Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Senior Sex(less) and the City: #17
I met Mellow Dude at a Valentine party called the Red and Black Party. If you felt optimistic about love, you were supposed to wear red. If not…well, you get it. My sweater was red and black. Mellow Dude drifted along the shore of the sea of red and black sweaters wearing…a blue, beach-style, summer shirt. “Gets hot dancing,” he later told me.
The party was held at a wild casino bar. The music was hard rock and loud. People either went home early or wandered off to gamble. I looked around, and the only person left was Mellow Dude. He didn’t ask me to dance so much as he cocked his head at the dance floor and shrugged. I shrugged back. What the hey.
Hours and hours later, we closed down the place with a reluctant, sweat-soaked farewell to the band. My feet would ache for days, but it was worth it. During the breaks, Mellow had told me a little about himself. Doesn’t drink much. Never danced in his life until he discovered recently that it’s a nice form of exercise. Likes dogs. Is close to his children. Likes reading books on spirituality. He shrugged again. It fascinates him. Go figure. He didn’t talk too much. Asked a few questions—but not so many that it was prying—and listened to the answers.
Hard to pinpoint, this Mellow Dude. Not a hippie. Not an aging surfer. Not really rural. Not urban. But he didn’t seem controlling, needy, dramatic, insecure, patronizing, or immature. On the dance floor, he wasn’t a swooper, a flailer, a showoff-er, a pretend dance instructor, a St. Vitus Dancer, a bowl-people-over-er, a spin-you-like-a-topper, or a cop-a-feeler. Just smiled dreamily and danced. Not a bad thing, this mellowness. In fact, it was a little like relaxing on a beach after you’ve been through a hurricane.
The next day, I got a better look at the sweater I’d been wearing. And I discovered in the light of day that it wasn’t red and black, after all. It was really red and navy.