Jake's High School Dance
 

Anyone under the age of 40 had better run screaming right now!!


Well, well, well...

Here we are. Springtime. High school. Senior year. That big dance.

Course you are going stag, but that's okay - a few others are too...especially that little redhead you've been dreaming about. She is just so stand-offish - gotta be something wrong.

Well Hell - you ain't got a date either, and there's nothing wrong with you!!!

Hmmm...

You pay your fifty cents - glad you put that extra splash of British Sterling on. Gonna get noticed tonight. Wandering through the hallway to the gym. You're kinda torn between the fact that this is either a school trying to look like a place to have a dance, or a dancehall trying to look like a school. Passing the lockers and breathing the week-old sock odor settles that arguement.

The gym is darkened. Both sides have those two-story bleachers. Kinda like a balcony - nice effect. Can't see a soul, and maybe it's better that way. Trying to look cool standing by yourself and talking to no one. Your friends will be along soon, then you can relax.

The band is getting ready - girl singer - hmmm...

You heard that she has an Otis Redding-like quality. This you gotta-gotta-gotta hear, 'cause nobody can sound like Otis but Otis, and that's a fact. People are drinking cokes and stuff - a smell of PGA in the air - kinda cuts the smell of those socks...

The band starts to churn - Jump into My Fire (lyrics)...

Wow - this chick can belt it out. Nice churning rhythm and horn section....

"He's a four-alarm lover sent from I don't know..." Yeah, that's me on a good day.....yeah right....

Checking out the crowd...Summer heat - kicking up that Old Spice deodorant...

Yep - she's over there. Talking to her friends. She's not really interested in dancing, just being seen. That's okay - so am I. The only difference is, she's worth looking at.

SHIT!

She caught me staring. Okay, okay - don't panic. Ummmmm. Yeah, that's it - tie the shoe. Cool...

Oops - loafer.

Standing back up, stretching - nothing happened.

God - she's laughing at me. Must have saw me trying to tie the loafer. Well, strike one, you're out.

Band's kicking up an old Otis Redding tune. I lean against the metal pole which holds up the balcony from the lower bleachers. No way this chick can touch Otis - no way...

Hmmm - she's singing "I Got The Will" (lyrics).

OK, so I was wrong. She did a good job. Damned good job.

Oh shit - this is the part I HATE!!!

I waited too late, it's last song - ALWAYS a damned slow tune, and I missed my chance at getting the Hell outta here. Well...I can hang around and pretend I'm a music critic. That'll work. Or I'm writing something for the school paper, except school's out in a week or so...shit.

Tune starts - the established couples are in their places - seems like they never ever left. I think the bastards are glued to each other as soon as he gives her that frigging class ring...

But she's still there...

Why???

Why in God's name, why???

Awww, fuck it. All she can say is "no", and you've heard that one enough to write a samba...

Funny - never remembered the floor being this long before...

Standing in front of her...

Cannot breathe

"Like to dance??"

Wait for the axe...

She looks around at her friends - getting the line ready...

"Sure"

The elevator that held my heart and stomach just plummeted to the basement...

Somehow, I took  her hand and escort her to the floor - so careful not to hold her too tightly or do anything she'd talk about later...

Finally, holding her close, smelling her incredibly soft and clean hair, I close my eyes and wish the words of this song were true...

"One Night" (lyrics)

Shouldn't all dances end like this?