Tiny Dancer


dsc_0466I don’t consider myself much of an innovator, although there have been things that I thought of that then ended up being invented by someone else. Like tampon boxes with tampons of different absorbancies. A few lites, a few mediums, some extra strength. Ooops. Sorry, male readership – that’s gross, I know. Shake it off.

Yesterday afternoon, however, I believe I invented something. Something good. Something really, really good. All you will need is your Ipod and a pair of those big ass cushy headphones. I’m sorry, but earbuds will simply not do. You need to be surrounded in music – lost in music – fully bombarded. This is key. Then you need to get yourself down to Lake Harriet and walk to the middle. Stand there, face the sun, blast your tunes, take a look around. 360˚. See all the people on the path? See how tiny they are? That’s how tiny you are. Not quite invisible, but definitely unrecognizable. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Right about now you will begin to feel that itch, that bump de bump in your rump. You will feel like dancing and here’s the invention part. Do it. Just let it all hang out. And after a couple of songs, if you get to unzip your coat because it’s 40˚ warmer than it has been and your inside-out flannel shirt that you wear as pajamas is flapping in the wind, then so much the better. And if it’s so warm and sunny that you take off your big black gloves for the first time in weeks and stuff them in your back pockets, then so much the better. Hips down, arms up, shake it my babies. Get your groove on brothers and sisters. It feels amaaaaazing.

Yes, I was a tad hungover and yes, it was really really warm out, but I’m telling you – I’m telling you – this is a shot of joy on ice.

You know how every city has its roller-dancing kings and queens – leathery skin, shiny shorts, walkmans, knee highs, sinewy extremities, blissed out expressions. You see how happy they look as they bust out their best roller skating moves, smooth and sexy – in a world of their own. Well, that’s what I felt like. I felt like the Sun King at Lake Calhoun. He wears peachy pink shorts, no shirt, has a blond mane cascading down his back and every exposed inch of his skin is as nut brown tan as a well worn saddle. He’s Tarzan butter on those roller skates and anytime the kids and I catch a glimpse of him, it causes a happy ruckus in our family. He’s odd, he’s happy, he’s doing his thing and doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks. What’s not to love about that? We all need to take a bite of that apple.

As I was shimmying and shammying and busting out my smoothest moves in the middle of the lake, I thought of an old boyfriend from college. We used to go to the soccer fields at night to mess around. It was huge and open, and we felt invisible. It was fun. We were exposed to everything, but not. Hiding in plain sight. We could have seen campus security approaching from a mile away. It was the perfect place for a little smoochin’ and a huggin’.

The beauty of this middle of the lake dancing is that it’s fleeting, seasonal – a uniquely winter pleasure. This summer, I’ll try to pick out my spot on the smooth water and it’ll be hard to believe that’s where I danced.

I’m also thinking this would be great at night. Twinkling lights. Blue black snow. Mmmm. Sexy. Take your lover and an extra pair of head phones.

Here’s what kept me groovin’ yesterday.

I Want to Take You Higher – Sly and the Family Stone
Honeybear – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Mind Power – Tribe Called Quest (OHHHH, MY!)
Inspiration Information – Shuggie Otis
More Than This – Roxy Music (OHHHHHH – dreamy.)
Otherside – Chili Peppers (always, always. slay me now, I love this song.)
Save Room – John Legend (pant – don’t even get me started. This might be one to save for date night tiny dancing.)
Me, Myself and I – De La Soul.
This Is All I Came To Do – Dinosaur Jr.

And then I left. Now I’m all jacked up. If you see a tiny dancer out there, come say hi. But make a Y with your arms as you approach, so I know I know you and don’t dance away from you like I did to the chocolate lab people yesterday.

Do you trust me? You trust me, right? When have I led you astray? Never, right? Tiny dancing. Try it, you’ll love it.

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