I have been married twice. My first was to a high school sweetheart. She could have been a model. I could have been a troll. She loved me because I saved her from her family and I loved her because she saved me from myself.

The marriage was a done-deal, predestined, expected by everyone and everything. So we gave into the expectations of others. To the seeming weight of fate. It was serious business. But we never danced.

I mean we danced. We held each other standing up and swayed to music, but we never really danced. We couldn’t. We were too guarded against what we knew was the inevitable. We had steeled ourselves by keeping the dancer hidden in the dark, way in the back of the big empty room.We had saved each other, but we spent ourselves, broke each other open, then went our separate ways.

I wouldn’t change that history, but that history sits with me much like Byzantine history. Or the history of the Punic wars. Something far away over some misty-minded horizon that I just can’t quite see in full color.

But it led me here.

And now I dance. And I don’t mean standing up and swaying to the music dance. My wife and I don’t do much of that. We don’t need to. Because when we talk we dance. Sometimes it’s swing when we’re laughing. Sometimes we waltz, sitting on the sofa watching a movie holding hands. Sometimes when the tempers flare we’re a mosh pit of two flinging ourselves against each other recklessly, wildly. And, honestly, there’s a lot of chicken dance.

But the fact is that we dance, even when we’re sitting still reading the morning paper, because I’ve allowed her to see my monster in the back corner, and she has allowed me to see hers. We’ve shared our secrets, the important ones at least. And, for the first time really, it doesn’t matter to me what others think. I could have said that when I was younger, but you never really mean it. It’s more of a threat when you’re younger, a gauntlet.

She doesn’t mind that I walk from one end of the house to the other turning lights off stark naked, and I don’t mind her twenty year-old ratty Supergirl underwear. She takes my freak-outs in stride, and I nod knowingly at her rare and surprising bursts of cattitude. She allows me my football insanity even though it brings her home to a halt. And I don’t mind that she goes to see her parents every weekend she can, even though it means my home goes with her.

Maybe it’s age or wisdom or insanity. Or maybe it’s some bizarre chemical reaction between two people who’s universal dust parted eons ago and has spun through the vastness only to miraculously coalesce at the right time, in the right place to assemble again in the bodies of two people who happen to meet in some dimly lit hallway on the only inhabited planet “of a hum-drum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of the universe.” Could it be that cosmically romantic? Probably not. Luck, fate chemistry…it doesn’t matter. Because we dance.