Well, where to start? I awoke very early on the "big day," adreline pumping as of 9am. I KNEW I was going to meet Dave today. I had really "gotten into" him during the Sumer of Excess in San Fransisco with my buddy Jane, also a Swat grad. We spent sunny afternoons driving cross the Golden Gate to Stinson Beach.... bopping to Dave, appreciating each beautiful moment of our existence. We even got to see him at Berkley's Greek Theater under a beautiful sky on August 11. In early September I saw him in Philly without Jane but with about 2 zillion 16 year olds and got a little depressed understanding Dave's status outside of Jane's white toyota. But I kept up my admiration, and Jane aided me, sending daily emails ....and a postcard "from Dave" in anticipation of our meeting.

So, after a nervous brunch with my old buddy, Ben Booth, visiting just for the concert, we started our "pre-concert" celebration. Ben is responsible for introducing myself, as well as half of Swarthmore, to the band, so we are all eternally grateful. Hours later...I find myself, heart thumping, pounding uncontrollably, leaping over ailes of seats to get to the front row. Extreme right side of the stage, so as not to block anyones' views when I dance. My friends arrive late, yet excited excited. When Dave made an appearance, walking across the stage, I make no reaction-- its all too unreal, too big, for me to comprehend that Dave Matthews would be performing an entire live concert 10 feet in front of me.

When the concert finally started, after an hour opening act, I was in shock but soon enough I was on my feet, trucking it rows behind and on an outside platform in order to dance and block no one. My thoughtful plan was thwarted by the GARNET PATROL who rushed to me, insisting that I must take my seat. Needless to say, what with the already crazy adreline flow pumping, you can imagine the strengh of my reaction. However, subscribing to my philosophy that NO ONE WILL RUIN MY PARTY, I returned to my seat, throat thumbing to relax and re-organize.

After dancing for numerous songs seated, moving only my upper body, I had had enough. I rose at my seat and as I closed my eyes, I felt my body lift, lift high, lose its weight, and soar to the sky as Dave whispered "Satellite." I was finally content.

A few songs later, during a break between songs, a dedicated friend called out in support of my solo dancing. Dave didn't understand and asked, "What?" My heart was driving wildly and I finally asked, "Can I come dance with you?" The crowd laughed but Dave was visibly shaken by my "brazen" request. He denied me any eye contact and blushing, fanned himself, changing the subject. He forgot what song he was going to sing. My rush turned to a mild annoyance, but I knew that the ice breaking is always the harderst part. I reminded myself that NO ONE WILL RUIN MY PARTY, NOT EVEN DAVE MATTHEWS.

So, I started dancing when he finally started again. 40 minutes later, I heard Tim Reynolds saying something about "the girl" and Dave turned in my direct, mentioned "the girl" and looked directly at me. As if I had been pierced through the heart, I gasped and waved my hands and arms so that he couldnt mistake anyone for me. I took this visual stimuli as an obvious implied request for my presence beside him. "Can I come up now?" or something to that effect I repeated, moving closer to the stage in response to Dave's shy yet playful facial expressions. His eyebrows raised, teasing, daring, inviting me to join his fun. I jumped up, in my brow polyester pants and black button-down shirt, thankful I hadn't worn the snake-skin print skirt nor the infamous "red dress." I felt powerful and confident, I felt free. I stood off to the side at first, so as to ease security, and Dave. I motioned to my friends to snap some photos since they seemed too shocked to take it upon themselves.

It felt so natural to be up there on stage with Dave; after being cramped dancing in the corner all afternoon, I was thrilled to have some space to "let myself go." When I looked out to the crowd, I smiled and felt my lip quiver. I knew that Heather was standing against the side wall, proud of me. And I knew that Ben was getting a kick out of it, having put up with my anxiety all morning long. Doug and Matt weren't making any expressions, but I proved to them that I am a lady of my word. Dave, strumming, made some comments to the audience in shared disbelief. The crowd was laughing laughing. I squirmed around a bit to let know Dave and Tim know that I was up there to dance, that was my mission. Dave laughed, "I think she's gonna take over the whole thing." Leading into a song, Dave joked, "I took this acid this morning.....and its just startin to kick in." As I started swaying and grinding Dave repealed his statement, "NO WAY. I wouldn't be able to talk if I took a hit of acid this morning."

They kicked into "Dancing Nancies," a very important song for Jane and I. As Dave sung the line we dedicated to her, "23 and so tired of life, such a shame, throw it all away," I looked at Dave then to the sky, concentrating on Jane and trying to transfer her there with us. I knew I had to enjoy this moment with the complete capacity of all of my senses and with my whole soul. This was our dream, a scene we had mocked months prior, driving high through sunny California. I got lost in the music, forgetting the audience and even Dave and Tim at times. It was not a dance of lust, it was a magical dance of dreams and fulfillment and I had little control of my body. I let her do her thang.

dave kiss

The crowd was receptive, for a moment their laughter frightened me, till I remembered that it was MY party. Soon enough Dave was looking directly into my eyes and I had flowed over to his side, at times dancing facing only him. I felt especially fulfilled when he sang, "Look up in the sky..." and my body dipped low. I smiled and smiled, eyes closed, eyes attentive to Dave, eyes searching the crowd, searching for my friends, searching to connect with them, send them some of this amazing amazing positive energy. Tim and Dave got lost in it also, the magic, the eroticism, the energy...they egged me on with looks and chords and coy, approving smiles. I danced for me, I danced for them, I danced for the audience and I danced for Jane. I danced for all those who ever wanted to dance, who ever wanted to let go, but were caught somewhere, by something, trapped by some self-perception or fear. I let my soul soar and I embraced the rejection of the wordly.

When the music finally lulled, my arms lowered themselves to my side and I was filled with an amazing peace. Dave stood and approached me, guitar slung around his body. He extended his left hand and I noticed how baggy his red shirt was. He was sweaty and beautiful, smiling deeply. I took his hand and he leaned to kiss me. His lips wrapped around mine and for a moment we were united. I can't really remember this part too clearly, I think it was a chemical overload (adreniline). He thanked me and returned to his stool as I walked to the edge of the stage to retrieve the letter I had written him. I walked back over to Dave and whispered, "This is letter for you." He looked yet again surprised and flattered, engaging the audience in another laughter-filled response. As I descended from the stage, wielding fists of attainment, a female member of the audience shouted, "You're a good man, Dave Matthews" to which Dave responded, I suppose in assumption that I had been the speaker, "You're pretty damn nice yourself."

I was dazed,to say the least, and as Dave kicked into his final song of the set, "Ants Marching," numerous students jumped onto the stage, dancing and singing. I could only smile. We all want to dance. We all need to dance.

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