I Dance Alone

I dance alone. I dance alone in the moonlight in the backyard. I dance alone because I have no friends. All of the other boys and girls are inside, dancing with each other, but I dance alone. Nobody wants to come out in the backyard with me. Itís a warm spring night, and the moon is really bright, but I dance alone.

This is my first boy-girl birthday party, and I dance alone. I bet I was only invited because everybody in my fourth-grade class was. The girls donít want me here. They are all pretty and have long hair and wear dresses with ruffles on the skirts. Iím not pretty at all. Iím too tall and my hair is short and I already have a chest and Iím fat. None of the other girls are fat, or tall, or have a chest in fourth grade.

I dance alone, because none of the boys will dance with me. They dance the slow songs with the pretty girls, but I dance alone. Even Ryan, who is tall and thin and doesnít smile, and Dan, who is fat and round, wonít dance with me. Danís sorta nice to me sometimes in school, and he wonít dance with me. The other boys donít even see me.

I dance alone because itís easier that way. I can do what I want when Iím alone, and no one else will complain or say Iím not doing it right. Itís cool in the backyard, not stuffy, like the living room where all of the other kids are. The living room smells like greasy food and too many people, but the backyard smells fresh. The grass under my sneakers is softer than any carpet.

I dance alone because thereís more room for me outside, and the crickets and the owls arenít going to tell me Iím not wanted. Well, the kids didnít say that, either, but most of them acted like I wasnít there. The crickets and the owls donít mind if I like things that the other kids donít, like old music our parents listened to and weird science fiction movies with light swords and stuff. They donít mind that I look funny, walk funny, or talk to myself because there isnít anyone else to talk to. Crickets and owls donít crowd you out when they play Spin the Bottle, or make fun of the book you gave Laurie the birthday girl, or call you a baby because youíd rather talk to Laurieís mom than watch horror movies.

I dance alone because I always have, and I probably always will. I can be myself out here in the moonlight. Crickets and owls donít care if you arenít normal, if all the other kids think youíre nuts. Sometimes I wish I was in there, dancing with a boy, but then I remember that they donít like me because Iím not like the other girls who are pretty and fun. I spend all my time alone. The boys at school call me ďFattyĒ and put glue on my chair, and the girls ignore me at lunch when I talk about old music or light swords.

I dance alone because you canít dance with someone else when thereís only one of you.

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