No salsa dancing tonight. The lesson I had agreed to attend turned out to be for intermediate salsa dancers, whereas I am less than a beginner. I am the stain on a salsa dancer’s shoe. The Young Man and I have tentatively agreed to reschedule for next Tuesday. I still have no idea as to what the Young Man is thinking. It has been so long since anyone in the universe has expressed the remotest amount of interest in me, socially or for anything more intense, that I have forgotten how to play the game.* Everyone hates it when a boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife is matter-of-factly dropped into conversation on what is viewed by one party as a date and the other as a pleasant outing. Everyone also hates it when it is assumed that people who could be potentially attracted to each other can’t be friends or attend events unchaperoned. On the night I met the Young Man, I was my usual self, discussing my husband ad nauseum; hell, I was wearing my wedding ring. If that wasn’t enough notice, I am at a loss for what I can do next time. Skywriters are so expensive these days.
My therapist asked me yesterday if the Young Man is an appropriate addition to my life, an understandable line of inquiry given that I tend to make inappropriate additions at the drop of a hat. He said I already have an interesting life and doesn’t see why I need to inject more drama, and it is clear this is pure drama. Either the Young Man feels something romantic, in which case he will be disappointed that I am married and uninterested, or he feels something platonic, in which case I will be disappointed not to be found attractive by someone. In the case of option number one, I have already selected an available young homosexual to whom I will transfer the Young Man’s affections; in the case of option number two, I suspect a chemical peel looms large in my future.
What do I want out of all this? Ideally, a new friend with artistic vision, a fresh energy, and an uncommon perspective on life, all traits the Young Man embodies with the confidence of a youthful matador. If only he avoids the tight pants and funny hat of that death-defying profession, we should have no trouble maintaining that level of interaction. Perhaps, occasionally, I will allow my new friend to talk me into going salsa dancing, and as we whirl seductively around the floor,** and I will laugh at my ridiculous notions that he might ever have wanted anything more.
* What a difference from my heyday of twenty-five dates a week. And here I use the word date extremely loosely.
** With different partners, of course . . . salsa dancing is an unwaveringly heterosexual sport.