Hey, this would be a good title for a story. Recently I went through a phase where I was just inundated with Belly Dancers. Some of them were ones I recently met, but at the same time, I got a call from one I knew from back when I was in college at SFSU. Like, last century? She was from Morocco, and she came to the US by way of Disney World in Orlando, Florida. She was working in the Moroccan village, and her passport even had Mickey Mouse stamped on it. I pictured her as Jasmine, as this was when the Disney movie Aladdin had just been released. I thought her job was to hang about Disney World dressed as Jasmine, which was not totally accurate, but let’s just pretend it totally was. Anyway, she met a friend of mine at a poetry reading in New York, and then she came back with him to California. My friend was quite a character, I’ll call him Dr. Weird. He had a girl friend at the time, but he really fell for Jasmine. They were living together in a caravan, which is what Jasmine called a little motor home. It was kind of cramped, and so they eventually moved into the shotgun flat I was living in on Shotwell St.
They were a little less cramped in there, and let me tell you, they turned out to be the best roommates I ever had. Especially Jasmine. Even though she wasn’t actually Jasmine at Disney World, she was a Belly Dancer, it turns out.
Fast forward to the 21st Century. I get a message from Jasmine on Facebook, and we end up talking on the phone. She and Dr. Weird live in Wisconsin now, and they have two kids. We are both a little nostalgiic for the time we spent on Shotwell, in the City by the Bay.
And like I said, she wasn’t the only Belly Dancer at my casbah. I was, as it says in the title, Up to my Navel in Belly Dancers. I won’t go into who they are, but I’ll tip my fez to them. They’ll know who I’m talking about.