Between the Lines in 4/4 Time

© 1995 by Dave Awl

(Dave sits in a chair stage left. Scott and Phil sit side by side in chairs stage right.)

DAVE: I don't remember what song it was but I remember us dancing in the basement of his house. It was New Year's Eve, I was sleeping over...we weren't sleepy.

We'd been learning dance steps in PE that semester: foxtrot, waltz, tango. A slow song we liked was playing on the stereo and he said, very casually...

SCOTT: Hey--let's practice our dance steps.

PHIL: Sure.

(they stand up and begin to dance, a formal 4/4 foxtrot step.)

DAVE: We had to figure out who would lead and who would follow. I think we took turns. I remember how wonderfully strange his hand felt in mine. Not like a girl's at all.

PHIL: And?

DAVE: And yes, when our bodies were pressed together I could tell that he wasn't just thinking about the dance steps. He had pale blue eyes, just like the Lou Reed song.

That was the only time we danced together. If the truth be told, it was the only time we ever really touched each other, except for a hand on the shoulder. We both took girls to the senior prom.

Every now and then one of my straight friends asks me...

PHIL: Tell me, Dave, what was it it like growing up gay?

SCOTT: That must have been hard. High school, I mean. Dating.

(as Dave speaks final passage, Scott and Phil shift from formal dance position to close-dance.)

DAVE: ...and I tell them that it was just like growing up straight, except that you had to learn how to fill in the blanks and appreciate the almosts; that sometimes the things that didn't happen were more important than the things that did.


Back to The Parakeet of Parakeets (Dave Awl's page)