I think about the past. The way things used to be. All the things I could have become. All the things I couldn’t. The things I knew. The things I didn’t. Meeting them again brought back the memories. All the smiles, the mistakes, the possibilities, the embarrassments, the tears, the confused feelings, the mistaken thoughts, the regrets. All came rushing back just seeing their faces, hearing their voices.
I smile. They are happy to see me. All but him. He’s unfeeling. Does he notice I’ve changed? Does he care? He’s moved on. Moved up. On to better things. On to better people.
I think of the past. He used me make my heart beat faster than is probably safe. He used to be in my dreams. He used to make me feel alive when he danced with me.
He’s talking to a cute girl in a short skirt. I never had a chance. I knew that. I know that. But it changes nothing. I take a sip of my drink. The taste does nothing to quench either my thirst or the memories.
I drink more.
It takes me over. I dance with my girlfriends. We feel the beat in our hearts. We feel it in out chests. It moves our feet. Our hands. Our hips. I dance with some random guy. It doesn’t matter who he is. It won’t last past a dance. We part. I go to the bathroom. I’m thirsty. I drink water from the tap. It does nothing to quench my thirst. The memories don’t come back. The drink is taking care of those. A girl comes in. She says my dancing is sex. I smile and laugh it off. The memories come back. He’s too cool for me. Too amazing. Too out of reach. Too late.
I go back outside. My friends find me. We dance some more. He’s at the front. DJing. A DJ. I never did stand a chance. I dance. We dance. He doesn’t notice me. I dance as well as I can for him. He doesn’t see me. He lights a cigarette. He lets the smoke out of his lungs. I dance and watch. He doesn’t need me.
I close my eyes and dance. I lose myself in the music. The beat drives away memories. Drives away any inhibitions I had. I dance for hours. I go to the bathroom again. More water from the tap. I look at myself in the mirror. I know I’m not the best, but I’m still looking good. My hair’s a mess. I’ve been dancing for hours now. It can’t be helped. I smooth out the rough parts a bit. Another girl comes in. I met her outside. She’s a bartender at a bar close by. She says that I look sexy. Nice back. My shirt exposes that part of me. No chest, just back. You can see that freckle I forget I have. I smile and go outside again.
A guy comes over. Says he’s seen me here before. I smile. He has no shirt on. He says he’s a bartender here and he’s noticed me before. I laugh and ask why. The bartender says I should know why. I laugh again and his friends call him. The bartender leaves, I dance.
The night is winding down. I go back to the bathroom. Free water. It’s not that tasty, but it’s free. I leave. His friend sees me. He calls me over. I go. Nothing to lose. Nothing at all. The guy I like doesn’t like me. The one I liked is probably getting laid right now.
His friend tells me to kiss another guy. I do. A kiss. It means nothing. I kissed my previous crush many times. It meant nothing. Now we can’t even talk. His friend tells me to kiss another guy. I do. The bartender, too.
They laugh and joke. I joke along with them. It’s a nice distraction.
It’s time to leave. I go to the elevator. The bartender comes with me. We make out in the elevator.
It gets to the bottom floor. We don’t stop. Someone calls the elevator. We stop. We part.
I walk home in the freezing cold. I’m tired and losing feeling in my legs. I make it home. I fall asleep. The memories don’t stop.