movement and sound


By the time I really quit the DJ I’d lost respect for him, and that was probably the hardest part. I don’t blame myself for that; respect is relatively difficult thing to maintain in the face of someone who says, “I’d do anything to be with you,” and then tries to off himself when you don’t return his calls.

Try living, bro. Start there.

Because if you can’t even manage that, what do have to offer me, really?

Overall, I don’t remember my experience with the DJ favorably. Which means, if you’re me, that you don’t bother remembering it at all.

So it’s a cute surprise, this morning, when a song comes on I like, and I jack it up, and unabashedly perform for its tempo. And my just generally feeling exceptionally good in my body—that kinetic memory—translates.

The DJ and I. Music was his thing, and dance was mine, and we were so well-paired that way. The night in the hotel room when he set up his sound system in the corner, and stood next to the window and smoked cigarettes and played his tunes for me.

And I, in my oversized t-shirt and blacks tights, danced, thrashed, tore all the covers off the bed, rolled my body against the walls. Ended up in a heap on the floor, exhausted, all thoughts in my mind stilled.

It’s not easy for me to reach mind-numbing exhaustion. It’s a precious thing, on those rare occasions it’s achieved.

There were nights in his apartment that were similar. His music so loud that the walls were shaking and I exalted in my body while he stood in his corner watching, glorified in knowing that the sound he produced was finding a home in me. It was revelatory, naked, raw, some intrinsic talent in him inexplicably bound to a tortured expression I was desperate to release.

One night his neighbors pounded on the door to get him to stop, and he strode over to the door looking ready to kill.

“I’m making music for my girl!” he screamed in the face of two rough-looking men twice his strength. I came up behind him and smiled, red-faced and perspiring, by then in some ludicrous reduction of my original outfit.

They were speechless, merely nodded before heading back to their apartment.

Ours, together, was some impenetrable force.

He lived in a basement apartment in the city, with bars on the window, and sometimes people would squat and stare at our display. But it didn’t feel voyeuristic. It felt as if their existence was impossible, so far removed from us and our state of mind were they.

And there were a few times that we danced with the kids. Our three boys would unleash in some kind of mock-aggressive fight. And if they got in my path, I would scream at them, “Don’t manipulate my moves!”

The DJ loved his. He’d put that cute little hand over his mouth, and tell me later, “I love you with my children.”

It wasn’t all bad. I wouldn’t have been there, if that’s all there was. There was a point, before he went over it, that I loved nothing more than dancing out to his very edge with him, only to find my body coiled in his on the floor.

But in the end he wanted something more than just those isolated moments. I couldn’t understand that. Going out to dinner or doing anything normal held no flicker to those ripe collaborations of movement and sound. Those were beautiful.

What was the need for anything other than that?

Don’t we all want the freedom to choose the thing that is choosing us?

Nothing more, nothing less?


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