I Just Wanna Dance

by - January 30, 2010

I feel as if I have not been around much lately.  I blame it on the weather.  January and February are usually the worst months for seasonal affective disorder, at least for me, so I can say that reading and writing have been a struggle for me as of late.  

I mentioned to Dave the other day that I wanted Spring.  I wanted to take off the layers and feel the sun on my face.  Let my hair down and dance around like I just don't care!  And this statement made me remember a story from my youth where I did JUST that.  And embarrassed the shit out of myself.

The year was 1993.  I was 13-years-old and desperately into grunge.  Punk came a little later, but grunge and I were like plaid on lumber jackets at that time.  So it was a bit surprising to most of my friends that I fell in LOVE with The Counting Crows song, Mr. Jones.  In my circle of friends, army pants and chain wallets were considered fashion.  Greasy hair or none at all was couture.  And songs that did not contain all the dripping, teenage angst of our generation were NOT COOL.  Hence, the desire to keep my love of this song a secret.  

But man, once those opening chords started, I couldn't help myself.  I would want to explode out of my seat and just be free, let the song take me away with it's up-beat, happy tempo.  When no one else was around I jumped around my room, chains flying every which way, and my pants lifting off my hips and gaining air to my upper waist on account of how high I would jump and twist.  I realized that the song lyrics might not have been so happy, but they were not in the same realm as say, Nirvana.  My favourite band (then and now).  But the two were like night and day, and where I was broody and sullen most of the time, this song made me want to buy myself a grey guitar and play.

So, one day when I was visiting my best friend Ciara in Collingwood, the skater/ snowboard/ punk capital of my life, she let me know that we would be attending a dance that night.  This was laughable because  just two years before that we would stroll into dance halls together, one side of our overalls hanging down, and let our backbone's slide.  Not this dance.  This dance we stood around with the rest of the crowd who was WAY too cool to dance at a dance, and drank vodka out of our McDonald's cups.  The only dancing that went on that night was either slam dancing or the kind of zombie shuffle step that was popular back then.  And I was looking my best, standing sullen and dark over in the corner, drinking my alcohol and pretending like I cared for nothing, no one.  I was the epitome of cool.  Until the DJ decided to play THAT song.  

"Sha la la la la la la...".  And that was my brain's cue.  All of a sudden my limbs were shaking and moving of their own accord, and I was being dragged out onto the dance floor against my will.  Right to the centre of the room where everyone had a fantastic view of me.  I fought for a few seconds.  But then:  I just didn't care anymore.  I found myself being carried away, to a place where everything is beautiful and full of music.  I was bouncing around like a Jack-in-the-Box, waving my arms wildly, swooping my head and hands from one note to the other.  I realized that something was happening to my mouth.  It was moving.  I was SINGING.  Out loud.  Trying to be heard over the music.  My eyes were closed and I just danced.  I was like a hippie on peyote in the desert.  Nothing else mattered.

I carried on like a fish out of water for most of the song.  And then just before it ended I opened my eyes.  And came back to earth, HARD.  No one was dancing.  Everyone had moved to the furthest corners of the big room, out of reach of my flailing limbs, and everyone was just STARING at me.  All the blood rushed into my head and I saw stars.  The stars of extreme mortification.  I felt my cheeks get warm.  What do I do?  Finish the song knowing that people think I am a gigantic loser?  Or walk off the floor in shame, letting them see my embarrassment so they would have fuel for the fire that was bound to come later?  I walked off the floor, nonchalantly, pretending like I was DONE bitches, I decide when I am happy or not and right now?  Well, I am pissed off and the world can go and fuck itself.  And that charade back there?  That wasn't me dancing OK?  That was me trying to show all of you with no brains how it's NOT done.  It was an art piece.  Get over yourselves.  

I slunk into the nearest dark recess.  My best friend was no where to be found.  I wouldn't have blamed her for leaving, I  had tarnished her reputation in her own town.  Just then she was at my side, telling me this party was lame and we had to go.  People were starting to fight outside and the cops were being called.  Thank god for that.  Thank you, fighting dudes, for taking a punch in the face and saving me from crawling under a rock in embarrassment.

I think they were all just jealous.  They all wanted to join me, they just had more control over their own limbs.  At least, that's what I told myself to get through the horror.  The HORROR.

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