I am, I assure you, the kind of person who dances by himself in his basement apartment—often to rousing, loud music (what else is there?). Sometimes I catch glimpses of myself in the mirror as I shuffle past, but I don’t often see my facial expression, which is the way I like it. The music is usually something slightly surf-y or punk-y or something else entirely, just as long as it’s propulsive enough for me to actually work up a sweat. I have excess manic energy to dispose of carelessly—all the time, it’s always there—so this works for me. At my brother’s wedding last week, as on so many previous occasions, I swayed and bounced and twisted and swaggered frenetically in the way I am genetically predisposed to. That probably doesn’t sound like a description of dancing, but I did it while music was playing. My hair became so sweat-soaked it had that angry wet look, and the ocean air in the backyard where we passed a bottle of champagne under the cafe lights was perfect, but not cool. It was hot.
Anyway, I’ve been home five days now. I got a total of four jellyfish stings in South Carolina. Two were pretty bad, and my right ankle swelled up a couple days ago. But that’s done now, and I ran five miles this morning. I’ve been editing an article that’s due to an academic journal on Monday. I ripped open my forearm diving into a wave and dragging along the seashell-encrusted sand, and that’s healing, too. I am also a reckless ocean lover.
I’m not really taking any breaks to dance today. I have to meet some friends for a drink at 3PM, which is a strange time to be doing that. I also have to drive some friends to the airport so they can get to Iceland for their connecting flight before the volcano erupts for real and cancels European flights for a week (if that’s what is going to happen, let’s hope not).
The only other thing I wanted to mention, and in fact the whole reason I started writing this blog post: Sam Cooke. When this song plays, you can hear pop music straining against the dream of perfect communication that first inspired it. Maybe you don’t dance, because it’s not super danceable. And it’s Sam Cooke, so singing along is difficult, too. Take the opportunity to be a little bit afraid to die, just as Sam Cooke says. But a change is gonna come. Maybe.