The Puddinette and I were lucky enough to have one of those rare opportunities to go out with the Old Friends We See Too Little Of on Friday night, thanks, again, to Aunt Babysitter. We shared quite a few laughs and a lovely dinner, and even survived a popup storm that dropped a liquid apocalypse of water in 10 minutes. It rained so hard, so quickly that when I went to get the car I ended up looking like one of the kids from “You Can’t Do That on Television” that had been tricked into saying “water”.
I dry quickly, though, so it was no big deal. I’m just glad I wasn’t wearing one of my many fancy silk shirts*.
After dinner, the real entertainment began. We decided to stop in at Muggbees, a local establishment I’ve mentioned before that’s world renowned for its people-watching opportunities. Friday night did not disappoint on that particular score, for certain.
Even better, I got my first chance to personally witness The Dancing Man. Of course, I’ve heard the stories before. Stories of a man with such dedication and flair for the dance that he becomes oblivious to the world around him. He lives moment to moment on the dance floor, hypnotized by the magic of his own rhythm, often disregarding any actual music involved.
I’d always taken the stories with a grain of salt.
The truth is, the stories don’t begin to do him justice.
At first, I thought he must be saturated with adult beverages beyond the point of reasonable comprehension. His movements on the faux parquet were more sway and weave than anything most people would consider dancing. Swan Lake it wasn’t. More often than not, he oscillated in place on the very center of the floor with eyes closed, appearing semi-conscious. At one point I think I even saw them roll back into his head. Very occasionally, he added some minor hand motions, kind of like what you would make if approximating the pumping of a steam locomoative. But, no, he wasn’t over-served. Rather, he was simply lost in a rhythmic world of his own making, the rest of us be damned.
He does cast not an imposing figure, being of average height and weight, with a salt-and-pepper perm mullet that represents the very definition of All Party, All the Time. His attire was not forward or flashy, but rather representative of how we’d all really like to dress on Father’s Day, accentuating his casual attitude and prodigious beer belly. Nonetheless, his mere presence commanded authority. He would dance his way onto the floor, and then dance his way off again when a tune did not merit his exceptional talents. Off the floor, he sat upon his personal throne near the coin-operated pool tables, making change and holding court with his entourage, a cadre of bar-goers I don’t believe he even knew.
One of my friends perhaps summed him up best by later saying, “Dancing Man is the most man alive”. Indeed, the Dos Equis guy has nothing on Dancing Man.
The Dancing Man is living life on his own terms, swaying to the beat of his own music.
I think most of us could take a lesson or two from him.
Just, you know, maybe not dancing lessons.
*Relax, I don’t own any silk shirts.