once, i thought i was done with addictions. i thought i had added all the rituals i would ever add to the story of my life. but one sunday, i ended up at a sometimes pretentious club, and it was eighties night. and i loved it.

i never really danced before. i went to my high school prom, stoned out of my mind, and at the bitter end, when the couples had receded to the back seats of their cars, i danced. my best friend, my date that night, danced with me. because it was prom and we thought we were punks, and when the hell else were we going to do it? i saw it as the beginning and the end. but i found that i can dance, and not care that i'm a shitty dancer, and not care that some pair of morons next to me are bumping and grinding as though they were inclined to reproduce in the middle of the floor. i don't even need the alcohol, now, which i used to, to get my courage up.

sunday comes and i look forward to the night. i put on the clothes i never wear, because the dresses are too short or too tight and the skirts are too loud and the shirts are too low-cut. i put on my big black boots, though i always mean to wear heels, but they never look right. (and when i find myself skanking, without meaning to, when no one else is, i know i've made the right choice.)

but there's one thing, and it makes me feel bad. i have to go alone. i cannot take a date, cannot, it seems, even take a friend. and maybe the faces in the crowd feel pity, feel rejected, or see it as an opportunity. as long as it doesn't interfere, i don't care. i'm there to dance, and nothing else. and to do it alone. because this is my way of doing things, the way i enjoy myself. not with some man - any man - standing between me and the pulsating bass, making me feel silly about dancing badly or singing out loud when i only meant to lip-synch.

i feel a sense of duty, as a good friend, to do this thing i've become devoted to with the people i care about. i'm torn because my younger friends can't come along. but at the same time, i wouldn't want them there, wouldn't want to feel compelled to huddle in the corner and gossip about boys or clump together on the dance floor and laugh self-depreciatingly at what we're honestly enjoying. when i see people i know, i try to be polite and 'hello, how are you doing?' as quickly as possible, find a chance to slip away.

it's a character flaw, but i enjoy myself most when i'm all alone.

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