I couldn't hear or understand what he was saying.
"Would you bmrphff brmrphff?"
"Would you like to dance?"
That was the last time I spoke to him save for the response to the question he asked as we exited the dance floor. That question was clear -- my name. And I simply responded.
In between the first and the last query came the dance. The elderly blues guitarist was in his groove. The bass player was in my eyesight and smiled knowingly (but then again, don't all bass players smile knowingly?) at this new "couple" dancing near him.
He is black. I'm white. He is thin. I'm whatever. He has gold teeth. I don't. He talked while he danced. I said nothing and simply smiled.
I smiled because I was dancing with a man . . . never mind that he was a stranger. Never mind that due to the fact that I never looked into his face during the dance, I couldn't describe him beyond what I just said. Never mind . . .
Because in that moment I was dancing. Yes, he was a means to an end. I was on the floor, not simply watching the bikers, ballroom dancers, and BMOCs from Rice from the side. I had a hand on my back, my hand in his, my face near enough to his shoulder that I smelled cologne and the faintest hint of a TicTac. He wasn't big on footwork which was probably good since there was no space. But he moved me. We swayed. We bent. And his commentary was consistent but not enough that I wanted to leave.
I mean really, hearing "I like it" isn't all bad is it?
I said no to a second dance. Once was enough -- enough to help me remember. Funny how the feeling of someone's arm around you, someone leading, someone enjoying you enjoying the moment, someone holding on . . . can fade. You'd think you'd remember.
Saturday I did. And I smiled.