I bring that end-of-the-world kind of full body dancing to the dance floor.
I don’t remember ever not being that way.
Somehow, I convinced my darling mother to rent out a dancehall for my 16th birthday. There was a DJ. My friends and I were dancing. Not a care in the world — even though a guy I was crushing on was too cool to come. My uncle told me that night that I’m light on my feet.
Dancing feels like second nature to me.
I recall my mom writing in a half-filled out baby book somewhere that I would dance and sing before I could walk and talk.
She also wrote that my first “boyfriend”, in Puerto Rico, when I was somewhere around 14 months old — Juan Pablo — would literally run in circles around me, and I would just throw my head back, and laughter would pour from my tiny mouth.
Being completely amused and enamored by boys who run in circles around me.
Ah, how things change…
How things stay the same…
Really, though. I’ve been that person.
I walk into a place. Music blasting. People milling about. I step out under coloured lights. I move my hips slowly to the left, slowly to the right. I roll my neck around, flip my hair back. I move.
I can’t not move.
I am a woman in motion.
I especially can’t not move when there’s music playing.
Pretty soon, people join me. I’ve broken the ice.
Finally, they break free.
Finally, they come dance with me.
On this particular evening, I got swept away onto the back porch on Empire Control Room and Garage, in dear Austin, Texas.
Create Culture. Wednesday. There are vendors selling glassware, vintage hats, and handmade chainmail jewelry.
And I fell in love.
I find a necklace. Gold. A feather charm. It’s perfect. It calls to me. One of my dearest friends has invited me out, to dance and get a lil’ bit wild on this hump day. (Hump night…?) Why not, I said.
She buys it for me, the necklace. A going away gift, since I’ll be taking flight to New York City soon. It is stunning, and perfect, and meant for me — so much so that the gentleman selling comes down from $75 to $40 to ensure that I’m the one who walks away with it.
She’s got $20 on her. She has to go get the other $20 from her car. Vendorboy decides he wants to take a walk with the pretty young lady.
He — entrusting a total stranger, as quite a few crowds are wont to do here in the heart of Texas — asks me to (wo)man his sales stand while he goes off. And I sit down next to his friend, another young man.
We start probing each other.
It’s nice not being the only one who’s curious for a change.
I ask so many questions, send people on quests within themselves, you know?
It’s a refreshing change when someone investigates my inner scenery.
I realize this, and I share with him about my life.
Moving to Brooklyn.
What do you do?
I am an artist… and I make a living right now mostly doing professional cuddling.
Really? Wow. I didn’t realize that had spread from Japan to the US already.
I didn’t realize cuddling originated in Japan. Hah. Indeed. Seems it has spread.
Must be interesting work.
Of course it is.
I hold people’s hands, I hold people’s hearts. Some clients have never touched or been touched by any woman other than their mother. Some are lonely, anxious, depressed. Widowed. Divorced. Some just really love to cuddle, and they don’t have someone special in their lives to do it with. So, that’s where I come in.
It’s quite a responsibility.
We both discuss how important it is for people to feel connected.
Yes. Of course. It’s not a luxury. This is about survival. Infants die when they aren’t touched. We quite literally need each other.
I feel delighted by how thoughtful he is. Same wavelength, you know. I tell him his presence is very grounding. Like a rock I can flow freely around.
I say, the best relationships are where one person is the rock, and one is the river.
When a gentleman is solid and rooted. Grounded. I am free to flow all around.
We’re looking into each other’s eyes quite a bit. Some shy smiles and looking away. We each are marveling at the other, for certain. A few times, I burst out with a “Gosh… I don’t know what it is, I just like you.”
He’s in a relationship. He tells me he thought I’d be in one as well… I tell him I know I’ll be a devoted lover and partner when that time comes. I’m enjoying the ride there.
I feel my heart begin to glow.
That heart glow.
We’re both Scorpios.
We fall in love with people. All the time.
(How can you not?)
He tells me I should blog. A gentleman I took a walk with in Hell’s Kitchen a few weeks ago told me that too.
“You lead an interesting life.”
I have been writing. For years. Almost a couple of decades now.
Do you even understand how many journals I have filled? Online and in real life?
Guess I’ll keep at it.
I take that heart heat and hit the dance floor with it.
I move like earth wind water fire on the dance floor. I invoke.
It’s just dancing… and it’s never just dancing.
A gentleman approaches me on the dance floor.
“You’re pretty and brown”, he says. “How could I not approach.”
Sometimes I let them twirl me. Sometimes, I want to dance freely. I make the dancefloor my stage, and my sacred space — whether anyone is watching or not.
I can dance gracefully, sure. I’ll never have enough of any style of dance. Salsa, bachata, zouk, kizomba, hip-hop, two step, samba, swing… I’ll do it all.
And sometimes, exactly where I want to be is in the midst of a sweaty crowd, doing some no f’s given, fishnet-rippin’ body rockin’ and head bangin’.
Everything we know will come to an end… you know?
I want it all until then, baby.
To drink and be drunk up by life…
To dance and be danced up by life..