It’s three in the morning, and I just got back from a long night of dancing. I’m exhausted, and most of me would rather be in bed. Since this is a blog about honesty, I can say that. The house is supposed to be quiet, but one of my nephews is apparently awake, and I think my sister just got up to check on him. Seriously, is this what parenting is like, cooking meals and running a professional taxi service during the day, then playing night watchman when the sun goes down? I don’t know how parents get anything done. Well, yes I do–they put their children in front of a television. But still, my hat is off to you people.
This afternoon my sister and I went to Costco. Y’all, I’d never been to one before, and it was pretty damn ridiculous. There were giant televisions, cheap alcohol (name brand!), and a hotdog stand. It was like an adult carnival plus Hanes underwear in bulk. What’s more, there was a refrigerated vegetable room bigger than my parents house and twice as tall. (Who the hell is eating so much lettuce?) And did I mention it was freezing? I had to put on a long-sleeved shirt just so we could walk halfway across the room and pick out some strawberries.
But I digress.
I guess my nephew Ander and I have a lot in common because that boy is always hungry. After the vegetable freezer he started asking for food, so my sister opened up a package of cheese right there in the middle of the tomato sauce section and gave him a slice. Maybe this is a mom thing, but I was mortified. I thought, We haven’t paid for that yet! Well, I bit my tongue, but Ander obviously wouldn’t have given a shit anyway because he had a slice of delicious cheese in his hands. I mean, he threw the wrapper on the floor and started munching away. (I picked up the wrapper and sneaked it in my pocket like, Nothing to see here.)
Thankfully, the cops didn’t show up.
After Costco and before we picked my other nephew up from school, we went to Chick-Fil-A and ended up talking about how frickin’ friendly they are. You know, they always ask your name, smile, and say “my pleasure” whenever you say, “Thank you.” Who are these people? I mean, I’m all for customer service, but sometimes I feel like I’ve walked into an episode of The Twilight Zone whenever I step on their property in search of a simple chicken sandwich. Geez. My pleasure. (It’s weird, right?) Just once, could someone say, “You’re welcome”?
Is that too much to ask?
Okay, so I’m not sure how to introduce this next section without talking about gay cowboys. I realize that’s a weird transition, but it’s true. A couple years ago I was having a bad day/week/month and took myself to a gay bar in Dallas called The Roundup because there’s nothing like a bunch of homosexuals in Wranglers to make a boy feel better. Really, I don’t care who you are, you should go. They have a great dance floor, and everybody two-steps with everybody else. Guys dance with guys, girls dance with girls, girls lead as guys follow. It’s just a happy thing–perfect for shattering stereotypes and fun for the whole family.
Anyway, that was the night I met my friend Kaleb. We met on the floor, then danced and danced and danced some more. I don’t mind saying it was pretty magical. You know how you ladies always get excited when some handsome guy leads you around the dance floor? Well, despite my profession, I’ve never really gotten that, at least from a follower’s perspective. But I got it that night, thanks to Kaleb. The man could (and can) flat dance. I don’t remember the last time I had so much fun.
As it turned out, Kaleb was also visiting Dallas to get away–from Albuquerque–where he teaches ballroom dancing. (Isn’t that wild?) So for the last couple years we’ve kept loosely in touch, and I messaged him this afternoon to see if he wanted to go to a swing dance. (He said yes.) Y’all, a couple times I thought the altitude and lack of oxygen was going to kill me, but I survived and had a fabulous time. Kaleb and I took turns leading and following, no one gave us funny looks, and a few people even clapped.
I guess Kaleb or I could have said, “No need for applause, it was my pleasure.”
Give me a break.
When the swing dance was over, Kaleb and I headed to a local gay bar called Sidewinders for karaoke. That’s right, not only am I gay, but sometimes I sing karaoke. There, I said it. (And if anyone repeats any of this on the internet, we–are–finished.) Anyway, there weren’t a lot of people out tonight, so Kaleb and I had room to dance while other people sang. Again, so much fun. And then–and then–the cast from the national tour of An American in Paris showed up because–where else would they be on a Tuesday night? No, seriously, the cast just had a big turnover, and tonight was a lot of the members’ first city, first night, first performance, so they went out to celebrate at Sidewinders (as one does). They were dancing and we were dancing–some of us introduced ourselves and some of us didn’t–but it was just this beautiful thing–several Americans in Sidewinders.
Tonight Kaleb told me there’s a couple theories when it comes to art. (I don’t know how he knows this.) One theory says that art is meant to stand the test of time, that it should be around for generations and be enjoyed by as many people as possible. Another theory says that art is transitory, that it’s meant to pop up rather suddenly then disappear, like a flower that only blooms for a night. This theory, Kaleb said, is called “art as explosion,” and I’ve been thinking about it the last few hours. We spend so much of our lives trying to hang on to things we can’t hang on to. We paint paintings and take pictures trying to remember the people and experiences that make us feel loved and alive, hoping to grasp that which is most lovely to us. Of course, this is not possible. Thankfully, that which is lovely happens constantly if we have the eyes to see it. It looks like a child rebelling in the middle of a grocery store by eating cheese that hasn’t been paid for yet, a smile on the face in the drive-thru window, and a roomful of people dancing together. This is the very mystery of life, of course–one moment, one miracle exploding into the next.
Quotes from CoCo (Marcus)
"Along the way you’ll find yourself, and that’s the main thing, the only thing there really is to find."