Dave and I go to this old lodge of a place to dance. It has a live Big Band. Aside from some friends my parents met while here, we know no one and no one knows us. And even those folks have flown north as summer's coming to Florida. And though we're nice enough to people, we strike up no new conversations. We're there as if this is a competition and we've all got numbers pinned to our backs. Plus, we only want to talk to each other anyway. But if we're gunning for any prize -- and there are no prizes -- ours isn't one that would exist anyway. Most ... Abstract? Most ... Odd? Most ... (and this is generous) Interpretive?
Here are some dances we've made up.
Paul Giamatti and Meg Ryan Dancing Together at a Bad Wedding. (We nail that dance. I'm all clompy as Ryan and he's all wide footed like Giamatti. And we're serious about it. Giamatti's a little pissed, of course, and Ryan's got that oblivious face on...)
Two people about to get Divorced. In this dance, we're doing a standard jitterbug but we stop occasional to try to kick the other person's feet out from under them. For two people with no intentions of getting divorced, it's a lot of fun. Better if you murmur things you want to get in the settlement.
Last nite Dave did this kind of push away, baggy pants, turn around and come back thing and said, "That was my good old boy I don't need you, I want you back move." And he nailed it. The slumpy shoulders the then sudden regret.
Sometimes we hear something and say, "Yeah, this will be abstract." It might even be Glenn Miller, but there's something in the horn section that says, "Just listen to me." And we go with that invite.
And then there's Freshman Homecoming. And we'll slow dance it.
Last night, they played Patsy's "Crazy" -- and halfway through I felt like I should just kind of break it all kinds of down.
Then a tango, and I'll remember slow slow side together close and we'll do one earnest awful crappy beginner tango. Just to prove we really are bad at this.
Mostly only the two of us seem to exist -- each trying to entertain the other. Why after all these years do we still so want to entertain each other? I don't know. We just do.
But, my God, when we do lift our heads and look around, there is some beauty there -- an ancient couple -- the wife's stare has gone vacant and yet she remembers this music, down deep, her body remembers the steps, and the husband leads her slowly slowly across the floor. It'll take your breath, make you want to burn the music into your molecules -- make it last and last and last.