My Last Dance With George Michael

by Christos Polydorou

 

Last Christmas
I gave you my heart
But the very next day
You gave it away
This year
To save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special.”
Wham!

This all took place
at a jazz bar
in London

after
it had closed.
On Christmas day,

yesterday.
George Michael had
arranged it,

so I wore my best suit
and made sure I was my best self
and smiled my best smile

given to how star struck I was
to be around George Michael.
He looked so handsome.

Not a day over forty.
His smile was always best.
He said,

“What I remember
the most
about Cyprus is…”

But then the music swelled,
and we got up to dance.
It felt unlike anything

I have ever felt before,
dancing with George Michael.
He led,

I followed.
He laughed,
I found it hard, to

swallow. He made
me feel so good
about myself,

so proud about who I was,
no need to be ashamed,
George Michael was so encouraging.

I felt like a million dollars.
I felt like Ryan Gosling.
I felt like Scarlet Johansson.

But then the song ended.
And so would our dance.
I wanted to say something, real,

that wouldn’t shatter the poignancy
of the moment, something that
would show my gratitude

to this man, not just
a father figure,
not just mine

but of many
so positively influenced and liberated
with his open lifestyle

and his immaculate singing talent.
He declared pop music a work of art
with his single Freedom’90. His

album Listen Without Prejudice
is a masterpiece of timeless and timely beauty.
You’d have to have be dead inside

to listen to Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,
his duet with Elton John (“Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Elton John!”)
and not be moved to tears.

But I was sure
I would sound
pretentious.

So instead I told him about an ex
who had broken my heart. He
was so empathetic, and said

“Be careful with that heart.
Elephants, also mammals, have
been known to die of a broken heart.”

I thanked him and bid him farewell,
wishing him a safe journey home,
reciting a line from Anne Carson:

No fear.
There will be a tunnel.
And light.

George Michael smiled
and said
“You ought not ever worry about me.”

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