Thursday nights are “dance nights” here in the park. I don’t dance, although BBBH does on occasion. She inveigled, I succumbed. We went to the dance. I, of course, sat and watched the goings-on. She, too, sat. We ate popcorn and listened to the music which was presented by a duet, two fellows who sang and played keyboard, accordion, and drums. They were actually quite good.
The hall had been transformed into a dance venue, and the lights were dim. In that light, there were no varicose veins, wrinkles or lines in faces visible. The light was good enough to reveal some white heads, but they could have been blond, perhaps. Imagine the party to consist of so many young people out for an evening of fun and dancing. But eventually the cruel lights were turned up. The entertainers were probably two of the youngest people there,and neither of them will see sixty again.
I was asked to dance by the lady who danced with everyone. I said, Daddy don’t dance, and Mama don’t rock ‘n’ roll. Beautiful was not invited to dance, and I did not realize how deeply she was cut by that until we were on the way home. She said, In all my life, that is the first time I’ve ever attended a dance, side-lined for the entire evening for want of an invitation. Insensitive as I am, I laughed. But I soon realized that she was seriously shaken by the experience, and it was not funny. Well, she had the misfortune of having been accompanied by a man who does not dance, a man who is six-three, a deuce and a quarter, and ugly enough to ward off, well, guys who might otherwise have invited her to dance. I’m really a kitten, but they don’t know that.