The Dancer

Their eyes are focused on you alone, heavy-lidded with unspoken dreams of entanglements, wary of your own downturned stare. How little you acknowledge their desires. They pass an appreciative eye over your smooth torso, your taut skin hardened against the outlines which they long to touch. You hold them close, your warmth like paintbrushes on the skin; softly, softly they breathe you in. You spin around and around, their ecstatic faces tucked into their necks, secret smiles upon their lips.

They stretch and bend, performing their solitary dance under your innocent watch. They twist and turn their contours, flicking and convulsing, exposing their sweaty tresses to your senses, like animals in a mating wrestle. Blend and divide, blend and divide, you dance on and on.

This is about smells and sweat and provocation. This is about the cry for desire to overcome you both, within the close embrace of this dance. They long to rumba unafraid, just to feel your fingers clenched around theirs, just to smell your acrid sweat as you come together. They close their eyes in hopeful bliss, waltzing like rivers of dreams, spinning like rollercoaster rides, panting with the closeness of your thighs.

You have conquered a floor of coquets, of parading expectants, of masquerading dreamers. You have tangoed your masculinity to fault, you have quickstepped a hole into their hope. You, the blue-eyed god, a beautiful statue of purity, you do not know of the power you possess. By virtue of your smile, your trustful, beating heart, you have invoked desire in every eye and broken the bodies of many.

Sometimes I Dance in the Dark

Sometimes I dance in the dark. I twist and turn with whirlwinds of arms and hands, I close my eyes against the black and I let my mind drift to other times. Music has always been there. My earliest memories are of my child body, curled up amidst the musical notes, detached and crying. It’s taken me the rest of my life to remember why. Once I lay immobile, now I thrust and shake, loosening those demons which cling to my skin.

Sometimes I go back to the first songs I really knew. I sang them while I pressed my head against the cold window of my father’s car. He drove me places I didn’t want to go and I held onto those notes like they were my flying carpet ride. I forgave him the fear he caused me.

I sang them on the back of the motorbike of my first boyfriend, whose fingers wrote me poetry. While he kissed me to R.E.M, explosions of love blew my mind apart. I sang them to the strumming of the boy with long blonde hair. He played me songs from the Goo Goo Dolls and made me cry at 4am on cold winter mornings.

I sang them when I climbed onto playground swings and allowed the force of my own body propel me forward and upward. With the roar of the wind a new kind of quiet against my cheeks, I wished that someone was there to push me.

When I found metal, I found a place where it was okay to be angry. It came at the moment I needed something to hold onto. I rocked my body in the wasteland of emotions. I clenched my teeth and felt the notes steel my throat. Then I drowned in the screaming, my skin severed by the wailing guitars.

The eighties were full of love songs. I go back there often, just to know what it means to want something so badly. I stood on the cold concrete, the loneliness of a thousand lights below me, and I listened to your strumming. Your voice came to me from a distance. No one knows, but I hear everything about you. I wait for you to see me, a momentary brush of light on my downturned eyes.

And now, as I open my wings to take flight, I close my eyes against the black. Those love songs are like the calm winds upon which these feathers rest. I hum the tunes, holding onto the hands of angels. The music takes me higher, to places where the deafening breathing of millions of people no longer reaches me. Memories shift and slide, shaken from my trembling limbs. Sometimes I dance in the dark and it always feels as if I am flying.

Take me dancing instead

I have never been on a date. I have no regrets, although I am not completely adverse to the concept. For me the problem is this: I hate restaurants.

For me, restaurants result in the following. You cannot order anything that is messy or difficult to eat: no pasta, no salad and definitely no sauces. I obsess about this constantly, to the point where I have made a list of various no-go foods. My list begins with a Steers burger with mushroom sauce. I am also a vegetarian, which usually makes for poor conversation; resulting in me trying to explain that I have nothing against people who cause unnecessary harm to our fellow creatures and contribute significant amounts of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere. It also doesn’t allow me many options for avoiding all the no-go foods. Which leads me to the next aspect of dating which I am intensely afraid of; conversations.

While on a date it is required that you think of interesting, heart-felt and completely benign topics to talk about for more than an hour. Either you find topics to talk about or you have to sit for an hour listening to him talk about himself. Considering I love topics to do with bad jokes, sex, religion, feminism, vegetarianism, music, the environment and government (with the odd book or two thrown in), I find polite conversations quite irksome. I am not very good a small talk. I am also deathly afraid of awkward silences. I am that girl who sprouts out agonisingly embarrassing puns whenever I feel like a conversation is reaching its end. It’s my attempt at lightening the mood, but generally results in people thinking of me as socially retarded.

 

Take me dancing, instead

 

Lastly, I have no idea what I will wear on the first date. This is every girl’s fear, but if you had to look into the dark hole of cupboardom, you would see why it’s especially applicable to me. I don’t follow fashion, fullstop. I am also stuck in student mode, which has resulted in a cupboard filled with R50 Pep shoes and countless pairs of cheap jeans. These particular items don’t exactly make one feel comfortable dining out in restaurants that are more than one star affiliated. I also feel these rebellious urges overcoming my natural inclination towards looking inconspicuous: I bring out the black leather, short skirts and black stockings. In the end I just look like a cheap hooker.

This leaves me with two options. I can either never date or I can only go on dates where the guy has used some imagination (i.e. he has considered doing something besides sitting in a restaurant, eating over-priced food and making bland conversation). It is not like I have limited the male species; in fact, I am about to list many very interesting activities which can be very beneficial to his cultural education, as well as mine. If I had to name a few more imaginative, or unconventional, dates I would list the following: art gallery smoozing, hiking, whale watching, museum browsing, theatre/dance production watching, your favourite band, salsa dancing (or any dancing for that matter), a game of pool or whiskey tasting. Just don’t take me anywhere that silence has a habit of raising its awkward head.

In retrospect, there are very many positives to not having dated before. I have never had to deal with the shock of my date turning up in skinny jeans and a wife beater t-shirt, or being taken out to the local Spur family restaurant. No man has ever had to sit through a half-hour session of me complaining about the price of food. I have never had to consider whether the end of the date requires one of those awkward kisses, or whether my date is going to expect sex. I have never had to ponder on the likelihood of a second date and then “waited by the phone” for days after. The thought, to split the bill (on my student budget) or not to split the bill (which goes against my ethics), has never once entered my head. In this respect, I once went out with a friend who usually paid for the meal, but this time didn’t. I made the mistake of ordering an SQ dish and drinking half a bottle of red wine. I ended the night throwing up the most expensive meal I have ever eaten and wasted a whole lot of money that I couldn’t afford.

So really, I have never envied those couples sitting in the restaurant next to me. In fact, I think I am going to make a rule in my life from now on: no restaurants. If he can’t come up with a more creative date, then I don’t want to date him in the first place.

Alice Walker

I would like to thank Alice Walker for inspiring the name of this blog. Hard times require furious dancing. It took me a while to get enough courage to begin this journey of narcissistic self-expression, but here I am. Alice writes, “I will deny me nothing of myself”. I write, “I will deny you nothing of myself”.

Thank you for joining me.