Too Cool To Dance
You look at me as I walk across the room. Don’t think I haven’t clocked your gaze checking me out. From my plain flat boots, to my black, tight-fitting jeans, my low-cut top and my short, cropped hair.
Don’t think I don’t realise you’re weighing my worth, working me out: worth a flirt, a fuck? Worth more, or less?
I know you can’t make your mind up about me. I’m a bit different to the women you usually pick up in this bar. I talk confidently to the group of people around me; male and female. I speak out about my opinions, I laugh loudly, drink beer from the bottle.
I’m not apologetic. People listen when I talk. My confidence both unnerves you and yet, strangely, attracts you. I can tell, because you’re having trouble concentrating on your game of pool.
You can’t take your eyes off my legs, yet you’re conflicted, because you usually dig chicks in short skirts and floaty dresses; high heels and long, iron-straight hair. Feminine. That’s the word you use. Like an old aunt in a Jane Austen novel.
You like men to be men, and women to be feminine. Ladies. Yet who conversely act like whores around you. You look cool, in your designer leather jacket, hair in that slicked backed style, hint of hipster stubble. The right jeans. You’ve mastered the look to a T.
You’ve just about made up your mind about me. I’m not your usual type – probably think I’ll be uptight, opinionated. A challenge. That alone is enough to make you want me.
So you just need to pot this final ball, keep making eye contact with me across the room, then you’ll stroll on over to make your move.
Then he arrives.
My date. My ‘beau’, to coin an antiquated phrase that belongs in the grave along with the word ‘feminine’. He leans over to kiss me fully on the mouth, smudging my pale lip gloss. He pushes his glasses further up his nose, swipes the hair that has flopped into his eyes. He’s unkempt, but not in a cool, fashionable way. Just because he never remembers to check the mirror before he leaves. He doesn’t think about his clothes. He’s wearing his work suit jacket, his tie crumpled into his pocket, and baggy trousers he’s owned for several years.
I can see the puzzled look on your face.
The bars of a song I love come on, and I grab his hand and pull him towards the small dance floor. He laughs, and throws his jacket onto the back of a chair. He grabs for me and sends me spinning around the floor. We’re both laughing now, losing our step and not keeping up with the rhythm in the slightest.
And you try to convince yourself that I’m not your type anyway. Try to do that sneer you’ve perfected, like, look at those jerks, embarrassing themselves.
Because you wouldn’t be seen dead dancing. Because you’re far too cool to dance. Because tonight, you’ll be going home alone.
Kate Jones is a freelance writer based in the UK. A regular writer for Skirt Collective, she also writes features and reviews for The State of the Arts. She has also published flash fiction and poetry in various literary magazines, including Sick Lit Magazine, Gold Dust, and 101words. She has been long-listed for Flash 500, and won the weekly AdHoc Fiction contest, as well as being nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Kelly Coody of Sick Lit Magazine for 2017.
Find her on Twitter: @katejonespp
She also blogs at: writerinresidenceblog.wordpress.com