Daily Prompt: You’re 12 years old. It’s your birthday. Write for ten minutes on that memory. GO.
‘Careless whisper, of a good friend…’
It’s my birthday party and 6 of us are dancing, cheek to cheek, in my parents’ living room, to this song. We have improvised a mini disco, and this is the last song – the slow dance.
What are we all thinking, as we dance to George Michael? The room is hot and sweaty; we have been jumping off of sofas and laughing, and now we are swaying with our arms on each other’s shoulders and waists. We are aware that we are committing some form of transgression, girls dancing with girls to this song; we know that if this is ever revealed at school the consequences will be bad for all of us.
Some of us are dancing on our knees to compensate for the vast differences in size that occur in 12-year-old girls. I am tense and relaxed at the same time; safe from ridicule, because we are all ridiculous together, but bridling somewhere at this unaccustomed sweaty proximity to another red-faced human being. It is dark so we can’t see one another; eyes are mysterious in their dark sockets, impossible to tell if they are open or closed. I decide to close my eyes and imagine I am with my future lover. The One, who will bring me red roses and worship at my feet (I have high expectations at this age).
‘There’s no comfort in the truth, pain is ALL you fi-i-ind,’ sings George Michael in anguished tones, and I feel an agreeable melancholy wash over me, as if I am being initiated through this song into the adult world of Love and regret (regret being the main emotion I have observed in adults; the one that differentiates them from children).
What happened at my 12th birthday party, stayed at my birthday party.
Until now. Sorry, girls. I would never ever give up the names of my fellow smoochers, though. Not even under torture….