“This would be the perfect way to die!” he slurred, the exhale on each syllable wafting an overpowering hops smell over the group.
“Die dancing? Yeeeeah,” I called back.
“Suicide by dance,” he confirmed.
Forty-five minutes to last call, but thankfully the DJ at the bar launched right into his dance mix after Saturday’s semi-professional burlesque show.* Friends eyed each other for the unnecessary confirmation that, yes, of course we were staying to dance, and we slipped into the crowd.
I’ll dance to just about anything (exception, probably, would be “Clair de Lune”…or Celine Dion), but only certain artists get me really enthusiastic. Gaga, Girl Talk, Passion Pit, White Stripes’ “Fell in Love with a Girl,” Miley. So when the Biggie remix of “Party in the USA” started, I took a break from the usual awkward swaying to jump up and down. In mid-air, I’m almost knocked over by by an extra-tall stranger moving into my dance bubble. He smells like he took a bath in a tub of PBR (the special that night), he’s grinning hugely (a nice smile, if you’re into the possibly maniacal), and he looks at me and shouts “MILEY! Can we dance!?”
“Yeeeeah, sure,” I shout back, looking around at the equally confused girls I’m with.
“Awesome! I love dancing! I like your style!” Then he does a kind of side kick move and jostles me around a little.
Then we talk about the perfect mid-Miley demise.
Then we put our hands up, ’cause they’re playing our song. He has an extra move to add to the chorus, joining his hands and gently waving them like a shadow puppet bird while M sings “Butterflies fly away.” I’m delighted. He adds more kicks and spins and bumps while I wiggle around, as much avoiding being trampled as dancing with him. I’m looking to my friends for confirmation that this guy is indeed awesome, while our name-unknown new friend belts out the lyrics to the next song. And so we just go with it and move like him.
Then he stumbles away — hopefully to his own friends who would make sure he didn’t pass out in the snow on the walk home.
There’s something about dancing with people who just don’t care. Like at last fall’s Round Barn festival or that time we threw confetti around the ATO basement. Usually I — most people — try to dance but get stuck on how this looks and what the people on the periphery are thinking. It’s good to find (or be found by) the crazy (wasted) people who can teach us not to give a shit and let go for a song or two.
So thanks really tall, dark-haired guy at the bar on Saturday. I like your style, too.
*And let’s just say I now know what I’m doing with my life if this journalism thing doesn’t work out…