"Just dance," she said. Her voice was full of laughter. Happy laughter. She wasn't judging. She was advising.
I watched her slip onto the dance floor and throw her long blonde hair back, and thrust her body into the movement, keeping time with the band, waving her arms about, full of true abandon.
"Never," I whispered to myself.
I could never do that. I could never get out on a dance floor, in front of dozens of other people, and commence to gyrating. The laughter would change from happy-go-lucky sounds to ... judging. There would, I was sure, be finger pointing. There would be derision. I would be...well, a laughing stock.
No doubt about it.
I remember turning away. Slowing nudging my way between the tightly packed people swinging arms and shoulders in tune to the music, as their feet tapped on the cement floor. I remember shutting out the sound of the band - though I thought they were very good - and searching wildly for the door. I was blind in that dark cafe. I'd left my glasses home, of course; what self-respecting young woman wore her glasses out to party, back in those ancient days of 1970? It left me literally blind, given the clubs were already full of shadows and corners that surely hid serial killers. I don't suppose we (well, I) thought of the corners as hiding 'serial' killers then. I don't think it was a common term. But, I did think those corners hid ... scary things. Like young men who might ask me to dance.
Truth is, as I struggled to get through the crowd, I was gently grabbed. A young man smiled at me. "Dance?" he said.
I panicked. The sweat began to form under my arms, I couldn't look at this boy, I pulled my arm away and mumbled, "No, thank you," and I hurried away.
I could hear him call me a name... apparently, he was not happy with rejection. The name, it began with a C... stuck in my brain and circulated round and round, getting louder and louder, as I fought my way to freedom in the parking lot.