Saturday nights in dark smoldering, warm and sticky floored bars is just what I am looking for. Low rhythmic beats pump over head, and droan so deep into your arms and legs until you are twitching unknowingly along to the beat that is now inside you. It takes the first strum of a guitar to make your head roll back and to the side and down again. Close your eyes and any move you make is the right one, the band picks up thumping their feet to keep time, everyone nodes their heads yes, yes, yes to keep up and your gone. whoops from the crowd you can no longer see and yelps of appreciation come from faces you can no longer make out from across the room. Lights change illuminating the men on stage to green, red, and blue against the beat.
Toe taping isn't enough and sure as you are that you were already doing your best, your shoulders follow. Moving forward back, dipping pausing. The movement moves to my waist, and I twist in the creaking chair balanced on the back two legs. My knees sway together and a chair dance begins to ensue against no protest to those around me. Bumping shoulders and exchanging glances of "Hell Yes" with my neighbors to the left and to the right. The glass that sits half full in front of me is wet with melting ice and dampening the napkin below untouched. Taking a deep breath, and motioning to a fellow mover and chair shaker, we get up keeping the same swinging motion, walking left. right.left. right to the dance floor that is already twisting with couples who have clearly forgotten the rest of the room. as they should. as we all have too.
The music was emotion invoking as it was in my chair, but nothing compares to being front and center. Not only taking in each rap on the drum, and screech of a guitar but the scuff shoes against the sandy stage, and short breaths the saxophone player takes in before he continues collects and swirl into the music itself. Its no longer a sound but a feeling. These blues make me feel alive and complete, not sad and low. The words linger above the dancing crowd, and we giggle and smile at one another as we all sing along impromptu "You've got baaaaaad blood". I can see in every woman, man and move that we all believe we do. It is invigorating and smooth the way closing your eyes bridges the gap between the music and dance, and you move forward, back, and twirl around..."bought you a ten dollar dinner, said thanks for the snack, let you live in my pent house, you said it was a shake, I gave you seven children and now you want to give them back, I've been down hearted baby......... ever since the day you left.." I feel the sting in my chest when he holds his last note and it steals away my exhaling breath. His nose wrinkles back, his eyes squint shut, and his fingers move and slide against the strings, pinning them down and creating a sound that I have never heard, but have felt many times. This was the sound, the sound that when I was sad, weeping into my hands, tears streaking down my dirty face, sad... this was the sound it made.
I closed my eyes again to take it in and drift away to feel it again, to memorize the sound, the memory and the smell of the room dusty with a hint of perfume swirling around me. My hand is grabbed and I spin slowly underneath it, taking slow and deliberate steps,heel toe, heel toe. Never going ahead of the music..and I am released again into my own side stepping space to move freely once more. "Eeeeevver since they day we met...ooooohhhhh how blue can you get now.." I look up to answer back and watch as Hollywood jives forward with his solo, shaking and lifting his front leg up up and up with each stroke. He his completely at home with his jolting and odd jerks to the music he makes and I realize for the first time that night I'm standing completely still and watching, truly watching how he makes the music I've been craving all along. "I need to know him" I tell no one in particular but am answered back, "I think you do". yes I do. I do know him, but I want him to know me.
I walk over and wait my turn. Watching the way his face moves when he laughs and try and look past his dark red glasses into his eyes that are well hidden, but when they land on me I can feel it. I step forward and tell him "I needed you to know... my name .." "I needed to have a picture with you". He is quiet and studying my face, and holds out his leathered hand for me to take. We shake but only once, still not letting go, I wasn't going to be the first one. No, he would have to let go when he was ready. He smiles finally at me and asks me "...and why is that?" I tell him, "because no one. No one wears a feather in his cap quit like you". He laughs out loud a low and husky chuckle and I am thrilled that I have provoked a happy laugh from him. Pleased with myself I take this as a yes. Panning the room I make eye contact with a beautiful woman in a red long dress, bright red lip stick and ghost white hair down past her shoulders. She takes the picture.. one. two. deep breath in. three. We laugh as she hands us the camera back, and just as two friends should, it takes only one glance for me to know what he is about to ask. "Ok lets see how it turned out, I have to make sure its ok you know". I laugh satisfied that he isn't in a rush to greet the next admirer, and I click the camera to life again. We huddle close and squint in the dark towards the light of the image of he and I. He looks at me and nods once in approval. "dame good, dame good", I stand up and for the first time he lets my hand go and tells me it was nice of me to notice his feathers. I smile once knowing there isn't anything that could possibly make me happier in this moment now. I bow. I give Philip a proper curtsy, and we share an exchange of our own.
I backed away until I was swallowed again in the crowed. Everyone is around me, there is a place for each of them to move the way they need to. They have worn the outfit I would have imagined for them. The woman in red, the birthday girl with a paper crown and flushed cheeks, the sun tanned, leather clad biker with a grey pony tail down his back and lady friend matching him leather for leather, grey hair for grey hair. The hip couple with sun glasses still on and choreographed dance around the floor, and the boy dressed in all black with a fur wrap. Everyone is sending me perfect. happy. with a hint of satisfaction and I am at home. If there is one thing that we all have in common, its our unique and funky moves on the dance floor we all pulled into the dirt lot for.