Last Saturday I was at a bar with a friend of mine (I’ll call her “L”) who was visiting from LA. She got chatting with the guy sitting next to her at the counter of the bar, who said to her, “Let’s dance.”
L says to me, “Let’s dance.”
I say to L and the guy who was sitting next to her, “Maybe in a little bit.”
There’s a small dance floor where they go out and start moving. I sit with my drink at the bar, musing, pondering what is New York City on a Saturday night.
L comes back, says: “You’re gonna dance with us.”
“Fine,” I say, in echo of a tone oft used with my mother when I was a child.
I make a show of pretending I’m dancing. “Oh look, here’s my arm waving to the beat.” “Oh here, I’m stepping back and forth in time with the music.”
Faces of mixed emotion from L and the guy who was sitting next to her, happy to have saved me from my musing, sad that the movements of my body don’t live up to the heights I achieve with my storytelling.
Music changes: Spice Girls, a song with the repeated lyric of “Stop” which allows me to pantomime that I’m a traffic policeman.
Music changes again, to some pop song I should probably recognize given I work at a record company. Suddenly I find myself doing a dance move I must have seen once on television: hands in front of me, palms open, tapping away at an invisible wall; knees bent like I’m holding a heavy package; hips amplifying the wall-tapping motion of my hands. This is the first time I ever do this dance move. My unconscious must have absorbed it from the environment without telling me, and is now downloading it to the muscle command centers of my brain.
L watches me; something bubbles up from inside her; comes out as a chuckle/chortle noise; she claps her hands.
So whatever it is I do with my writing, apparently I can also achieve it with my body.