June 12, 2011

Zee Prom

The actual prom was strange. That's the best word I can think of for it. It's funny, because by the next morning I was, shall we say, very comfortable with Peter (I mean that literal sense, not in the hanky-panky sense), but at the start of things I really wasn't.

The party bus was bizarre. We weren't allowed to drink anything, even water, while we were on it. It fortunately not a model that included a stripper pole, but terrible music was blasted, and it was so loud we could hardly talk at all, and the liqueur cabinet (which I think was actually just full of empty bottles and what looked very similar to the jugs of bleach we have at lab) kept swinging open, so Peter and I spent half of our time yelling at the cabinet door and the other half attempting to kick it shut. For some reason, this was considered fun. He also did that terribly awkward "Here I am yawning and oh, look, now my arm is around you!" thing. I leaned into him reflexively when he did, even while half of my brain was asking the other half why I was encouraging him when I'd already decided that he was boring (answer: I was cold. Also, it only just occurred to me that this was why he would not stop asking me if I was cold, despite my vehement denials. Would have been a better excuse than an awkward yawn. I feel somewhat pathetic for not realizing this sooner).

The eating bit was fine. The gang of however many of us there are got a table together, and we made cheerful conversation about things like someone's---it was Cammie or Kathrya---propensity for spilling drinks. Then music started, and there was dancing, and that was the point at which I got really uncomfortable.

I'm still not totally clear on why I felt so out of it. I think part of it was the sheer number of people around me, all of them darkened, and large, and just too much---I've never been good with crowds. And then there was Peter, who kept wanting to touch me---not anywhere inappropriate, mind, just my hands, and then my waist, but he's so much taller than me that all I could see was his chest, and his face was completely obscured, so I just kept swaying with the music, even as I wanted to shrink into nothingness and retract my sweaty palms and run off to somewhere, anywhere, just not right there right then. I danced because I didn't know what else to do, but it felt perfunctory even to me, this half motion, but he was moving less and I couldn't figure out why he kept resisting my attempts to stop (the touching, I know now. And now that I'm more comfortable with touching him I'd quite happily go back and run the whole thing again, but right then I was miserable). It's funny, because I understand what those sexual assault videos were saying, even as I recognize that I wasn't in a bad situation at all; even when I wanted to leave, even when all I wanted in the world was to be gone, I stayed there and I danced his dance, because he was big and it was dark and there were so many people and I didn't know how to explain that I desperately wanted to leave in a way that didn't make it sound like I desperately wanted to leave him, because I didn't. I like him, and I could remember that I didn't want him to think that I didn't want to be there, but it felt like I couldn't remember why.

I'm not sure this makes any sense at all. It's everywhere-writing, the stuff I got halfway decent at last year, but I'm not sure it works here. I just remember the everywhere emotion.

I still don't understand, though, why I got so scared. No, that's not right---I know why I got scared. I just can't for the life of me understand why I suddenly stopped.

I fell asleep on Peter during the ride home. He gave he his jacket so I wouldn't freeze, and Vincent was sitting across from me, who I hadn't seen since his strange visit to math team just to say goodbye to me. There were couples everywhere, and his girlfriend kept touching him and he kept looking at me, so I closed my eyes. I vaguely recall Peter tucking me into him and sliding closer, because he was warm, and then next thing I can remember was the bus arriving at Cammie's house and then getting annoyed with Yuma for photographing my sleep.

The actual prom was very, very strange.


Julie said...

That sounds awful...I had no idea. =(