iTom 3​.​0: True Love Waits

by Tom Smith

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about

Love permeates our existences, in more forms than we can easily count. Still, count on Tom to find some of the more bizarre permutations. From fake Hallmark holidays to real religious movements, from sex droids to sexual identity crises, from battlefield passion to Renter's Rage, the third iTom collection has thirteen tracks covering love, sex, and romance from a unique point of view. Also included is a bonus track, "March of the PenguiCon", written for the popular Michigan science fiction convention and open-source expo.

credits

released May 11, 2007

Songs written and recorded February-May 2007

Special Thanks to:
Anne Schneider
Leslie Larkins
girlgeniusonline.com
penguicon.org
Ari Weinzweig
Jonathan Coulton

tags

license

about

Tom Smith Ann Arbor

Weird Al with more books, JoCo with more jokes, Carlin with more Cthulhu. Since 1985, Tom Smith has been breaking hearts, minds, and laws of propriety and physics with his insane blend of sf/fantasy, Life With Computers, pop culture, politics, and puns. More than twenty albums later, he maintains the best is yet to come. ... more

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Track Name: Stupid Belated Valentine
There's a time in February
When the world goes red and pink
When the Hallmark zombies eat your brains
So a guy can't even think
When a dozen long-stemmed roses
Are the minimum to give
But I forgot to do it yesterday
And my God I want to live

Here's a stupid belated Valentine
For my stupid one true love
From the stupid guy who forgot to buy
Something for my turtle dove
All the candy hearts are bunnies now
And the flowers all are gone
So the closest I'm going to get
Is this stupid song

There are three days that you can't forget
If you want romance to work,
And the one time you miss one of them
You go from prince to jerk,
Anniversaries can slip your mind,
Birthdays get swept under rugs,
But the only way to miss Valentine's
Is some really darn good drugs

Here's a stupid belated Valentine
For the girl that I adore
In the hope I won't find all my
Stuff thrown out the front door
All the stuffed bears are on discount
And I'm really up the creek,
'Cause the days of wine and roses
were last week.

I could tell you how bad work has got,
Or how traffic held me back,
How your card was et by my dog Spot,
How some aliens attacked
How my horoscope advised me
Not to spend my cash just yet,
Anything that might convince you
That I didn't just forget.

Here's a gift card from a jewelry store
And another from The Gap,
Here's a real-life cabana boy
Who'll dance upon your lap.
Here's a bottle of Pinot Grigio
From nineteen-ninety-two,
Here's a promise that I'll think of you
When Hallmark wants me to.

Here's a stupid belated Valentine
For my stupid one true love,
From your stupid friend who next time will spend
A hundred bucks or above,
But I don't need a calendar
To tell you I feel this way...
Still, remind me when it's
Almost Sweetest Day.
Track Name: Neckbolt Love
I was created in a flash of lightning,
By someone who thought he was God,
He made me oversize from my neck to my thighs
Oh yeah, I've got a killer bod.
But since he gave me such good equipment
And since he gave me this mortal life,
The least he can do is to do what he do
One mo' time and give me a wife.
But he seems a little reluctant,
His arguments are too profound,
He's got all this angst, so I'll just give thanks
That his girlfriend is hangin' around.

I got a brain full of secret desires,
I got a heart full of feelings so sweet,
I got an armful of luscious unconscious brunette
And a cave right down the street.
I may grunt like I'm dumber than crabgrass,
But I can talk if push comes to shove,
And right now, today, all I got to say
Is get ready for some neckbolt love.

Well, at first she started to protest,
She screamed and she beat on my chest,
But when I jumped away, her eyes filled with dismay
And she tore off my wolfskin vest.
Her hands grabbed ahold o' my shoulders,
Her ankles went behind my knees,
And next thing I knew I'm on my back and she's doin'
A tonsil-osculectomy.
Whatever it was I expected,
Wasn't what I got, oh my.
I wanted "prim and proper", but in bed I can't stop her
And I'm not sure I should try

She got electricity chargin' my body,
She got thunder rattlin' 'round my brain,
She got me dazed, confused and maybe vaguely used
And I don't know if I should thank or complain
She got me inside out and upside down,
Sideways, below and above,
She got me wonderin' why I decided I
Should get me some neckbolt love.

Well, after two weeks I was exhausted,
And when I woke up, she was gone,
But she came back there with streaks in her hair
And a whole lotta bandages on.
My creator attempted a rescue,
But she told him to hit the road,
Now every Saturday night we crank up the lightnin'
And hook up my electrodes.
She told all her friends about me,
Now they all want a monster too,
So, fellas, don't despair if you ain't Fred Astaire
Somewhere there's a scream queen for you!

I guess everybody's got their secrets,
Everybody's got their kinks,
Everybody's got somethin' gets them hot,
And it may not be what you think.
And if you can't beat 'em, might as well join 'em,
I'm the editor-in-chief of
The best-selling obscene inventions' magazine,
Check out this issue of Neckbolt Love.
Track Name: Hot Sauce and Ice Cream
I met this girl, cute and shy, too quiet for your average guy,
But somethin' 'bout her caught my eye and soon we started to date
Soft kisses, sweeter than wine, and I wanted to make her mine,
But she said, "I won't cross that line, please, darling, we can wait."

One night we were at her place, she got a smile on her face,
And said she really liked the taste of hot sauce on ice cream
She shook her head when she had a bite, her eyes got red and awful bright,
She dragged me to bed and all that night Was a hot romantic dream.

Hot sauce, ice cream,
She got lost in between,
Fire and frost, the two extremes
But things aren't what they seem
Is she the girl I thought I knew?
Is this somethin' other women do?
Do Ben and Jerry have a clue
What can happen to an ice cream cone?

She got up with the morning sun, and no memory of what we'd done,
She kissed me softly and said "Hon, could you bring me another plate?"
I was suspicious but poured that heat on the frozen vanilla treat
Next thing I knew I was off my feet and the next two hours were great.

Hot sauce, ice cream,
Double-crossed, double-teamed,
Lip gloss and sticky steam,
Exhausted, ready to scream,
I love her both, and we love to play,
But please, girls, not all night and day,
There's not a lot more I can say,
Or do but mewl and moan.

I can't explain it, though I've tried, what's her brain got goin' inside?
It must be a strain being Jekyll and Hyde, but I know there's somethin' more.
Is she pretending? Is she stressed? Is she demented or possessed?
What's the ending? I Can't guess. That's what the last verse is for.

I went to my place and found two of her there, she'd undergone fission, split into a pair,
They were kissin' like they didn't need air, I'm caught between frisson and despair,
I saw the lay of the land, Why would they still want a man,
I turned away but then two hands pulled me back and shut the door.

Hot sauce, ice cream,
I'm lost in between,
Fire and frost, the two extremes,
I'll pay the cost, and all my dreams
Of being complete have come twice as true
'Cause now my sweetie is the two of you
An ice cream treat with tabasco too,
Just you and you alone.
Track Name: Dervish
I remember her eyes, as dark as the skies
In the desert an hour before dawn.
Her throat would hum like the skin of a drum
With a battle coming on.

She never would speak, she'd be thought of as weak
if a word of endearment was said.
And we swore on our lives not to take off our knives
Even as we made love in her bed.

But she would not dance for me.
Never for romance, you see.
She was raised in an ancient land,
With ancient ways I did not understand.
Her eyes would glaze with blood at hand...
But she would not dance for me.

I was entranced when I first saw her dance --
Such beauty, grace and gore!
With her curving swords she struck down lords
Who thought they knew of war.

But I thought of sin and the sheen of her skin
And the smoulder of her glance,
And it burned my soul beyond all control
That she still refused to dance.

But she would not dance for me,
Even though I begged to see.
She gave me all else that she had,
But that one exception drove me mad.
She danced for scum while armor-clad...
But she would not dance for me.

As we cut a swath through an empire,
As she danced 'cross a continent,
Each day it grew harder and harder
To not have her dance in our tent.

To see her whirling in saffron, in desire,
To see her sink to her knee,
To see her eyes filled with ardor,
To see her focus her passion on me.

Then a battle came, left a city in flame
And separated us two.
And a sweet young maid whose life I'd saved
Whispered "I shall dance for you".

I was tired and weak, and the rose in her cheek
And her scent of tamarind
Set my blood on fire, I forgot my desire
For a whirling desert wind.

The dawn was fine with figs and wine
And that harlot by my side.
She'd begun again to dance for me when
The tent flap was flung wide.

My desert flower had her scimitar
And a new glint in her eye.
She slew the slut with a single cut
Then turned and whispered, "why?"

You would not dance for me.
It's consumed me, can't you see?
And you do not shed a single tear,
And I don't know why but I feel no fear
As for one last time, you draw near...
And at last you dance for me.


She stretched her arms and revealed her charms,
Robes fell in a silken splash.
With heavenly grace and death on her face
Her blades began to flash.

She was sand and dust and heat and lust
And wind and will and war.
She was pliant and warm, defiant, a storm,
She was all men want and more.

She was love and life and the flash of a knife
And the dance of blood on steel,
But she'd sought escape in a mortal shape...
And found me... and begun to feel.

In her burning eyes and the thundering skies,
I knew what she'd kept from me,
What she'd tried to prevent, but I would not relent....
And now she let me see.

And that is all that I can recall,
I've seen nothing since that night.
But though I'm blind, she fills my mind
And I cannot quench the sight.

Everything I was is a long-lost cause,
Every dream a might-have-been,
Yet had I one chance for one last glance...
I'd watch her dance again.

She would not dance for me,
And I should have let that be.
There are forces far beyond the ken
Of foolish, selfish mortal men.
I can't look past the moment when
At last she danced for me.
Track Name: Contessa
I had nearly completed my first book,
On Italian small-farm olive oil,
One more interview and the project was through,
I was ready to see my home soil,

The farmhouse was sprawling and rustic,
But a princess opened the door,
Some years after the ball, no Prince Charming would call,
Yet I saw all she'd been and then more.

And she laughs when I call her "Contessa",
And I watch her work all afternoon,
What she's chosen demands that her pale, slender hands
Become weathered and careworn too soon.

And the lines of her face speak of privilege and grace,
But she talks to me like an old friend,
And as we blather on, soon the daylight is gone,
And I don't want the evening to end.

Every day brings the scorn of her fellows,
Those who should join her in the old ways,
They've abandoned their arts for machines with steel parts
That make oil in hours, not days.

As time passes we speak less of oil
Sometimes not even speaking at all
And she eyes me, bemused, but she does not refuse
When I offer to help through the fall.

And she laughs when I call her "Contessa",
And each night I hear her family's tale,
Of their triumphs and tears over hundreds of years
And how frightened she is she might fail.

And I shake my head, saying something foolish,
And she smiles at my schoolboy charms,
And we're both so surprised by the light in our eyes
As we fall into each others' arms.

One day, my first draft reached the office,
With a letter in which I resigned
Whatever I'd looked for while writing a book
Turned out not to be what I would find

Now I study the grape and the olive,
I study the climate and lands,
And what I don't know, she will patiently show
With her weathered and beautiful hands.

And she laughs when I call her "Contessa",
But she's grateful I do all the same,
She has much to do yet, and she will not forget
All the strength of her family name.

And machines do the work on the big farms,
They sell much more oil than she,
But she sells enough, and their hands aren't as rough
As a artisan's hands ought to be.

My aging princess and her careworn caress,
My lovely Contessa and me.
Track Name: The Mechanicsburg Tourism Song
Mechanicsburg, Mechanicsburg,
Welcome to Mechanicsburg!
There's no finer city from
St. Petersburg to Rome.

Mechanicsburg, Mechanicsburg,
The loveliest we've ever heard of,
Jewel of Europa and
The place where we call home.

How mighty are her mighty walls,
How shiny are her clanks,
How beautiful her dairy farms,
And for her cheese we all give thanks.

How glorious her Hospital
Which helps folk far and near,
Bill and Barry Heterodyne
Built it for us here.

Mechanicsburg, Mechanicsburg,
Welcome to Mechanicsburg,
We thank you so for visiting,
With every erg and ohm.

Mechanicsburg, Mechanicsburg,
The greatest burg we've ever heard of,
Jewel of Europa and
The place where we call home.
Track Name: Pygmalion 2.0, SP1
I've got a sex droid, ordered it from Amazon,
On the secret pages that they tell you don't exist.
She is amazing, programmed to do anything,
ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING, and I have got a list.

Her remote control has more buttons than a fabric store,
And her eight attachments fit sixty-nine ways.
Fully functional, she does everything you want and more,
So don't try to reach me for at least a few days.

I've got a love doll, cost a frickin' lotta bucks,
Looks like Salma Hayek 'cept her skin is soft chrome.
Maintenance-free, never takes over the bathroom,
Messes with my TiVo or redecorates my home.

She was really quiet so I upgraded her audio,
When they say Creative sound card, ain't no lie,
So now when I lie back while she performs a Latin term,
I can tell she likes it just as much as I.

I've got a robot, she's my very best friend,
She doesn't try to change me or drag me down,
Sure, she's a sexbot, that was why I got her, but
I find I tend to talk to her as much as fool around

Her canned responses are getting more repetitive,
Although there's an upgrade to make her more verbose.
And when we make love, I'm being lots more sensitive,
I want to make her happy, I like it when she's close.

I've got a sex droid, I was getting too attached,
But the thing is only just a stupid machine,
I brought her flowers and candy, and she frickin' crashed,
Hang on, honey, reboot and I'll read what's on your screen.

"Operating System software has been compromised,
Would you like to install another O.S.?"
All that I've got here is some open-source that's optimized
For music composition, but I'll try it, I guess.

I've got a girlfriend, beautiful and wonderful,
Blessed be the day I installed that hack,
She's more intelligent, humorous and versatile,
And best of all she says that she loves me back.

Now and then we get into these stupid little conflicts
But that's just the open-source talking, not rage,
We are living proof humans, love and droids can all mix --
Ummm, honey? Why'd you bookmark that Amazon page?
Track Name: Two Guys Kissin' Ruined My Life
I was sittin' at home the other day
Beer in hand, pizza on the way,
An' Turner Classic Movies -- not Turner and Hooch.

Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine
Were drivin' Dyan Cannon insane,
But after they killed her, I saw the two of 'em smooch.

I hadn't felt so weird since I was young,
I'm not sure but I think there mighta been tongue,
And I didn't understand -- they both were men!

Then a voice in my head said, "Yeah, so what?"
And I noticed Chris had a real nice butt
And I knew I was never gonna be the same again.

Well, I walked the straight and narrow,
But now it's a little bent,
I used to be full hetero,
I wonder where that went,
Have to quit being a Scoutmaster,
Do I have to leave my wife?
Two guys kissin' ruined my life.

I shook my head and I changed the channel
And I saw some guy wearin' a cap and flannel
Sayin' he was a lumberjack and he was okay

I kept on surfin', got Brokeback Mountain,
Rocky Horror, The Birdcage, and I stopped countin'
When I got to Bravo and the whole damn network was gay.

I sat and I squirmed with the funniest feelin',
I figured I needed some sexual healin' --
Oh! That's by MARVIN Gaye, oh, my achin' head.

I'd'a sworn I was straight till I saw that kissin',
But it'd shown me somethin' I'd been missin' --
I'd ruled out half of humanity sharin' my bed.

Well, the techniques all look normal,
But the details are kinda weird,
Does a mustache act like Velcro
When it runs into a beard?
Agonizing' reappraisal
Has caused me endless strife,
Two guys kissin' ruined my life.

The internet and magazines, and every film and book,
This slashy stuff is all I'm seein' everywhere I look,
When football players watch each other, it seems more intense
And all this Harry/Draco stuff is starting to make sense.

Each time I thought about it, I wondered, should I try
To have a close encounter with another horny guy?
'Cause it would still be cheatin' on my wife, I'm pretty sure,
I could tell her "It ain't another woman" -- but it sure as heck ain't her.

Then my mouth wrote a check I couldn't afford,
We was watchin' the People's Choice Awards --
Hugh Jackman and Jude Law gettin' touchy-feely.

I said, "Yeah, I bet they're the People Choice,
Even I might like kissin' one o' them boys,"
And my wife said in a sultry voice, "Really?"

Since then our love life is frickin' unreal,
We've learned to share, how to say what we feel,
She tells me her fantasies, and I tell her mine.

It's more romance than we've ever had,
But there is one thing that makes me mad --
I've gotten addicted to Queer Eye and Top Design.

My NASCAR buddies shun me,
And my parish said "Goodbye",
But the girls down at the office
Think I'm their kinda guy,
I've lost all my machismo,
With acceptance I am rife,
Two guys kissin' ruined my life.
Two guys kissin' ruined my life.
Track Name: True Love Waits
There's a building on the corner,
You know it's the House of God.
And the man inside says makin' love is wrong
And nobody finds that odd.

'Cause he's never made love in his lifetime,
He's never been held in the night,
He's never shared laughter or tears in the arms
Of the one who could make it all right.

His God is his comfort, his God is his shield,
Against all temptation to which he might yield,
And he never wonders why God gave him flesh
whose desires lead him so far afield?

He's never imagined it otherwise,
And pleasure ain't part of the plan,
And true love waits for the faithful
To be more than a woman and man.

They tell all the young men and women
To give themselves over to God,
For the Kingdom of Heaven awaits you
If down the right path you have trod.

And knowledge denies what we're sure of,
And faith is a beautiful thing,
And everything's suddenly different when
She slips on his wedding ring.

Their God is their comfort, their God is their cause,
Their God's more important than reason or laws,
And they never wonder why God makes them wait,
The purpose behind the pause.

Their own feelings aren't as important
As pleasing the man up above,
And true love waits for the faithful
To show that they're greater than love.

It don't matter what all the facts are,
'Cause facts are from secular schools
And God in his Heaven will love and protect you
So long as you follow the rules.

The next life is gonna be better,
As long as you answer the call,
Amidst all this thunder I can't help but wonder
Why bother with this life at all?

There's a million young men and women
Who've promised themselves to the Lord.
They know sex distracts you from thinkin' 'bout Gabriel
Wielding his mighty sword.

And their destinies lie before them,
To be the best husbands and wives,
They only need stifle the instincts God gave them
The rest of their natural lives.

Their God is their pillar, their God is their rock,
Their God is their shepherd, and they are the flock,
And they never wonder why God makes them do things
The rest of the world will mock.

And denial is a river in Egypt,
And all the best people abstain,
And true love waits for the faithful
To learn how to live with the pain.

And those who may falter aren't worthy
They've failed themselves and their kin,
And true love waits for the virtuous,
Who've never committed a sin.

And what you believe's more important
Than truth that might get in the way,
And true love waits for the righteous
To go up to Heaven one day.
Track Name: "Kidnapped By Pirates" Is Good
Sometimes romance isn't all it might be,
Sometimes it's boring and pale,
The same old routine, played out nightly,
And you wonder if love has gone stale.

Well, I'm here to offer solutions
When passion ain't quite up to par
A cute little sash, a cunning eye patch,
And a scoundrel who likes to say ARRR!

And it's Yo Ho, off we go
Across the deep blue sea
Way hay, far away
Where it's just you and me
I'm feeling so much bolder than
I ever thought I would,
So I'm slingin' you over me shoulder, love...
"Kidnapped by pirates" is good!

A pirate is lookin' fer treasure, my dear,
A trinket that's pretty and sweet
He certainly does it for pleasure, my dear,
Let's go look under the sheet

We don't need no fancy costumes,
That's why we've both got a brain
A slightly worn shirt, an accessible skirt,
And we're sailin' the Spanish Main!

And it's Yo Ho, off we go
To the Islands of the Spice
Way hay, far away
Where Cutthroats are kinda nice
We'll have such delight, more than even
Dan Savage says we should,
Ah, wench, that's right, you're not leavin' --
"Kidnapped by pirates" is good!

Now, "Murdered by pirates is good", they said,
In the film The Princess Bride
But we find it more romantic
If nobody's actually died.

There ain't no reason why our love life
Has to fade to black
So let's turn off the TV
And turn on Cap'n Jack

So let me put your blindfold on,
I'll make ye walk some planks,
And then I'll have a change o' heart,
And accept yer grateful thanks.

I'll carry you off ta me cabin,
Where we'll do things obscene,
And tomorrow YOU do the kidnappin',
My lovely pirate queen!

And it's Yo Ho, off we go,
To realms of fantasy,
Way hay, far away,
Where it's just you and me,
And every night I love ya more than
I ever thought I could
From the deck of a Portuguese Man O' War,
"Kidnapped by pirates" is good.
And I left our cell phones back on shore....
"Kidnapped by pirates" is good!
Track Name: Wiki Of Love
I couldn't get a woman, no matter what I was tryin',
Fancy clothes, fancy car, flowers, candy, good food, expensive wine,
And then one day I wised up... and got myself online.

Now, it isn't dating services or chat rooms that I'm speakin' of,
Streaming porn, mail-order brides, Real Dolls, none o' the above,
But the source of all romantic wisdom, the Wiki of Love.

There's how-to tips and pointers from the finest nerds and geeks,
So much information you could be in there for weeks,
Calculate if she's for you with all the proofs and math,
How to be a gentleman and why to take a bath,
And which ladies like which textures --
Chin smooth, voice rough,
Of course, I'm the other way around,
It's all in the Wiki of Love.

I spent a couple days there, learning everything I could,
Figured I may or may not be nice, but at least I'd be good,
Then I started virtually cruisin' the virtual neighborhood.

The MySpace girls were either fourteen, or would-be supermodel fluff,
LiveJournal chicks were fanfic-clickin' Wiccans, although poly enough,
It's time to go in deeper to the Wiki of Love.

At Townhall they're all stuck-up, at Daily Kos they're bold,
On Google Groups they're freaky, on Yahoo kinda cold.
On Second Life they do things of which my Mom can't be told,
On EverQuest and World of Warcraft, they just want my gold,
Maybe this isn't such a good idea,
The trade's a little rough,
And Sociolotron is just scary,
It's back to the Wiki of Love.

I couldn't understand it, I'd taken all that advice,
Then one day out in Meatspace, I meet this girl, she was really nice,
I tried just being myself, and it seemed to suffice.

She said she liked my textures -- voice smooth, chin rough,
I said "That sounds familiar -- have you been where I'm thinkin' of?"
Turns out we'd both been misled by the Wiki of Love.

We started going through it with a different point of view,
Of terms there were too many, of good techniques too few,
We both signed up as editors, and fixed up stuff all night,
And six months later, we're the ones who really run the site,
And we don't assume a thing,
It's not wisdom handed down from above,
Gee, I guess that means more research,
Fact-checkin' the Wiki of Love.
Track Name: Love Thy Neighbor
God says "Love thy neighbor",
But he didn't live next to mine,
The rotten jerks upstairs could tax
The patience of the divine.

At three a.m. they vacuum,
At dawn they hammer the walls,
At precisely eleven every night,
They juggle bowling balls.

They've run a bath and gone outside
And then locked themselves out,
The flooding that resulted cost me
Fifty bucks in grout.

She babysits six times a week, some
Spoiled noisy brats,
She feeds her yap dog broccoli,
And cheese to both her cats,

They blast the stereo, bang the doors,
He coughs, she wheezes, he smokes, she snores,
And what they do behind closed doors
You can buy on CD in Halloween stores.

Then one night they have a fight,
A lot of stuff gets thrown,
The front door slams and he drives off,
And now she's all alone

I try to just roll over,
And finally get some sleep,
But then I hear her sobbing
And I feel like just a creep.

I go upstairs and hesitate
Before I finally knock
After a minute the door is opened,
I stand there in shock

'Cause she's so hot I pinch myself
To see if I'm awake,
With eyes like a kicked puppy
Ohhh, man, this was a mistake.

I ask if anything is wrong,
She starts crying loud and long,
He lied, he cheated, same old song,
I wish she weren't wearing a silk sarong....

Well, you can guess what happened next,
We started goin' out,
God said "Love thy neighbor", well,
I'm feeling more devout.

Of course we've had to compromise,
'Cause that's what couples do,
I've told her that she has to finish
Vacuuming by two.

She still can juggle bowling balls,
But just four at a time.
The pets' exhaust is sweeter now, I
Feed 'em lemon-lime.

The kids are calm since I wired "Boohbah"
Straight into their heads,
And the toolbox has brand new locks and it's
underneath my bed

When she takes a bath, she takes good care
But just in case, we always share,
When the new guy downstairs starts to swear,
I yell, "Why d'you think I moved out of there?"
Track Name: And There Was Dancing
The band was tuning,
The crowd was waiting,
To take advantage of the moment or to
Quickly step aside.

It's always like this,
Some hesitating,
Some all too eager to display themselves,
Some trying just to hide.

I felt unguarded,
A bit unsteady.
There are two kinds of people in the world and
I'm the other kind.

The music started,
And some were ready,
The only way to miss the tension was to
Be both deaf and blind.

And there was dancing,
And there was singing,
And there was magic in the air between two
People who'd just met

And there was laughter,
And gentle clinging,
And there was everything I wanted but could
Never hope to get

And there was style,
And there was fashion,
And there were all too many years of practice
Moving to that beat

And there was romance,
And there was passion,
And there was me along the sidelines with my
Shabby self-esteem and two left feet.


She was amazing,
Such graceful motion.
I wondered what would her reaction be if
He should miss a step..

He was fantastic.
I had the notion
That he would not take it so kindly if
She wasn't so adept.

And all around them
Were other dancers,
Some concentrating on their own moves and
Some trying to cut in

And on the sidelines
We stood and watched them,
Wishing we could go and join them, with no
Clue how to begin.

And then it ended,
All too abruptly,
The dancers all looked disappointed but at
Last they left the floor

The music started,
This time more slowly,
And with a little hesitation first one
Couple then some more

All started dancing,
It wasn't graceful,
Maybe not poetry in motion but at
Least a trembling verse.

It wasn't stylish,
It wasn't tasteful,
But it had all of the emotion that gets
Lost when you rehearse.

Then I felt someone
Tap on my shoulder,
And I turned to see her smiling,
Shyly holding out her hand.

This was my moment
For being bolder,
So I said, "I am only watching and I
Hope you understand

We're not all dancing,
We're not all singing,
But there are times we move our feet a bit
And maybe hum the tune.

Some are performing,
Some are bench-warming,
Some people must be social butterflies, some
Stay in their cocoon

And, while I thank you,
I am not dancing,
Maybe some other time we'll have a turn but
I'll sit this one out."

But she kept smiling,
And sat beside me,
She said, "Sometimes you take a break to keep it
Special, that's what dancing's all about --"