Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tipsy Mennonite



My arm was shaking, it felt incredibly heavy as I lifted it and reached over to place it in his hand that was patiently waiting for me to accept the dance. I just look down at my feet and thought, “Oh, no, no, no, this is going to end badly,” as he guided me to the dance floor.

He walked me all the way across the dance floor as far away from Christina and her friends as possible. He stopped, put his right arm around my waist, and hugged me right up against him. He put his head right up against my cheek and repositioned my hand in his left hand.

He slowly began moving and guiding me around on the dance floor. As I felt his cheek sliding against mine toward my ear, I thought, “Oba, Anna, what are you doing? You shouldn’t be doing this.” He whispered in my ear, “Just breathe, Anna.” I took a breath, closed my eyes, and just focused on my breathing. I allowed myself to get lost in the words of the song flowing through the air.


I felt so warm. The words of the song led me to imagine that dancing -- or George dancing me -- was what I imagined it would feel like to float in the middle of the sea and feel the warmth of the summer breeze blowing over my skin instead of being afraid of drowning. 

I caught myself imagining it so much that for a moment I had forgotten where I was.

That was until the next song started playing -- it was Free Fallin. George kept dancing me as my thoughts flew across the United States to Mexico straight to the memory of that hopeless Sunday in my colony, when I heard that song the first time. I went back to feeling awkward and that what I was doing was wrong, especially when I heard Jesus being mentioned in the song.

It had been such an emotional day I had been fighting the tears back all day and they were right there, ready to burst at any time. I managed to push them back down again while I forced my thoughts back to the present. I talked myself into just enjoying the moment as George’s muscular arms were wrapped around me, moving and gliding me around that dance floor.

I closed my eyes and went back to imagining that I was floating in warm ocean water and that I wasn’t afraid of drowning. And my thoughts drifted off to “How is it even possible that people who aren’t even that different from me live such different lives? Stop it! Go back to floating, Anna!”

When that song ended and a fast song started, Christina and all her friends came back to the dance floor as George and I walked back to the table. I went to the bathroom, splashed my face with cold water, and had a little talk with myself in the mirror: “Anna, don’t even think about crying here.”

I walked back to that table, cool as a cucumber, and sat back down beside George. I took a sip of my water and dared to look up at him, he winked at me as he asked if I was okay. My coolness melted away and I thought, “Crap, he can see right through me. I can’t hide from him.”

“Yes, I am okay, how are you doing?” I asked, to try and talk about him, not me.

“Oh, I’m great.”

The waitress came back to take more orders as Christina’s friends came back from the dance floor. They ordered all kinds of shooters. George ordered water and when I looked at him he said, “Two beers is my limit.”

Everybody else was drinking shooters, laughing, shouting and dancing to the music. The club got really crowded, groups of beautiful women dressed in short skirts and high heels came walking in like they belonged there.

A few of them waved at George and gave me a strange stare down. I began to feel like I was way too under- yet over-dressed in my long skirt and shalduak-looking ensemble that I was wearing. I looked over at George and said, “Wow, they are so beautiful. You know them?”

“Yes, I went to highschool with them. Don’t let their looks fool you, it’s only from the outside,” he said.

Those girls were on the dance floor for fifteen minutes before a couple of guys got into a fight over them. I had never seen anything like it. These two big guys dressed in black suits jumped out of nowhere, grabbed the guys who were fighting, dragged them to the door, and threw them out.

I just sat there and watched what everybody was doing. Some of Christina’s friends were getting really drunk. One of the guys fell down on the dance floor, got up, dusted himself off, and walked over to our table. He grabbed his beer, held it up and yelled, “Let the f#cking weekend begin!” He chugged the whole beer, slammed the bottle on the table and yelled, “Yeaaaah man!” as he was hitting his chest.

I looked at George and he tilted his head, raised his eyebrow and asked, “You see what I mean?”

I laughed and said, “Yes, now I do.”

“Just let me know when you have had enough and we can leave.”

I said, “Okay,” and asked, “How long are you allowed to stay here? I mean, until what time do people stay?”

“Around one or two o’clock, when they stop serving alcohol, turn the lights on and the music off,” he answered.

“Wow.”

A group of people from work showed up including my supervisor and the guy I was supposed to call if I wanted to experience the time of my life. It was so strange to see them outside of work, they looked so different.

I thought “Oh no! Oh crap! Oh no!” as my supervisor come walking over toward us. He shook George’s hand then looked at me and said, “Hey Anna, how are you doing?”

“I am good,” I answered, looking at his shoulder because I was too afraid to make eye contact. The time-of-my-life guy made his way over toward us and said, “Hey, Anna, you’re here?”

“Yes, yes I am.”

“Awesome!” he said as he drank from his beer.

I had no idea what his name was. I would call him Dude because that was what I thought of whenever I saw him, since most of the time every other word he said was dude. Until Derek the supervisor said, “Take it easy on that beer, Sam.”

Christina saw that those guys were talking to me and came over to check if everything was okay. I instantly loved her even more because in spite of dealing with her own problems, she still paid attention and took the time to check on me to make sure I was okay.

“I have to go to the bathroom, you want to go?” she asked me.

“Okay.”

I got up and followed her to the bathroom and watched her fix her hair and put more lipstick on. “How was the dance?” she asked.

“Well, I didn’t really dance -- it was mostly George moving me around the floor. At first it was a bit awkward, but when I just listened to the words of the song I got lost in it. It was… warm.”

She laughed as she handed me the lipstick and said, “That’s great, Anna. I hope my friends aren’t too much for you. They can really get carried away sometimes, especially when they drink too much.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that. Just being here is strange for me, but luckily I have George keeping me company,” I answered as I took her lipstick and put some on.

“So am I. I’m sorry I haven’t been sitting with you that much, it’s just that there are so many people I haven’t seen in a long time and I think I am getting a little tipsy myself.”

“Don’t worry about me. Really, as long as I have George by my side, I will be okay.”

We looked at each other, both took a deep breath, and walked back to the table.

The club was so packed we had to squeeze ourselves through the crowed to get back to our table. I got worried when I got back to the table and George wasn’t there. I sat down hoping that Sam the Dude wasn’t going to come over while I was sitting there, alone, awkward and vulnerable without George.

I just stared at the dance floor. I began thinking about Sam’s offer and what exactly showing me a time of my life meant. I thought to myself, “Stop it, Anna! It can’t be anything good. These brave thoughts happening because of that drink. I think I need to go home now.”

“Where are you, George?” I thought when I spotted Sam and quickly looked away, holding my breath, hoping that it would help me seem invisible. But I could feel him walking toward me as I took a breath. I was beginning to feel light-headed again. I just looked around anywhere but Sam’s direction and took a sip of my water. 

Dios mio, I hope he doesn’t show me a time of my life right now. Nothing I was doing or hoping for was helping. He managed to make his way through the big crowd to that table, sat down right in front of me, and said, “Anna! You are here?”

“Ahhh… yes, I am.” I answered as I thought, “Dreiet mie daut soo sea fonn een drink (Am I that tipsy from one drink)? Or did he already ask me that earlier?”

“It’s so good to see you out. How are you doing?” he asked.

“Okay, I am okay.”

“Do you have a boyfriend?” he asked.

As I nervously thought, “Oh, crap!” I said, “Ahhh… I’m not sure.”

He tilted his head and asked, “You’re not sure?”

“No, well, I do have friends who are boys. That I am sure of.”

He laughed and said, “Okay, okay, I’m guessing that this is the first time you have been to a club like this, is it?”

“Yes.”

“Wow, so what do you think? Are you having a good time?”

“Yes, the few minutes in between feeling like I’m about to pass out or I’m having a heart attack.”

He laughed and said, “I can only imagine. But with a boyfriend or friend like George around, you should be safe even from passing out or having a heart attack. He is a great guy, he would know exactly what to do to save you. He’s just that kind of a guy.”

I thought, “This is my chance to ask about George, just to see what he will tell me about him.”

“That’s good to know, and I think so, too. How do you know George?”

“I’ve known him for a long time. We went to school together, pretty much since kindergarten. He was always the smart one, telling the rest of us to ‘smarten up, don’t be f#cking stupid’ whenever we did something we weren’t supposed to do.”

I began feeling guilty for thinking that he might have ditched me. I hadn’t met one person that had anything bad to say about George. And I heard George’s voice from behind me. “Sam, what is going on over here?”

“Hey, George. Nothing, I was just talking to Anna, what’s up?” Sam said.

George sat back down beside me and said, “Sorry, Anna, I didn’t mean to take so long. I ran into a friend, but I knew you would be able to handle yourself no problem. Here, I brought you another drink, but with no alcohol.”

“Thanks,” I said and took a sip of the drink. When I looked up I thought, Oba ha li dietschjat. I was lost for words when I saw who was standing there in front of me in the flesh. Click here to continue reading my story.


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