I asked a girl to dance and she said that she would only dance with me in the extremely unlikely event that “Us and Them” by Pink Floyd should be played. It was simple for me to ask the DJ for a favor so that an infatuated kid could dance with the girl of his dreams.
And so we danced.
I held her as close as I dared and as we danced she told me that this was it and there would be no more dances or dates after the final notes of the song. She did not have any interest in a boy who came from the wrong side of town, not now, not ever. And all I wanted in that desperate moment was to kiss her and to know her for all eternity.
I told her of my ambition. I told her of the poetry that was streaming inside my head. I told her of a future where every dance would be like the first and every kiss would make her float high above the ground. I told her that if lovers from a simple smile were made, I would smile at her forever.
And still she said no. I did not belong in her world.
I sat in my room, alone, for days after that dance. I could not eat and I could not think of a single positive thing about the future. You might say it was an adolescent crush and I might agree. But it was a moment in understanding that I was worthless. And it took a lifetime to find that I was wrong.
I don’t remember her name but I wish that I knew her today. Not out of some motive for revenge but just to sit down with her and to talk. Because I want her to know that being from the wrong side of town can be a very good thing indeed.
Being cold and hungry makes you want to be warm and fed. Being the underdog makes you want to succeed and have recognition. Being poor makes you want to know wealth. Being from the wrong side of town can give you a burning ambition to escape.
I wonder if she found love. I wonder if, in all the chance meetings that life creates, she was able to find a boy who was loyal and smart and crazy and had poetry in his head. I wonder if she remembers that dance.
I’m not from the wrong side of town any longer. But that does not matter because I don’t judge people by the place they live, the accent they have or by their possessions.
I still like that Pink Floyd song. But it will always tell me that there is nothing after the final notes, even though life and the music play on and now I am in a place where I belong.
I belong in a place where poetry streams through my mind from the joy of living and finds its way into the lives of others who love me for who I am.