Sunday, September 14, 2008

The way it was

I came of age in a totally retarded time period. The grunge scene hit it big, the Cold War ended, unprotected sex equaled death, and the vice president couldn't spell potato (ironically, considering he had all the appeal of one). Riots ran rampant after the police offers were aquitted, the presidential candidate appeared on national television playing a saxophone, and a bald woman ripped up pictures of the Pope. Douglas Copeland had an underground hit with Generation X, which of course we refused to accept as defining our generation, since our generation was all about refusing to be defined period, even by something as innocuous as an X-standing-for-nothing.

You know what I miss?

It's definitely not the bad perm, although something is to be said for extra-large men's t-shirts and boxers as a daily wardrobe choice (saucily accessorized with thermal underwear when the cold weather hit, of course). Absolutely not those wild dot-matrix printers, and PARTICULARLY not The Real World, no matter how true the story of seven people living together might have been at the time.

No, what I miss is the dancing.

While there are those who will subscribe to the early-nineties affinity magic of 2 Legit 2 Quit, and/or the lingering after-effects of applying an Ice, Ice Baby to their homecoming, I am talking about the absolutely free-form dancing.

It's hard to describe; it's not as hippie-ish as the Deadhead Twirl, and certainly in no way choreographed as the completely idiotic Electric Slide. It has nothing to do with Busting a Move, or even appearing sexy; the best way to describe it is a sort of weird, giving yourself up to the music spasticated seizure.

It's not the dance moves--or lack thereof--that really sway me; it's that feeling of just letting it all go, galloping around the dance floor because you FEEL like it, riding on pure exhilaration and joy. It's the fun of holding the entire world in disregard, because it's got no place in where you are at that moment. It's release and happiness and relaxation and celebration all in one; a total suspension of reality.

Also a suspension of coordination, I'm not gonna lie.

Don't care. It's all about the exuberance. Where do you get to have that as an adult? I'm picturing myself galloping through the office tomorrow, twirling and dipping and flailing as the mood strikes, bouncing down stairs and flinging myself into chairs to talk with people; is this before or after property management sends out a team for deportation and possibly exorcism? Because I can guarantee they're gonna take me down, and it will be painful. (When the office goes feral and everyone starts hunting in packs, I figure property management will be the legal department's biggest opponents; architecture will be hunted for meat, like the slothful and weak creatures that they are, and accounting will simply set up its own empire with which we will have to establish trade. Property management, man. Biggest problem. It's why I'm campaigning so heavily for development to be on our side; it's the only way we can hold our own against property management. They're big, and they move fast, and they're ruthless.) So inbetween being tackled by property management and fitted for my straight jacket, will anyone listen to me? The capacity for ultimate, soul-expanding joy is there; we just don't have anyplace to express it anymore. We're caught up in the throes of adulthood, and Playing the Role. Grownups don't gallop, or turn cartwheels, or drop on someone from out of a tree and butter them. It's a tragedy, really it is. Do those urges really ever go away? I defy you to respond in the affirmative when faced with the company's fantasy football leagues. There are the same heartfelt exchanges about people's mothers and innuendo that there is when they're 15; if the urge really died after adulthood would people be sneaking around logging onto other people's computers so they can change said other people's teamnames to "The Teabaggers"?

So this week I'm going to regress. This week my plan is to live three inches outside my skin, the way I did before climbing into the adult equivalent of ten pounds of baloney in a five pound bag, and ENJOY. Try it.

I dare you.

For inspiration: James - How Was It For You

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