After work I drove to a Hillsboro bar and met friends of mine, Vicki and Wilton. Wilton was playing drums and doing some singing in the bar band Drop Dead Red; Vicki was there visiting with her sister while listening to the band. I delivered a Trek in the Park "Trouble With Tribbles" T-shirt that I'd gotten for her, and sat while chair-dancing to fun music. Several other people danced.
Including That One Guy.
He was dancing. Sort of. But looking like he wasn't having fun at all. This set expression, not welcoming, a little shy of a scowl. Late middle-aged; heavy-set, a red shirt; those were details -- but the main sense was of going through the motions.
It felt like the wrong dancing for a rock/blues show.
I avoided making eye contact with the guy. It's like I was worried he'd infect me. Or that my face would ask the unspoken question/accusation Hey, man, what's your deal? ...and I was worried I'd stop having fun.
I've been That One Guy. I've never been a big party person. I can get self-conscious about it. (More than once -- not always, thank goodness -- I've stopped being self-conscious about it but then had someone make an issue of it so I'd get self-conscious again. Now I'm flashing on being at a wedding for the sister of a former roommate, a roommate I shouldn't have been roommates with, and said roommate seemed to get mad and embarrassed that I was having fun, that apparently I was making too big (too flamboyant?) a show of it. That it somehow reflected badly on him. Him...he had issues. But that's another story.)
I've been the one to suck the energy out of a room.
That One Guy in the red shirt had the potential to do the same. That I was thinking about him and the effect he was having on the room when I could've been thinking about the fun music (like another singer for the band, Teresa, and her damn nice rendition of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep") or the cute women -- and trust me, I'm very good at noticing cute women, to the point where I've had to tell myself Don't look at every cute woman you see as if she's the last cute woman you'll see -- in the bar, was the wrong use of my mindpower and energy.
Chair-dancing, which I kept doing, was a better use of my mindpower and energy. So was visiting with my friends and their family, as much as one can visit in a loud bar. I should've progressed from that, actually dance (on my feet!), gotten unself-conscious...and stayed unself-conscious, in a place where it likely would've been find to do so. Where it likely would've been safe.
Because while there are many ways to Get It Wrong, there are many ways to Get It Right.