Friday, December 16, 2005

All the Way

There is no metaphor because it is the metaphor. If you decide to dance, you can't dance half way. It's better not to dance at all than to dance a little. I've spent my life dancing a little--I mean this literally not metaphorically--until tonight.

If you told me in January that I would spend the last night of my trip either A) Smoking crack, B) Hooking up with a guy, or C) Dancing well past dawn in the middle of a Buenos Aires night club, I'm not sure which I would have gone with.

People think I took this trip so I wouldn't be tormented in old age by not having done it. I never really had that thought. But in the many danceless moments I've spent at the edge of the dance floor, I have imagined myself as a very old man wishing I could be young. I always think how that old version of myself would do anything to have a chance to dance late into the night. So for that old man I've tried many times to dance, but at best made it half way.

But there I was 45 minutes ago, alone near the middle of the crowd bouncing around as if I know how to dance. I was alone there the way I would be if it were a movie and the camera slowly pulled away to show me joyfully dancing by myself. There was no one else on the last night. There was everyone but there was no one. The Danish girls and Brazilian guys and Canadian girls and half of Milhouse Hostel were there. But really there will be no one to miss when I get on the plane tonight and after not long there was no one I knew left at the club.

In the story of me dancing on the last night of my trip we can thank a Californian named Lauren. It was 4am and I'd been there for two hours not dancing even a little. But she asked me to dance while she waited for her friend and I knew that meant we would make out on the dance floor so I said 'yes.' We have to thank Lauren too for checking out of Milhouse this morning and not being able to go back to the hostel with me. So she went home to her friend's apartment. "You should stay," she said. "Its your last night."

So I did. And soon the sweat was dripping and my legs were sore. Girls were asking me for cigarettes. I can't give dance lessons but I can tell you what I did. First I realized I couldn't dance halfway, then I decided I wasn't dancing to try to meet girls, then I paid attention to the bass line and that was about it.

Its 8am now and breakfast is being served. I'm too tired to even read this over and see if it makes sense. Tonight I fly home and I wonder how much I'll sleep, the night after I'll meet some of you in New York and I wonder how much I'll sleep then too.

There were other thoughts in the cab ride home. There were other metaphors and decisions and revelations. But I'm too tired now. Its after 8am and I haven't been to bed. I'll try to remember the logo for the movie that occured to me in the cab, I'll try to get some sleep. I'll try to remember how to dance. I guess that's the metaphor actually...that when you learn not to dance halfway you have to hope you don't forget how.


At 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



Post a Comment

<< Home