Music triggers my memory more than just about anything. My ex and I had an entire soundtrack to our courtship. I remember what was playing on the bus to drama competition in 1984 when we should've won. I remember what we danced to when we snuck Kelly into the Baja Beach Club. I remember the hymn we sang the Sunday the dog died. It's just all about the music.
Right now, in my happy little cubicle, I'm listening to Elton John's "Someone Saved my Life Tonight" and I'm transported back to age 15 ...
It was my cousin Theresa's wedding reception. The whole family went. Those who know me really well will not be surprised that I remember I was wearing a brown cowl neck sweater, plaid wool skirt, and cowboy boots. The DJ started to play, and I heared the opening strains of that song, and I must have smiled or something, because the sweetest, kindest man walked up to me, offered his hand, and asked me to dance.
Ron Mosca was his name. I don't know if I spelled it right, but that was him. He opened his arms and welcomed me into this sort of protective embrace that made my heart sing. He was older than me - much older - but in my whole life I don't know if anyone has ever made me feel that special. He was an old friend of the family - Theresa's family, anyway - and no one thought it was weird that he spent several songs paying attention to an awkward teenager. He was just being kind, and it's something I will never forget.
It was my first slow dance ever, the dance against which every other dance has been measured, and not quite compared.
When the dance was over, he walked me back to the table, kissed my hand, and went to dance with several more age-appropriate women. But throughout the evening, from time to time, he and I danced. It makes my eyes well up just thinking about the sweetness of it all.
Our paths never crossed again, but for that one night, I had hope that one day someone would offer me his hand, and dance through life with me.
Thank you, Ron. Turns out, butterflies really are free to fly.