During our stays, while I didn't really understand myself, I felt the energy of the performers and dancers, of the young beautiful male waiters, of the confident young people who worked there. Although I was not yet aware of being Gay, the atmosphere drilled down to my very core and I loved being there. It spoke to me in a language that I didn't yet know how to speak and which was mysterious and exciting.
I danced with the female dance instructor and she said I was very good. I participated in a brief routine with the comedian husband and wife team. One summer my mom and dad and I left after our stay and my sister stayed on to work as a daycare helper so she became part of the "employees only" scene. I envied her.
So you can see why watching Dirty Dancing helped me to revisit those times. Suddenly, as I was watching, I found myself crying and stopped to think about why. It was because of the characters developing into full people, of the growing up, the becoming independent of one's parents, of the sexuality in the music and the dancing and discovering the sexuality in oneself, and the love relationship as it developed between Baby and Johnny. It was because of the loss of innocence and the sometimes tragic consequences of sexual relations.
I realized that while I continue to grow and become more than I am at this moment, the type of changes that take place earlier in life, never to be revisited and although painful at times, are no longer available to me. I miss the ability to grow and arrive on a much fuller side of who I am or even who I imagined I could be. A monumental feeling came with that type of change and growth.
I realized that I miss my lifelong dance partner, the person whom I loved more than anyone in life (and now in his death) and the changes and growth we experienced together. I miss the lack of a future of experience and growth with my honey. I miss the feeling of companionship, partnership, collegiality, and sex partner all rolled into one, which was Gregory.
Well, so much for an intermission. Time to make some popcorn and go back to the movie!
From my early days: