One year ago today, I walked into the Social Dance Party flocked by entourage. The goal was simple, yet understated: do not leave the floor alone. That did not seem like too much of a leap, considering I had planned for this night to go perfectly. Well, as perfectly as a half-baked plan could. Tonight, the Shaman of Sexy was going to make his debut, embodying the talent studied from the past and the confidence of entitlement borne of being born talented. This was the night Anthony Guy shed his mortal form and took his rightful place as the new deity. Somewhere along the way, I met Pippa, and that’s where life as I knew it permanently changed.
The story’s been told multiple times to multiple people, but I relish it because it signaled a new direction. I had been shot down by countless girls over the years, and I started to show cracks in the armor. The medium, of course, was salsa, as it always seems to be. One girl was rejected because of my realist attitude towards courtship and dancing; another was flipped off and abandoned on the floor. I’m sure there were other microevents that led me to feel the way I do about these matters, especially Victoria’s successful rewiring of my future goals. I’m sure I missed the boat with Victoria as some people have pointed out, and that was a mistake that had to happen, because there probably was not another way. I met Pippa while teaching salsa at SOAR, but that was months ago; now, she’s back with a vengeance because I couldn’t remember her name. The most popular guy at the party being harassed by a nobody…a nobody in a red dress. Keep your options open, said Skylar. I kept my options open, got her number, switched over to unlimited texting, and that’s where the saga began. We dated adventurously for a month. In that month, I learned what it meant to be at my happiest. Feeling loved is hard to describe, since my mother has always shown me love. However, romantic love is a bit different…I’m not sure if it was romantic love, but it was certainly different from what my mother showed me, which is a good thing because incest is not approved. When we were out, this girl fought for my attention, which she always had. I directed my contemporaries to handle her with care, or else they would incur my wrath. The Shaman of Sexy captured power, and used it to make sure his significant other was comfortable. I loved Pippa, and didn’t hesitate to show it. She was more present than the sleeves I wore.
Things were not always great between us; every other day we’d fight and make up. Someone said it was like I experienced a marriage within a span of a month. Some of it was her fault. Some of it was mine. All of it was us being unable to figure each other out. This story doesn’t have a happy ending, considering the restraining order and the idea that she’s actively erased any reminder of last year. I can’t truly speak from her side, because of the lack of contact. On my end, things have been more successful materialistically, but I know that’s due to overcompensation for my horrible personal end. Sure, I’m a grad student, but I walk a campus that pretty much beat the shit out of me with memories of days past. I bought a new Mustang, partially because I still saw Pippa every time I drove the Malibu. I still have my salsa crew, but the magic and interconnectedness isn’t as solid as it was. I get the idea that everyone around me has a personal life that appears promising, moreso than mine. Sure, I can go to the salsa club (as I did Wednesday) and light the world on fire, but it’s all for show. Oh, and grad school’s kicking my ass. The money, the power, the privilege…none of that is quite the same as a girl clutching you in the tightest bearhug because she likes being around you, because she’s scared, or because you bought her a stuffed penguin to help her sleep at night.
Today is exactly the one year anniversary of when Anthony Guy began life knowing about Pippa Bowen. He still loves her, and thinks of her every day in between work, classes, and heavier things.