Saturday, December 11, 2010

Love Dances In: Dec. 10, 2000

December 10, 2000 -- ten years ago exactly -- turned out to change my life in every way: my emotions, my personal growth, my sexuality, my view of aging, even my career. That was the evening that Robert's life journey landed him in my line dance class. He had recently moved to Santa Rosa and was looking for a place to dance.

Here's how I tell it in Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty (the book that never would have been written without that eventful evening):

Love Dances In

The day that Robert walked into my line dance class, my hormones thought they were twenty years old again. His smile, fit body, and grace of movement caught my eye immediately.

Then, when he started to dance, his years of tap, modern dance, and ballet training were revealed in every movement, and I was lost at sea. His nimble feet, muscled thighs, and sensually mobile hips commanded my attention. I wanted to touch the inviting curl of chest hair that peeked through the open top buttons of his shirt. I met his dazzling blue eyes and pretended to breathe. For the rest of the evening, I kept losing my place in the dance I was teaching because I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

Robert kept coming to class and danced into my heart. I tried to engage him in conversation after class occasionally, and he responded almost warily, answering me but not giving me any signals that my attentions were welcomed or reciprocated. I wondered:  Is he gay? Attached? Or simply not interested in me?

I started inviting him for walks after class, which he accepted. We talked, but never very personally. I told him about the Internet health book I was writing, and he told me about his art and the English gardens of his travels. There was no touching, no eyes locking, no double entendres, no intimate details revealed.

We choreographed a line dance together, which felt extraordinarily intimate to me. We were using our bodies to communicate and showing each other movements, which was very sexy. But the harder I tried to push to the next stage, the faster he retreated.

Then what? I am tempted to tell our whole story here, but I'd rather you enjoyed it yourself in Better Than I Ever Expected.


Now, ten years and a lifetime later, Robert has been gone for two years and four months, his life ended by cancer. He is still strongly present -- my house filled with his paintings, my mind filled with memories, my heart filled with love. I am struggling to move forward, starting to date again, opening myself to what life holds for me. I am forever grateful that Robert chose December 11, 2000, to wander into my dance class and that he found something there that kept him coming back.

1 comment:

  1. How beautiful, Joan. Such a big and complete love surely continues to resonate in your heart and life! Keep on loving and I'm picturing more love for you - as much as your heart, body, mind and spirit can handle.

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