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An awesome beginning. I'd danced with Cindy once before, at Folklife 2007, and the chemistry between us was crackling. But at that point I hadn't yet left my marriage, so nothing became of our sizzling hot dances. I knew Cindy loved to go blues dancing so I went looking for her at Waid's. I didn't see her there at first, so I danced a little and waited to see if she showed up. Then we spotted each other. Her smile when she saw me was dazzling. She had a dazzling smile to start with and seeing me she turned it up to eleven. We threaded our way through the crowd to each other into a hot hug. The chemistry was just as strong. We had a few delicious dances then separated, promising to reconnect before we left. A little while later our eyes met across the floor again and it was all over. Or rather we were all over. All over each other, to the point you can do that on a dance floor. We danced close and sexy, we made out on the dance floor. We closed the place down. When we walked out it was pouring down rain. Like it almost never rains in Seattle, like it rains mid continent, a heavy downpour. We stood under an awning a few doors down and would have made love right there if we could but all we had was, you know, wet sidewalk. It felt like a recreation of my night at The Vic: we were dry in the flood and getting it on. Only better because instead of us kissing good night and parting I followed her home and we really did make love, and I stayed the night. I stayed that night and every night for more than a year. Truly an awesome beginning.

Compound meter. I got into dancing to blues music when I was with Cindy. That's how we first connected, and it heavenly dancing with her. I say dancing to blues rather than blues dancing because I don't much like what they call blues dancing. I had loved the blues since my days jamming with Once Upon a Tryp in Kenya, in the mid-sixties. When I hear blues music I instinctively dance to it using technique and vocabulary I learned in swing and later tango. Cindy and I used eight-count swing as a basic framework, with slows instead of triple steps. Some blues dance teachers call what we were doing the double pulse or something similar. It's also the basic framework for zydeco and Cajun dancing. We mostly danced just as close as we could but also mixed in swing turns and dips. We had a blast. The slow drag blues tunes I love the most are in a compound meter, 12/8 or 6/8. It's the same rhythm I was entranced by at Naropa when I first heard Chet Baker's cover of Born to be blue in the 1980s. In the late 1990s I worked out a simple way to dance to 12/8 music and my wife and I taught classes in it, calling it blues foxtrot or blues rumba. There's something magic about triple rhythms, waltz and the compound meters. They lift the dancing off the ground and give it wings.

Wulf's drunken Easter. Cindy and I went to Wulf's drunken Orthodox Easter a couple of times. He celebrated it on regular Easter Sunday rather than Orthodox Easter, but otherwise it was authentic, according to him. Wulf had Ukrainian ancestors so he was celebrating Ukrainian Easter. People would meet up at his house by about 10 Sunday morning. When most of us were there we'd caravan to Lake View Cemetery on Capitol Hill, home of Bruce Lee's grave and clearly the posh place to be dead in Seattle. We'd set our blankets and supplies down not far from Bruce and Brandon's graves, at a grave Wulf selected when he first celebrated Ukrainian Easter. Since he didn't have any relatives buried there, he adopted one. Every year after that he would adopt another. The supplies we brought included plenty of vodka. According to Wulf the Ukrainian custom was to feast and toast your ancestors on Easter, leaving a little food and spilling a little vodka for them. Which brings us to what I found most attractive about Wulf's Easter: the drunken part. Specifically, getting drunk in the morning. I never got drunk in the morning in those days. I saved that for afternoon or even evening. Getting drunk in the morning was a special treat. Cindy was an enthusiastic companion for that. I think mostly because she was enthusiastic about me. Plus she did like to drink. To be fair I was extremely enthusiastic about her.

Polyamory wins. Cindy and I were together a little over two years. We came from different cultures, different sides of the tracks. I dove into being with her every way I could, letting her be my guide, trying everything she suggested. I was more open to who she was than I'd ever been with anyone. It was all absolutely delicious until we reached our limit. What she wanted was to get married, in essence, without the paperwork or legal formalities. She wanted me to move in and be a father figure to her kids. I knew I didn't want that and couldn't give it to her. I started feeling a terrible ache when we were together, the ache of being asked to give something that would require me to betray myself on the deepest level. That was around the same time I first connected with Ruth, who also had kids but was in a solid marriage. With Ruth, the doorway to a workable non-monogamous relationship finally opened for me. Being with Ruth was my next big step in making progress with love. I finally found the right way to love: love that's free of self-betrayal, love as Leela wants me to love.