So close but still a world away

Been thinking lately of songs and how they can transport you to another time. Some Facebook friends have been posting 80s songs, which is part of it, but also the radio has been really hitting it lately and sending me memories that zing and bing me around in my past like a metal ball in a 70s pinball machine.

In the mid-80s, I frequented a night club in town when they would have “teen night” on Sundays. My girlfriends and I would get all dolled up and be so, so excited about going to a real club (no alcohol was served, though we brought plenty in the car to drink before we went in). We would dance all night, meeting new dudes and flirting, making plans to meet up the next week. My Mom had bought me a new outfit for the club, which was a rarity given our finances. I had on bright yellow neon shorts and a black tank top, with a yellow tank overtop that had black triangles on it. Hair all teased and face overly made up, I either looked like one of the Bangles or a bumblebee. Probably both.

When you’re fast dancing with a number of people, folks drift in and out of your group. I ended up dancing to an Adam Ant song with a guy I recognized from the local private Catholic school – way out of my socio economic class. He was good looking and tan, with the collar popped up on his (genuine) Polo shirt. His hair was short in the back but long on top, as was the style for some in the 80s, and his bangs bobbed up and down over his eyes as we danced.

The song ended, the fake fog blasted in, and Madonna’s “Crazy For You” started. We looked at each other awkwardly. I couldn’t imagine he would want to dance with the little match girl, but it was awkward since we’d already been fast dancing together. He gave me an inquiring look and I nodded and he drew me to him, his young, strong heart beating fast from the dance we had just completed. I can remember the smell of his cologne and the feel of the sweat on the back of his neck as I had my arms around him there, and looking up at him and wondering what it would be like to be the girlfriend of someone in the life of privilege. Did he spend all day on the golf course? On a boat? Did he take his girlfriend to a ski lodge in the winter? A summer home? Did everyone wear plaid shorts at his house, and have anchors and shit decorating the walls?

We didn’t speak while we danced. It’s like we were acutely aware this was the only permitted contact between our distant classes. We clung to each other and he pulled me to him, liking it more than he should have, which made me smile. He buried his face in my neck and I knew he wanted me.

When the song was over, we separated and looked at each other a minute, knowing there was no future as we didn’t belong in each other’s worlds. It was a little uncomfortable. I wanted him to say something. “Well, thanks. Bye,” he said, turning on the heel of his dock sider and disappearing into the dark of the club.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Always Something There to Remind Me.”


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