by Al Sacoman
It was my first high school dance and I was hanging out with the guys pretending not to be looking across the room at the pretty girl standing amid a gaggle of other girls pretending she wasn't looking back. I was just learning to dance (secretly in our basement with the help of a buddy) and thought I might be able to fake my way through a slow song which was why I wanted to scream at the DJ for spinning one fast song after another and would have if he hadn't finally played something slow and now I looked for the girl wondering if I had it in me to take the long walk across the room (it seemed a thousand miles wide) because once I went beyond the point of no return (the middle of the room where I could safely detour to the boys room without calling attention) what if she turned me down and embarrassed me in front of guys and make me want to die on the spot. In the end my raging teenage hormones overrode my fears and I started the long trek keeping my eyes focused on the girl I'd singled out to let her know I was coming because no way could I go back empty handed if another guy got to her first and I was ready to settle for the girl standing next to her who was a good foot taller than me and had a face full of zits. I managed the heart-thumping walk and asked her to dance with a mangled request - would you dance to like - but if she noticed my flub she didn't say because she nodded yes and let me take her hand and practically drag her to the middle of the crowd where no one would notice if I screwed up. We were on the floor now, the first time I'd ever been this close to a girl and the feeling was so intoxicating that after a few steps I pulled her closer sure she was going to resist, and when she didn't I pressed against her until I felt the unmistakable softness of her breasts against my chest which emboldened me enough to put my cheek on hers, a touch that generated the best sensation of my life so far, and at that moment I was so happy I thought I'd died and gone to heaven until a long strand of her hair slipped between my lips and quickly became ensnared in the sticky spearmint flavored gum I was chewing in the front of my mouth. All thoughts of her breasts evaporated as I ground my teeth together in a frantic effort to saw through the errant hair but gnawing on that strand only made the tangle worse and oh my god now the music was ending and she stepped away pulling the wad of gum out of my mouth oblivious to the misshapen ornament now dangling just below her gold necklace and much as I wanted to tell her about the gum in her hair she was smiling at me so sweetly I never found the courage.
Al Sacoman can be reached here.