Dee Lish Shush! 1982
You Can whistle, But Can You Dance?
“Rory you so need to chill, you are in my son, well in. She is totally into you 100%! She has just said she is going to pay the bill and we are going to head off to Cinderellas for dancing and drinking! The nights young my friend, the night’s young but long!”
In 1982, l was 19 – l was quietly confident with life, although l was buoyantly confident with my job – because l knew it so well, there wasn’t much that got past me …. BUT with life outside of work, people, friends and members of the opposite sex l was somewhat of a dunce – nerd, geek, boffin whichever term sits with you best – fact is around the opposite sex l was somewhat shy. Although l discovered that with a little bit of drink inside me l could be me – the real me – drink relaxed me and coming from a guy who struggled to be relaxed this is saying something.
I didn’t need to be drunk, l just needed to have the edge taken off to feel a bit more human – at 19, this is years and years before l would discover my Asperger’s or my autism diagnosis at 44 – l was used to wearing masks when at work to cope with people and life – but l never really drank back then, not to excess anyway – l had a couple of accidents with drink and tended to steer clear of the devil liquor! But that night, the company l was with, the ambience and the drink in a warm restaurant followed by a brisk walk up to the nightclub in the fresh air … well my life started to change THEN!
I have experienced quite a few awakenings during my life, more than the average it would be safe to say – and l can remember them all clearly, but the 1982 one – was disturbingly and significantly distinct – it was like l had shed my skin like a snake – l was an innocent Gecko and changed into a California Gartersnake! Before the end of that decade l would change my skins several times and not all of them were vibrantly colourful.
As far as dancing went, l had a couple of times danced in the local disco, but l was considered a weird dancer, my legs were all over the place according to witnesses. People didn’t like to get too close in case a leg lashed out and snapped them beneath the knee! I had this seriously odd movement going on with my legs, l sort of ran on the spot at about 200 miles an hour with my legs nonstop. Girls didn’t like dancing with me, because l never looked at them, my eyes were always shut. I just tuned out to people when dancing and tuned into the music and danced!
What l learned that night with Louisia, Nancy and Burke was that the fact that my dancing was not ‘appreciated’ by others, and that actually l was a good dancer – that what l lacked for in eye contact l made up with groovy moves – and that was l assure you quite the boost to my confidence – in fact l was so impressed with that compliment that l danced all the night with my eyes open looking directly into the eyes of this extremely attractive older woman!
This woman, who could have been my mother, but thankfully wasn’t – because the thoughts l was having when l was next to her were not appropriate for a mother and son relationship!!
Louisia was insistent upon dancing with me all night, she taught me how to appreciate up close and personal ‘dirty dancing’ long before that was an actual thing as we would come to know it in the later 80’s! The song that l remembered most clearly from that night, as it was seemingly played a few times was …
……….. l learned that night that was a very interesting dance to it! That song didn’t do very well in the UK that year, but performed much better in 1987 , but in 1982 l have to say that Billy Idol impressed me and Louisia impressed me even more! The other song that made a significant impact on me was Hot Chocolate’s ‘It Started With a Kiss!’
It’s true – that the drink loosened me up, and in many ways l was thankful for it – l had not often seen me relaxed, nor had many other people – but they liked me when l was calmer and not so uptight and shy – l was funnier – l wasn’t so shy. From the years that followed that night, Louisia in fact allowed me to be me more often and l became more used to seeing me, that it wasn’t long before l didn’t even need to drink to be relaxed.
That night, well Burke and Nancy disappeared leaving me with Louisia all night, in the nightclub – the pair of us drinking ‘Jackie Dee’s and coke on ice’ as she called them – a real loosener and it would remain a fond favourite of mine until the later 90’s when l switched to Wild Turkey bourbon as my main go to relaxer.
When we weren’t dancing, we were sitting together in a booth just talking. Of course, she had hands that went everywhere, and the more drink l had inside me, it really didn’t matter anymore, as l had roaming hands of my own. l found out also that night, that l had a thing called hollow legs, and that drink whilst making me tipsy – would never make me drunk – considering the amount of alcohol l managed to down and drown between the 80’s and the 90’s the only time l was seriously drunk for the first time was the 1999/2000 New Year’s Eve. I also discovered that when in the hands of a ‘good woman’ l was always going to be relaxed and more importantly the real me!
I had never talked so freely nor openly to a woman and with no reservations nor hesitations. In fact no ‘woman’ had ever listened to me so intently, no one had ever laughed so genuinely with me before …but equally l had never really listened to a woman of Louisia’s age as much as l did. I had no agenda; l had no expectations – l was just totally chilled and thoroughly relaxed and for the first time in years l had felt that perhaps my life was not so bad after all.
I learned about intimacy that night and closeness to another .. and something else, l couldn’t put my finger on it but something deeper, much deeper than purely a wild sexuality – l learned about touch and sensuality in that booth that night.
Touch, a story of discovery almost by itself!
When Burke and Nancy returned from where ever they had been, l had my suspicions judging by the look of each other’s hair and the fact that Burke’s shirt seemed to be slightly longer on one side than it had been prior to him leaving to ‘wherever’ with Nancy .. Louisia and l apparently looked like a married couple so relaxed and together were we as one couple … which was a strange thing l thought at the time for Burke to say. But when we went up to the bar, he seemed mellower than he had been before and he whispered quietly – “I think you have lost your chance mate, when l left she seemed very eager, now you look like you have been together for twenty years!”
“Is that a bad thing then?” I asked, not unduly worried.
“Well, not if you are okay with it, admittedly you look more chilled and way more chattier, don’t think l have ever seen or heard you laugh so much, so that’s not so bad. Who knows buddy, maybe you and Louisia will just be friends or just really good friends …. anyway, its drinks up and then offski. It’s nearly 2, so the time for decisions is upon us!”
I didn’t quite understand that statement admittedly, but it was soon revealed … we drank up, and left the club and then walked down to the taxi rank in town, arm in arm and all like long lost friends of years never mind being first dates and blind date chaperones.
It was decided that in fact Louisia and Nancy would go home by themselves, and Burke and l would do the same – we had it slightly easier, as we could have the taxi drop us back off at work and if needs be we could spend the night there which is what we did. Well Burke spent the night there, l went for a very long walk around the town of Woking and watched the sunrise and then walked home.
But before all that, l had what l can only class as the longest kiss goodnight l had ever experienced at that point in my life! Louisia dropped a card in my hand before she got into the taxi with her daughter and basically left me with a final kiss and a comment “If you want to really start living life, call me Monday – l think you and l have got a thing going on and l would love to explore that further – if you were to come back tonight l might spoil that!” With that crypticness, she was then gone.
In the taxi back, l had to listen to the conquests of Burke who had literally had Nancy around the back of the nightclub which certainly explained his dishevelled appearance earlier. I nodded at the right time and smiled, and laughed as one does whilst l listened at the same time to the radio in the taxi playing The One Thing by INXS!
Walking around Woking, l thought about my extraordinary night out with this marvelous woman – Louisia and l kept looking at her card and thinking about what she said …. “If you want to really start living life, call me Monday – l think you and l have got a thing going on and l would love to explore that further – if you were to come back tonight l might spoil that!”
Was l going to call her?
The End? No, it was just the beginning….
For the answer to that question you’ll have to wait till my new ‘Confessions Series’ starts … in the mean time thanks for reading.