I leaned on a railing, watching couples swirl past on the dance floor below, feeling very alone because my boyfriend of five years wasn't with me.
I can't remember where he was. Probably with his buddies. Maybe with another girl. I worked most weekends, so I was fuming - and hurt - that he didn't want to go out with me on my rare Friday night off. And I was disappointed that none of the regulars I had counted on were there, either.
Then you approached and asked me to dance. It was a Michael Jackson song - again, my memory is foggy and I can't remember which one, but I know you do. Your memory has always been so good. In fact, now it often annoys me how good it is.
Anyway, you asked me to dance, and I was in such a grumpy mood I intended to say no, but yes came out instead, and next thing I know, we're on the dance floor. When Michael stopped singing, a country song came on and you asked me to dance again.
We talked a little. I was surprised you were older than me. You looked like a teenager with those mischievous blue eyes, freckles, and tousled sandy-blonde hair.
You invited me to sit at your table. I met Chris, Karin, and Karin's friends from New York. We talked a little, but Karin kind of monopolized your attention.
However, when closing time came, you walked me to my car, asked me what I was doing the next night (going to Gilley's to see the band "Alabama") and if you could meet me there. I said sure, and you gave me a little peck of a kiss before saying goodbye.
Was it on the cheek or the lips? I can't remember. But I thought it was sweet. And I thought you were fun. And sweet. And cute. And I hoped you showed up the next night. (You did.)
And that's how it happened (according to my memory, anyway) thirty-two years ago this evening...
Thank you for that first dance...and all that have followed. My memory may have faded about details, but I'll never forget that on a night when everything seemed to be going wrong, God proved he had my back, all along.
He gave me just what I needed:
"Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end."