Thursday, March 6, 2014
Dancing in Free Verse
Dancing was bliss that night. Any thoughts of menace or melancholy had left my mind. I didn't believe anything could go wrong with anything at all in my life. My job. My family. My friends. My dues. My love. My hate. This city. This state, Indiana. This country, The United States of America. This continent, North America: Canada, Mexico. Other Continents in the western hemisphere: South America.
Spotlight on Asia. Pan over and out to Russia: Sochi Olympics, 2014. Cut to the the Mediterranean Sea and it's surrounding meta-terrain. Pan down to include North Africa. Cut to a picture of an African. A beautiful African, ebony in the sunlight, bare skin glowing and nearly blue in hue. They are wearing anything that they want, anything they need, anything they can find, and they are dancing.
Cut to the Middle East: What was once broadly known to western culture as Arabia is now cut into a fractured series of -stans. A stylized car crash set in Dubai. A stylized car crash set in Tokyo. A stylized car crash in London. A stylized car crash set in Mexico City. A stylized car crash set in Sochi. A stylized car crash set in Machu Picchu, despite its absurdity. A stylized car crash in Paris. A stylized car crash in Los Angeles. A stylized car crash in New York. A stylized car crash in Chicago. A stylized car crash in Indianapolis. A real car crash caught as it was by anyone who happened to be there.
Things end badly even if I am found unaware. When they do go bad, suddenly, I do whatever I can to become aware.
Sometimes it is slow.
Sometimes it is fast.
It depends on the situation.
When I was dancing, I wasn't worried about anything going wrong because I was dancing with the one I wanted to be dancing with and she was happy to be dancing with me, if only for a moment.
And then things happened between people who had been drinking throughout the night. With parties, impromptu or planned, not everyone can be in bliss among a group of people. And not many are completely satisfied when their voice cannot be heard within the congregation. Unless they simply give up on trying to get in step and decide to go out of step, with pride or false hyperbole.
Wade against the current, friends.
She mentioned that her stomach hurt.
He was silent, but dancing.
She went to the bathroom.
He paced back and forth
back and forth, thinking.
Then he thought about drinking a beer.
She had started her period.
She was happy because everything
was working in a cycle once again.
He was too.
This winter has caused a lot
of entropy within the human spirit,
but it will not last,
no matter how endless it seems.
Dancing with her was bliss.
Staring into her eyes,
spinning her around
when the music was insistent
on spinning her.
Dancing with her
hand in hand
leg to leg
body to body
cheek to cheek.
Wrapping my arms around her
and pulling her close to me
Her body pressed to mine,
so warm and soft against me.
Physical happiness found for a moment
in an otherwise stern and Protestant mind.
No matter how awful things can be,
for a moment, nothing could possibly go wrong.
Then something goes wrong and we have to start over on the same thing
or move onto something else in order to relearn how to be vital again.
To be visceral again.
To be vivid.
To be lucid.
To make sense to somebody and not just to something. There are somethings and somebodies that I refuse to throw away.
There are memories that I cannot throw away, even if I wanted to throw them away. I believe I will take them to the grave with me, even if I have shared them in some way. Sometimes they remind me of music and movies and books that I have read, though they may be less romantic than they appear. They are romantic to me.
I have been writing and drawing almost constantly in my free time this winter.
I walk places, through the absurd ice ruins of the hardest winter I can remember in Lafayette and I do it voluntarily. Sometimes I walk the terrain for the sheer joy and catharsis of navigating this increasingly familiar landscape, without any destination at all.
When I feel completely focused on making my body feel completely vital, I go to the gym and cross train: stretching, cardiovascular exercise, and even a little muscle development, when I see a spark of vanity in my thoughts and perceptions and performances. Most of the time I leave this vanity to others because I like to believe that I am not a vain person, and yet here I am writing this instead of paying attention to something else.
Something like sports or music or movies or books or taking a girl out to a claustrophobic and unpleasant eating environment. It is Valentines Day in western culture, commercially and (supposedly) religiously. Today, every restaurant with cloth napkins and white tablecloths, with Gothic or Romanesque or Art Nouveau or Modern or even Gaudy architectural features (to name a few) is packed in like sardines with duos of people, pretending to have a good time.
She is working tonight. Thank goodness.
One of my favorite jokes to say is suggesting McDonald's for a Valentine's Day meal option and I don't even find it very funny. At least not when I write it.
I have to move around more and more, everyday. I cannot sit for too long. Unless I need to sit, you know, just really need to rest.
He went to bed and she continued dancing, because she still wanted to dance. She tried to find someone to dance with and that turned out to be a problem with some others who were there.
I was dancing with the one I wanted to be dancing with, blissfully unaware.
All of this unraveled without a single clear word, but the memory is there to stay. The love you have found, but cannot keep. The most difficult thing you can possibly imagine. Harder than dealing with consciousness or reality or who you really are and who they really are, whoever it may be, and, Goddamn, it maybe someone you did not expect.
Attempted suicide scene, Royal Tennebaums. Suicide scene, Stroszek. Suicide Attempted and recorded, Dress Rehearsal Rag by Leonard Cohen. Sylia Plath, suicide. Suspected suicide, Nick Drake. Suspected suicide, Jeff Buckley, Mud Island. Music and suicide, Kurt Cobain, Pacific Northwest. Music and Love and Death, mostly from drug overdoses. David Foster Wallace, Suicide. Kurt Vonnegut, attempted suicide.
Jokes about things that are not funny, and indulging in the fact that they are not funny, sometimes, when you are somehow detached. Reattach and live in whatever way you can, when you are strong enough in the face of love and death.
I began to sweat, as we bounced around on the carpet floor, listening to the fourth upbeat Beatles song about loving a girl in row and it felt fantastic. My blood was pumping and my heart rate increasing. I was spinning her around and considering picking her up and gracefully tossing her around like the skilled swing dancer I know I am not, but imagine myself to be, if the mood strikes. I looked at her face; a face I had been looking at all evening. Her flush cheeks and piercingly attentive blue eyes were staring back at me with joy. I smiled, mouth agape, back at her. We jostled around more vigorously, hand in hand, as a young Paul McCartney sang in the most strained and bluesy voice he could manage at the time of the recording of the song we were dancing to...
"I'll never dance with another, since I saw her standing there."
This isn't a moment I wish to forget, so I am not taking any chances.
Enjoy the dance.
Aaron C. Molden