and came to pick me up. I told my cast mate I was rooming with to keep her phone on and I wouldn’t be late and I would text her every 20 minutes. She walked me out and met Rockstar and made me promise to keep in touch the entire evening. This was one of the stupidest, smartest things I had ever agreed to. But the tour overall was a big adventure for me and again, when in Vegas…

I got in his car and we drove up and off the strip. We were heading to a housing development up on this huge hill. He parked the car on a cliff overlooking Vegas. It was a thin strip of twinkling lights surrounded by nothing but deep blackness and desert stars. It was breathtakingly quiet and beautiful.

A few minutes after we had gotten there, Rockstar got out of his car and picked me a few wildflowers. He got back in the car, smiling, and handing them to me said, “I didn’t have a second to get you flowers so this will have to do.” They were pretty little purple blossoms. I told him these were even better than some store bought bouquet. I still have them pressed in a book somewhere.

From there, we just talked. He told me about his family, his life, his band. I told him about mine. We started talking about music and our dreams. This kid could talk music like my dad and brother can. His passion for it was glowing and vibrant. He lit up when talking about the bands he had been in and how his current band was going to make it. And he truly believed it. It wasn’t just a dream, it was a reality that he was going to make happen. It was inspiring. He turned it to me, telling me how I was living my dream and I needed to value it. It was in that moment that I realize “Fuck yes, I am living my dream. I am in a car overlooking Vegas and leaving in a few days to drive up the coast to perform for kids in places I’ve never been.” It was one of those moments you want to freeze and hold onto.

‘Long Day’ by Matchbox 20 came on the radio. At the same time, we screamed, “Oh my god, I LOVE THIS SONG!” followed by laughter and belting the song at the top of our lungs in the car.  I had never even heard it on the radio so it seemed like a mini miracle. We knew every word. When it ended, the song following it was disappointing so Rockstar went into this backseat and grabbed a CD holder and found the Matchbox 20 album and we played the song again. Track 3. Over and over again. We started harmonizing and creating a duet. It was the kind of shit you can’t write or that you do write and wish would happen in real life. Then he kissed me. Respectively, gently, sweetly. A kiss that was very unrockstar but very welcomed. And pretty damn fantastic.

He drove me back to the hotel. Kissed me again outside my room. Made sure I kept my flowers and told me he wanted to keep in touch with me. After a few days back on the road, it was clear he meant it. He texted me throughout his tour and I texted back. We would call each other at night and just talk for an hour or so before we went to sleep. We shared tour stories and bitched about tour mates that annoyed us. Suz was real into it because she had thought Rockstar was sweet and my other cast mates thought it was surprising but adorable the date was so fantastic and we kept it going.

He asked me if he could come see me in New York when I was done tour. He had never been to the Big Apple and wanted to experience it through someone who lived there. I said, “Sure, why not? It would be a blast!” I had this cute boy pursuing his dreams that thought I was the bees knees. I was also returning home to pieces of a broken heart from a recent break up so I was beyond thrilled to come back with a man to brag about. But, again, what happens in Vegas should really just fucking stay there.

Rockstar came to New York. He stayed with me. He bought me a Tiffany’s bracelet because I had told him of my love for Tiffany’s and that I had never owned any thing from there. It was extremely sweet and touching and probably the last moment of normalcy. In the few days he was here, it was very clear he was actually more of a rockstar than I wanted. He was a drunk, he was loud, and he had a very odd religious and conflicted past that became clear when he kept mentioning Mormons and Park City and how his family and him don’t speak any more. He complained about his band and how he quit and was pursuing a solo career. In a matter of months, everything I thought I knew about this kid had flipped or…OR he had just been lying the whole time and I had fallen for it. The latter is most likely.

Rockstar left New York after drunkenly telling me he loved me. I mumbled I love you back and immediately felt dirty for lying and saying words I valued on someone I clearly didn’t. We kept calling each other and he was starting to be sweet and normal again until he got angry at me that I couldn’t afford to come to Utah to see him. He used everything he had done and said to me against me, making me feel guilty for not being ‘there’ as he wanted me. Then he said he didn’t want to talk to me any more. I was upset for about a day and then I was fine with it, especially after my friend told me when we were out playing pool together, Rockstar kept grabbing his ass. I think Rockstar had some inner struggles he was dealing with and needed to come to terms with.

A few weeks after this ‘breakup’, I was remembering our perfect first date and called him to get closure. It had ended badly and I really had enjoyed having this boy to talk to during the tour and he kept me company and made me feel wonderful when I was hating myself. He helped me appreciate it what I was doing with me and who I was. So I called him. A guy answered in the worst British accent I had ever heard. The conversation proceeded like so:

Me: Um, Mark?

Bad British: Sorry, no. This is…uh… Colin.

Me: Ok. Um, is Mark there?

Fake Colin: No. I don’t know Mark. This is my number.

Me: Interesting because this guy Mark had this number a few days ago. You sure you don’t know him?

Fake Colin: Don’t know him. This is my number. I live in England

Me: So you live in England but have a Utah number?

Fake Colin: (long pause) Yes. I lived in Utah. But now I live in England

Me: Ok. Well, Colin, as someone trained in dialects, I think you need a little bit of work on your accent but great try. I gotta go.

I waited a few days and tried again. Same story. Different name, same bad British accent. It became clear this Rockstar was not going to be mature so I gave up. A few years later, I get a Myspace message on my page that I forgot I even had. It was from Rockstar. He asked how I am and apologized for his ‘friends’ faking accents (I am sure it was all him) and told me he was getting engaged. Yay? I just responded with congrats and that it was fine and I was pissed at the time but I appreciated the apology.

That was the last of Rockstar I’ve heard. I hope he is happy with his life because he helped me be so happy in that moment in mine. I don’t let what happened after ruin the perfect first date I had. I am glad I took the risk. Yes, he could have killed me in the desert and I’m sorry, Mom, that I went on this date and you probably will give me a lecture later, but as always, I am grateful for the story as I am for all my stories, even if they end in broken hearts. I still have that Tiffany’s bracelet (I mean it’s a 200 dollar white gold bracelet, I ain’t throwing that shit away.)

Reach down your hand in your pocket 
Pull out some hope for me 
It’s been a long day, always ain’t that right 
And no Lord your hand won’t stop it 
Just keep you trembling 
It’s been a long day, always ain’t that right

-Matchbox 20