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Fences Down, Hello Mexico!

October 18, 2012

Last week was Festival Acadiens. Second only to Festivale Internationale in its crowds, great bands and dancing opportunities, Festival Acadiens is a major event here. Needless to say, the dance-loving Liz and I, her cohort were looking forward to it. The Blue Moon had a week-long line up of great music. Liz got started early. I joined her Wednesday night. We were both a little frustrated with the dating scene or lack thereof and we were getting a bit tired of our going-out routine. We both knew it was time to change it up a bit, take a break, concentrate on ourselves and our work and let the rest fall into place. We had this feeling like phase one of divorce recovery was great, fun, and cathartic, but it was time to move into phase two, whatever that turned out to be. So Festival weekend was going to be a sort of last-hurrah before we took a sabbatical to regroup the Splat Pack, which was down to two now.

We walked into the Blue Moon and went our separate ways. I walked up to one of the familiar faces and said hello. “Liz is with me,” I said, “but we decided to separate. We think we cock-block each other when we hang out too much together.” Liz and I always have a lot of fun together. When neither of us is dancing with anyone, we often dance with each other, being silly and goofy and flirty and having fun. But we think it scares off the guys. In fact, I had an adorable Indian guy (yeah, I know) ask me if I was straight because of the dancing he’d seen me doing with Liz. So, we decided to be out, together, separately. No soldier gets left behind, being the motto of safety.

“Oh, honey, there’s not much cock to block here tonight,” my friend claimed. The band was a more traditional cajun one, a jam actually of several locally-famous musicians. There was a lot of talent on that small rinky-dink wooden stage, but according to my friend, not so much in the crowd. It was a rather older mix, but that’s often the case at the Blue Moon.

As the night wore on, the crowd grew. I saw one guy I hadn’t seen there before and another really hot guy in the sound booth. I ran into the friend again. “I don’t know what you were talking about. I’m stalking two prey right now,” I joked with her.

“Oh, do tell,” she said and I pointed them out to her.

I went to stand in my usual corner by the sound booth, watching the dancing and the sound guy came out of the booth and asked me my name. I introduced myself and he said, “I see you here all the time.”

“Oh,” I joked with him, “then you’ve probably seen me make a fool of myself on the dance floor.”

“Never,” he said, “I think you’re the cutest thing,” and he touched my hair as he said that. Gross. And creepy. Then I saw him whisper something to the hot guy (and no, he wasn’t white). Later on, I was walking around the building as I am want to do when I need to get some air after being on the stuffy, hot dance floor too long and Mr. Hot Guy was on the back patio. “Where you going?” he asked.

“Just walking,” I said.

“Marie, right? Someone told me your name is Marie,” he said.

“Oh, someone told you that,” I said with a smile.

“Yeah, will you dance with me later?” he asked.

“Sure, come find me,” I said.

The next song, we danced. He was a good dancer but not a good leader. He held my hand weakly and didn’t let me know where he was going. But he was cute. I thanked him and when I saw him again later he asked for my number.

Now, remember this is post-Syrian Doctor-fences down Marie. This is Marie who’s trying to be more open. I gave him my number. He left soon after. The other guy was nowhere to be found.

As it got later, the crowd thinned a bit and some new people came in. I noticed a young guy gracefully swinging around a girl. I had never seen either one of them there before. I was impressed with the way he led his partner. He was formal, yet free at the same time and he had this great energy about him. I pointed him out to Liz. “He’s a good dancer.”

I went to sit on the back bench to just watch the action for a while. I was feeling happy. Not giddy or excited. Just content. Grounded. Calm. Sometimes going there it’s not about who else is there, who I might dance with, what potential talent is in the crowd……..most of the time it’s just about being in a place with that kind of energy, the feeling you get when you’re listening to live music being played by people who really love what they do and listening and dancing with a diverse group of people who are there because they love music, they love to dance and they love life. The Blue Moon isn’t a club. It’s not a hook-up joint, though that happens. It’s a music and dancing venue. It’s a dive. That’s why we love it.

“Everyone here knows how to dance,” an older guy on the side of me commented.

On the other side was the guy I had noticed dancing earlier. He seemed to be just soaking it in as well. I got up to check on my purse in its little hiding place and sat back down on the bench. He turned to me and asked me to dance. “Sure,” I said.

That was that. I was under a spell from that very moment. He was a great dancer and I loved the way he spun me around but held me securely and the energy he brought to the movements. He had an accent. (yeah, I know) I asked him if he knew how to cajun dance. “No,” he said, “This is my first time.” I was impressed. He was from Mexico and part of the production crew of a puppet troupe. I had seen the performance featured on the local art center’s facebook page. We danced a few more times and it was really wonderful. The band stopped and everyone took up the usual routine of ordering their last drinks and socializing as the crew began to shut the place down. He offered to buy me a beer. I accepted and we started talking. He was a little goofy looking but really cute. It was loud where we were so I asked him if he wanted to sit on the front porch. We sat and talked for a while. The chemistry between us was palpable. I asked him how long he was going to be in town. Two days. Damn. “That’s a shame,” I said.

We talked about dancing and I tried to show him how to waltz. An exiting patron even accompanied us with some singing. He pulled me in close.

“I want to keep talking to you,” he said.

“What are you suggesting?” I asked.

“What do you want?” he asked. He looked at me the way guys do when they want to kiss, not looking just in your eyes but looking at your mouth.

“You know what I want,” I said, “I want to kiss you.”

We kissed for a while. He was a great kisser.

Liz walked up and saw me sitting intimately with him and pretended not to see us and I laughed and told him, “That’s my ride.”

“That’s my ride,” he said pointing the the director of the arts center sitting on the other side of the porch. “We can go somewhere else, if you like,” he offered.

It was Wednesday night around 1am. There was no other place to go.

“Where are you staying?” I asked. He told me. I asked him to stay there while I closed my tab and got my purse. I consulted with Liz. “What do you want to do?” she asked.

“I think I want to go to his hotel room,” I answered not believing what was coming out of my mouth.

I asked him if it was OK if I met him there in half an hour. I asked if it was OK if I decided not to stay. He said, “Of course.” So, Pickle drove me home. I went upstairs and freshened up a bit. I got in my car and drove to the hotel, all the while not really believing that I was actually doing what I was doing. I was going to meet a man I had just met for a one night stand. Fences? What fucking fences?

As I’m thinking this, I get a text from Mr. Hot Guy, “Call me when you’re leaving Blue Moon.” Ha. Ironically I was insulted by this attempt at a booty call as I drove to meet the guy I had just met at his hotel.

I went up to the room and knocked. No answer. I went back down to the lobby, telling myself that I would wait ten minutes or so  and if he didn’t show, I’d go home. The elevator door opened and there he was with the girl he had been dancing with, a member of the troupe. He came right up to me and kissed me and we got in the elevator. Awkward introductions and small talk followed. I complimented his friend on her ability to keep up with the arts center director who is a notoriously flamboyant dancer.

We entered his room. We sat on the bed and I took a deep breath. “I’m nervous,” I confessed.

“Well, what you want? You want some water, you want to kiss, you want to ….” I don’t even remember what the third choice was.

“What was that second thing again?” I asked.

We kissed. Yadda Yadda Yadda and I woke up in a purple room. Ha. Just kidding. Except for the Yadda Yadda Yadda part.

I had my first (do I want there to be a second?) one night stand and it was wonderful. He was sweet and gentle and very, very good. Better than Sam, which I needed to experience! We talked a lot, about books and music and life in general. He told me I was beautiful and said there was a universe in my eyes.

We slept for a while and I got up at 6am, went home and changed and went to work. Of course I met Liz for breakfast. Gotta build that diorama. I walked into the diner, took one look at her and busted out laughing in front of everybody. “I dare you to try to wipe the smile off my face,” I said. She started singing Cake’s Mexico and that became our little mantra over the next few days when we needed a reminder of how far we had come.

I had a match,
But she had a lighter,
I had a flame,
But she had a fire,

I was bright,
But she was much brighter,
I was high,
But she was the sky,

Oh, Baby, I was bound,
For Mexico,
Oh, Baby, I was bound,
To let you go,

So, I did that. I had casual sex. Not with a friend. Not with a acquaintance. With someone I met and connected with. Now I know I can do that. Do I want to make it a habit? No. Did it feel good to just do something without over-analyzing and thinking 20 steps ahead. Damn straight it did. No regrets. Splat Pack motto. Wu-Tang. As long as we’re not self-destructive, we’re on the path. No mistakes. Just experiences to learn from.

Mexico (his official nickname ’cause you know there has to be one) invited me to see the puppet show and I did that evening. He spoke to me for a minute afterwards and I got my first taste of day-after weirdness. The director was taking the crew out again and Liz and I were going to the same places. So, I said I’d see him later.

We met up with them and at first it was still a little awkward until we danced again. Then it was really nice. We looked each other in the eyes as we danced. We talked together at the bar and we all socialized as a group. I danced with the girl. She was energetic and funny. “I like her,” I told him as I put my arm around her. “I’m going to keep her. I’m going to put her in a box and take her home.”

“What about me, I want to be in a box,” he joked. “I’ll keep you too,” I joked.

Later I was looking up at him and he asked, “What are you thinking about? You think a lot of things, don’t you?”

“I was just thinking that I believe that people come into your life for reasons, to give you gifts or teach you something,” I said.

“Yes,” he agreed.

“I was just wondering what purpose meeting you has, if it’s just going to end tonight.”

“Well, maybe it’s just the beginning,” he said.

Sigh. A nice thought. But I know what that night was. I’m not the same Kitten who fell for Sam. I don’t need to ask him what it means. I did feel a strong connection to him and the affection and intimacy we shared was lovely but I know what folder the experience belongs in.

“You are great. And last night was…..what’s the word?” he asked, “charming?”

“Yes. Charming.” I said.

We hugged and kissed goodbye and I got in the car with Liz.

I didn’t realize it then, but meeting him did help me for what came next. Without Mexico, the next few days might have been very different.

Thanks Mexico. Your name gets added to the list of teachers. Syrian Doctor. Tennis Bashir. Sam. And now Mexico.

Next.

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