That Sort of Dancing is a Young Man's Game
And you ain't that young. Or flexible.
I used to make up dances for Kara that amused her endlessly for various reasons, not the least of which was my willingness to humiliate myself for the sake of a good laugh. Unfortunately for us both, I was working out the final kinks in my magnum opus when I succumbed to injury. For roughly a year, I had been working tirelessly on my “Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Guy” dance. She was chomping at the bit for this one too, as I would occasionally offer her tantalizing previews the closer I came to perfecting my transitions. The dips and rises, my slow-building single-limbed shimmies, and my finishing move - a frantic flailing of phalanges. Dare I say - it was beautiful.
That was when, either due to the ever-tightening limitations of age or just plain hubris, I attempted a back dip in practice which instantly and unceremoniously relegated me to a floor-bound puddle of pain. A middle-aged cautionary tale. For the next 20 minutes or so, I laid half on a rug and half on the beautiful hardwoods of our apartment. Carefully shifting and fruitlessly attempting actions distantly akin to stretches, while my lower back throbbed, tingled, and vehemently resisted. During this time I also discovered that our seemingly clean rugs and hardwood floors were actually home to a kingdom of foulness lorded over by foot odor and populated by varying forms of feline detritus. It was gross.
I eventually attained supine-on-the-sofa status, and shortly thereafter came to grips with the fact that my dancing days were over. Well, at least the kind of dancing that required, balance, an average degree of athletic ability, and a modicum of flexibility, anyway. Kara, to her credit, recognized that it was the end of an era. Choosing to, like the wonderful woman she was, take the high road and support my decision to immediately scrap any thought of resurrecting or completing the “Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Guy” dance forever. Despite the pain and disappointment I knew she must have been feeling internally. It was a dark time.
But I would find my stride again, utilizing age-appropriate snaps, slides, and hip-hop moves punctuated by a blisteringly sharp and convincing white man’s overbite. I could tell she was trepidatious, however. A little afraid of buying into this new skillset of thumbs and kicks, having had her hopes dashed so recently by my physical dysfunction. But with time and patience, I was eventually able to convince her to trust again. To coax her back out of her shell so I could once more watch her, watch me, make an absolute ass out of myself for the amusement of us both. And I would do so for the rest of our days together. It was magnificent.