But this time the loosening came faster than normal and soon the fear evaporated completely and it was safe to scan the room, search out the cutest boys and make fun of the girls throwing themselves at them. Something inside me rejoiced at being in this situation again, the unspoken competition of trying to look the coolest, the smell of spilled martini's and the gross men hidden in the shadows with their expensive watches and cigarette butt eyes. The girls in their tight dresses and the boys in their plaid shirts clutching glass stems and each other's waists.
Alanna, K, and I lounged against the booth and made vixen eyes at potential targets while pretending to talk to one another, laughing at the results when we succeeded. Then this man sidles up to us, and because we are bored and because his foot taps oh so enticingly to the glorious music we laugh at him too and then let him talk to us and he is funny. He plays each of us equally and for that I am thankful, because too often one or another of us is singled out and that's not Fun at all anymore. But then, he asks me if I was a ballerina, and I told him yes, for 13 years, and he says he is a dancer too, but a different kind. A belly dancer.
Oh! Says Alanna, Please, show us some steps!
I can do better, he says with a wink at K, a touch on Alanna's shoulder, and a hip bump to me. I will teach you 3 basic moves.
We are soon grinding to the floor, swinging our hips round and round, and laughing and laughing and laughing. The cute boys across the room look on enviously as we completely ignore them and create magic in our own little bubble, and then Vi (his name is Vi) is introducing us to his friends, gorgeous men and women who flatter our vanity, saying We noticed you when you came in, you are all so beautiful, so young and beautiful, and the women are tugging on Vi's arm, saying Invite them to the party next week, they seem so nice, and we are laughing at them too and, as is always the way with youth, the more nice things people say about us, the more we glow and light up.
We have to leave, we say, it is late and we need to go, and Vi is saying But stay! You are such fun! We are having fun! And we laugh some more, give him all 3 of our numbers with the promise to attend the Redneck Wine and Cheese party, while the boys across the room stab Vi with eye-daggers and fall on their swords with disappointment. We bundle into our coats and scarves and giggle our way outside, where we link arms to stay warm and run back to Alanna's apartment, trailing stardust in our wake.