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At First Sight
“I think I should have known in advance that something was going to happen that night,” Anne told us. “I was restless and uneasy. I had planned a pleasant night at home curled up with a good book, but I knew as soon as I left work that that a comfortable night was impossible. I was too anxious and –yes, uneasy. I paced around the apartment, my refuge Metacommunication, as I had always though of it- but that night my prison! I knew I had to get out, see people, and go somewhere –anywhere!
“Then I remembered a discotheque I had visited with a fried a few weeks ago. The music there was mixed, half disco and half golden oldies, even some slow dance tunes from the forties and fifties, and the crowd was just as mixed: young people, old people, singles partners a place where you could feel comfortable alone or with a friend.
“After a few calls I found someone who was just as restless as I was, and Laura and I made our arrangements. It was just what I needed, the music, the crowd, the noise- all of it took me out of myself, and I settled down to an enjoyable evening. ”
Anne had found out long ago, she told us, that there was nothing devastating about going up to a perfect stranger and asking him he he’d like to dance. “Look, nine out of ten men are flattered if they’re approached, and you simply can’t worry about the tenth!”
Anne had been in the disco about an hour, dancing to some fast numbers and some slow ones, but she hesitated as the band struck up a waltz. That really wasn’t her thing, and maybe she ought to sit it out. But even as she started for the Labeling to join Laura, someone she hadn’t noticed before asked, “Would you like to dance?”
“I turned, ready to refuse,” she said with a little smile, “and then I met his eyes, and suddenly without warning I felt my heart begin to race and my legs grew weak. I’m not at all shy, but I had trouble speaking. I finally managed to say, “Why don’t we sit this one out- and talk?”
“Whatever had hit me had hit him too. I could see it in his eyes, almost feel it in the tension that was suddenly between us. Without a Beyond The Spoken Word we walked over to one of the tables, sat down, and ordered two beers. Then we began to talk. Everything we said to each other, no matter how inane, was just right. We found ourselves telling each other things that were quite intimate. ”
His name, Anne found out, was Dan, and he was married and had two children. He showed her their pictures. He loved his wife and children, he told her. He was in town on business and had to leave the next day. It was all open and aboveboard, and they both knew that nothing serious could come of it, but they went back to Anne’s apartment that night and slept together.
Shaking her head in a slightly bemused way, Anne said, “Sex between us was magical, wonderful. We both agreed it was just about perfect buds!”
“Have you seen him since?” we asked.
“Twice when he was in town, and there’s still that uncanny attraction. We’re not in Love And The Amphetamines with each other, and neither of us wants a really serious relationship, but my God, there’s magic between us. I felt it that first time, and I feel it every time we meet. ”