Why Don't You Dance? is a short story by Raymond Carver about a man who is having a yard sale, and a young couple who comes along looking to buy some things to furnish their new apartment. The girl and the boy and the man all get drunk and dance to a record player in the man's driveway. Later, the girl tries to tell her friends about it, but lacks the words to describe it:
"The guy was about middle-aged. All his things right there in his yard. No lie. We got real pissed and danced. In the driveway. Oh, my God. Don't laugh. He played us these records. Look at this record-player. The old guy gave it to us. And all these crappy records. Will you look at this shit?"
She kept talking. She told everyone. There was more to it, and she was trying to get it talked out. After a time, she quit trying.
To the girl, the incident was more than just a wacky anecdote
; it had a very definite, yet inexplicable, effect on her. She is wrestling with the essential problem of the storyteller
: how to fully capture an experience, with all its ephemeral impressions, its mood and mystery, intact. Fortunately, where the girl in the story fails, Raymond Carver
succeeds masterfully, rendering the story with such perfection that you come away from it, like the girl, feeling like you've witnessed something that defies interpretation