be on my side and i'll be on your side

I fell asleep to that song. Actually, I woke up to it to. It was the surreal ending to a surreal date.

there is no reason for you to hide

We had gone out once before, but I thought nothing of it. You didn't want to kiss me goodnight, you didn't seem all that thrilled with the flower I brought you.

it's so hard for me to stay here all alone

But even after all that, you invited me over to your house. You wanted me to teach you how to dance. I think you wanted to learn how to Tango. So I said sure. I left work and got on the train, to make the trek to the far reaches of Queens, where you lived. I got out of the train and followed your directions to your abode.

when you could be taking me for a ride

As I made my way up the hill, I caught my first of what would be many glimpses of this magnificent church. I turned the corner and rang your doorbell, flowers in hand (again). You didn't answer, I rang again, no answer. Finally you came to the door and opened it. Your face lit up and you gave me a hug and a kiss. Far from the greeting I was expecting. I walked into my first parsonage. It was rather bare. Passing the office, I walked up a short flight of steps to a practically empty living room. You disappeared into the kitchen and put the flowers in some water. We talked about my trip up there and if I got lost at all, which I didn't. We talked about how I learned to dance, and I explained that I'd studied when I was very young. So you suggested we go upstairs...and dance.

you take my hand, I'll take your hand

I started to teach you how to dance. First I stood beside you and taught you the steps, and we did that for a while. The tension slowly dissolved away as I became your teacher for a while, and corrected your mistakes, made you feel at ease in your own home. Then it came time for us to get into dance position. I ask you if you wanted to lead or to follow.

together we may get away

"To Follow" you say.
I take your right hand in my trembling left hand. I tentatively place my right arm around your waist. You put your left hand on my shoulder. I correct you, and place your hand on my arm. I've never been so nervous. Old feelings of worthlessness pop into my head. "What could he possibly see in me?" "He's so beautiful, what am I doing here?"
We begin
Slow...Slow...Quick...Quick...Slow - You forget to change your weight and you start backwards on the wrong foot. I almost step on you but you catch yourself. Instinctively, from years of teaching, I push forward to catch you, lest you fall. Perhaps I take longer than usual to steady you.

this much madness is too much sorrow

After a while, we decide to stop. We talk about music: Bernstein, Sondheim, Corigliano, Bolcom, I pretend I know who they all are, when in reality I only know of a few of them. You put on a Low CD, and you sit on your bed, I follow you.

It's impossible to make it today

We stare at each other for a long while, or at least what I think is a long while. "This can't be happening." I think I make the first move, and I kiss you. To my surprise, you respond, so passionately, so attentively.

she could drag me over the rainbow

Do I ever stop thinking that you're just a passionate person? One who can separate real emotions from raw passion? A person who knows that they can get the passion that they want by feigning passion to begin with?

send me away

When it's all over, we listen to music again. Your enthusiasm for music that I've never heard before fascinates me. We talk and cuddle while listening to music. Before I know it, it's past 3AM. I get up to leave and start to make my apologies. You quietly beg me to stay. The bed is too small for two of us, but you have a guest room. I agree, It's far too late to go home now, and I'll just go to work in the morning. You prepare the room for me and we kiss some more. Around 4, I go to bed. The Low CD is playing full blast now and it's intoxicating me, it's so loud and so mellow at the same time. The last thing I see before I go to bed is the back of you, with the warm glow of the computer silhouetting your body and the familiar outline of IRC beyond you.

I get into bed, and we both leave our doors open. The CD is on repeat and the same six songs keep repeating in my head. I feel drunk, more drunk than I've ever been. The songs go on, and for one moment between consciousness and sweet sleep, I believe that these 30 minutes and 11 seconds of music (and of my life) can go on forever.

down by the river
down by the river
down by the river

I wake up to that same music, and for a split-second, I think that time has indeed stood still, but something is different. I open my eyes. There's light coming through the window. It's morning, and the world begins again.

That was just the first of what continue to be many intoxicating nights. Nights that always seen to end in sleep around the same time: 3:30AM or thereabouts. I've been given a gift, so precious and so fulfilling.

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