The clearest thing about that night was the slight laugh lines that formed at the corners of his eyes and lingered by his lips. I wanted to trace them, slowly...perhaps with my fingers; perhaps with my own lips. I couldn't quite decide.
I spotted him midway through the show. The band had a Rockabilly vibe and he was the only other person moving to the beat in the tiny space. It was, after all, a local pub with no dance floor. He didn't have a lot of dance moves, but I could tell he loved the music. We smiled at each other and quickly looked away, but our feet kept leading us closer together. Finally, there was only a rough looking Biker between us, covered in piercings. I took a deep breath, placed my hands on the leather-clad gentleman's shoulders, and whispered tantalizingly in his right ear..."Sweetheart, I'm sorry, but you're the only thing between me and the man who's dancing. I'm going to move you over a bit."
And I did just that, guiding the slightly confused guy out of the way, as I slid up next to the man with the shy smile. The band played on, sweat dripping and beer chugging; singing about heartbreak and sex and beautiful women. We danced, bumped into people, made room for ourselves--we twisted and stomped and cheered until our voices were raw and feet sore. "Can I buy you a drink?" he asked with an accent, during a brief pause from the band. "Well, I..." I looked up at his face, at his smile, noticing the laugh lines. "Sure. I'll have whatever you're having." He ducked off while I tried to place it. Aussie, maybe?
He returned a minute later, empty handed. "They won't serve me! They think I've had enough." Though he didn't seem that inebriated to me, I started to laugh. He looked puzzled. "It's your accent! They think you're worse off than you are!" He groaned and we both shrugged and turned our attention back to the music. Back to the beat, back to the rhythm. We danced in tandem but we didn't touch, not even once.
At the end of the show the singer threw his arms around me. "I'm sorry, I'm so sweaty!" I didn't mind. He was giddy, he had thrown all of his joy into that hug, and he released me with the biggest grin on his face. "You boys were fantastic tonight. I'm so glad I came." I hugged the bass player and said my goodnights, while the band had another beer.
Outside, my new friend asked if there was somewhere else we could get a drink. "There's an Irish pub a couple blocks down." I gave him a sideways glance. "Maybe I should order for us." He laughed with me and we headed out. At the pub, I tried to figure out when and how to say what I needed to. I didn't want him to waste his money on buying me drinks, only to be disappointed. In the end I just kinda blurted it out--"I am in a bit of a different relationship situation. I am married, but we see other people...I don't do one night stands, though." He shrugged. "Eh, I'm not sure how to pick up girls, anyway." He was an engineer, though what he really wanted was to be a helicopter pilot. He was in town for work and only had one night to live it up. "I still want to dance! Do you know any nightclubs?"
I took him to the gay bar. It was the nearest place I could think of with a dance floor still going. "You don't mind, do you?" I asked while he took my hand. "Nah. Gay people are pretty good dancers. Is this okay...?" He squeezed my hand lightly. "Yeah, I think so. It's nice." He nodded. Our steps were a little uneven as the alcohol made its way through our limbs.
"So," he said, pausing a little. "If you aren't planning on having sex with me, do you think you could be my wing woman?" I laughed. "Of course."
At the club, we made our way out on the floor and moved and grooved to the awful music. The alcohol made us care a little less about the lyrics and we just followed the beat. We still didn't touch, except the accidental bumps when someone else crashed into us. I nodded towards the pole at the side of the dance floor. "You know, I broke my arm here once." He raised an eyebrow and the corners of his eyes crinkled as he grinned, taunting me a little. "Well, you should get back on the horse then, yeah?" "Yeah, perhaps."
I jumped up, closed my eyes, and moved through two more songs, not daring to look at him. When I came back down he whispered to me "Well, you've got some moves." We had another drink and he looked over the crowd. "I feel bad about chatting someone else up; I'm here with you!" "Go, silly, I brought you here to have a good time. Do what you want to do."
"Well, mostly, I want to do you."
"...Okay, not that. Go on now." I shooed him away, laughing. He talked and danced with a few girls before returning to me. "She just asked me straight up if I'd like a fuck." He motioned to a pretty blonde across the floor. "Oh. That's rather direct. Well then?" "I turned her down." He smiled. I smiled. We danced some more.
When our feet would no longer hold us and I was sure my lungs would burst, we sat on a couch in the corner. "So....what about kissing?" he inquired, as we were close together and comfortable. "Kissing is not a one night stand, is it?" I paused. "I...I don't really know!" "Well it's your rules, silly, what do you mean you don't know?"
His kisses were gentle and warm. I pulled back, blushing. He leaned in again, and I kissed him on the nose and dashed back to the dance floor. He followed. We had one more dance left in us. This time, we moved in close, and I slid my arm around his neck briefly. We moved together--slightly apart, but I could feel the warmth of his chest. Then the song was over, and we pulled away.
Outside, I told him we had two options. "We can go find some food, or part ways here." "Food!" After some discussion, however, we realized that our only option that late was ordering from the 24 hour pizza place. "We could order to my room...?" He was so hopeful. "Not happening, my dear." "Well, you can't fault me for trying," he said sheepishly. I couldn't. I probably would have enjoyed the one night with him, but it really wasn't my thing. I called him a cab and said I could walk home from there, as my house wasn't far. "Will you be alright, though?"
The walk took me a half hour. I met others on the way, with calls of "Pretty lady!" and "Where's the party?" but I made it home fine, of course. I texted him to let him know I made it, and he replied in kind. The next morning we each texted once to say thanks for the company and we had had a good time. He was the last to text and I left it at that, smiling.
Two days later, I received one more text from him.
"Hi, good meeting you and all the very best, but I would appreciate not texting me as I am with someone and she would not like me getting texts from strange women. I hope you can understand, take care and look after yourself, me."
I would have traced his laugh lines with my fingers after all, I think. Very lightly.