the infection and the temple

I have really, really missed dancing. After my world came apart at the seams in 1998, my fear of dancing vanished like the night when the sun rises. But i have other things to do first.

The week before last i ran a total of 10 miles; 2.5 miles every other day. This week i went a bit further. This is a snapshot of what i’ve done lately:

10 Jan (Th): 2.5 miles
11 Jan (Fr): 2.5 miles, dancing afterward
13 Jan (Su): 2.5 miles
15 Jan (Tu): 2.5 miles
18 Jan (Fr): 2.5 miles, 32 minutes
19 Jan (Sa): 3.0 miles (36 minutes), dancing afterward

I RAN THREE MILES LAST NIGHT. Three fucking miles. Thirty six minutes. The last two minutes i poured it on, bumping my speed up 10%. I could have kept going but i began to have spots in my vision. My top BPM was 164.

Afterward, i spent some time in the sauna as i am prone to do. The sauna has taught me far too much about humanity and you generally don’t learn anything positive about people there. Once a guy doused a paper towel with cologne and then put it near the heater. Instantly, my head began to throb. I fucking hate people wearing purfume/ cologne at the gym. I’ve lost count of the self absorbed neckbearded cornfuckers that come to the sauna in their sweats so they can stretch, run in place and otherwise ruin the ambiance. Then there’s the ones that believe the sauna is the best place to make their phone calls which is only slightly more annoying than the ones that decide it’s a place to be social. There was even the one time where a woman came in with a cooler and poured herself a Fresca over a glass of ice so she would have something to drink. I cannot make up this shit.

But last night was a whole new level of weird. I’m sitting in there alone when this woman comes in, quietly sits down and… okay, get this: SHE BEGINS TO SLATHER HER ENTIRE BODY WITH HONEY. It even came out of one of those squeezy plastic bear thingies. What in the fuck is it about the sauna that makes people think their stupidity is acceptable in there? Be like me and be stupid everywhere else. Leave the sauna for those of us looking to sweat in peace.

I never saw if she wiped her hands off or if she smeared honey on the door handle when she left. I left the gym, grabbed a bite to eat and then it was off to dance again.

Dancing.

I have missed dancing. I really, really missed dancing. It’s one of those things that i didn’t realize i missed as much as i did because other parts of me were satisfied. Still, there was always and always will be some part of me that craves an infectious rhythm and good energy.

The band was called Soul Vaccination. They’re a 12 piece ensemble with three vocalists, five horns (alto/ tenor/ baritone, trumpet/ flugelhorn), keyboards, bassist, guitarist, drummer. They’re crammed onto a thin, long stage and are grinding out a mix of soul and funk with the precision of a well oiled machine.

After a pint of Black Butte Porter, i get to the floor. I’m standing in front of the horns when the bari goes low. Amplified by the speakers, the staccato thumps into me and rattles my head, my sternum and my spine. In a singular moment i have become infected again. My legs find the rhythm, my body begins to sway. My legs are sore, my knees would prefer i sit.

Fuck them; i’m dancing.

After a while, i begin to loosen up. By the second set, i’m into my groove but the dance floor is too packed to get to so a few of us are dancing where we can. Behind me is a woman that’s grinding her ass into her boyfriend/ husbands cock. No one seems to care. The crowd is mostly fifty and sixty something couples although a contingent of very androgynous lesbians have made a showing as well. I’m drinking water almost as fast as it falls out of me.

My shirt is drenched. This is mostly because i didn’t realize i wasn’t going to have time to go home to get another shirt on. I’m wearing a thick black, long sleeved cotton shirt with a henley collar. By the time i finish dancing, it will weigh twice what it does when dry.

An older woman (mid 60’s) makes a gesture to me. She points to the dance floor but i don’t know what she’s saying. I figure she’s trying to get by me so i step away to let her pass. She doesn’t move very far. Whatever.

The infection begins to swell in me again and i am consumed. In my peripheral vision, i can see people are watching. They’re more amused by me than by the woman grinding her ass into her boyfriends cock. I do not care- i have long since lost my fear of what people think of me when i dance. One of the women that i know that’s there leans over and says, “You’re fun to watch dance.” I laugh a bit and respond, “If i can’t be good, i may as well be amusing.”

The older woman comes up to me and says, “You looked like you wanted to dance.” I think she wanted to dance with me. I don’t know what to think about that- no one ever wants to dance with me. Besides, i don’t mind dancing near someone i know but i *always* dance alone (unless it’s polka, which i haven’t done in many, many years).

I cut my dancing teeth in a few raves and concerts in Austin after Michelle left me. These are parties where you go because you want to dance until sunrise. Some people tweak or use ecstasy. I didn’t and i don’t. This is one of my temples and i’ve neglected it for far too many years. Dancing to blues/ soul/ funk is fun and all but it’s dancing to House/ Jungle/ DnB where i’m really, truly free.

I’m probably going to skip the running today but i’ll be seeing if there’s any good DJ’s spinning downtown tonight.

It’s nice to be back in my temple again.

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