Before anyone says anything: I don’t smoke anymore. I only ever smoked for a handful of months well over a decade ago, though I do occasionally miss it. Sometimes someone will pass me by on the street and I will smell it and I find myself momentarily thinking one sounds nice. But I do not partake.
I am originally from the Pacific Northwest. Before moving down to Anaheim, I lived in Portland, Oregon, and I used to go out.
At the onset of the weekend, every weekend, I’d be gearing up to go dancing. I love going dancing more than a lot of things. I used to go alone. Occasionally, I’d go with a friend or meet up with someone at any number of places, but I often went alone. It may sound silly to say, but I went to dance. I never went to make the scene; I went to dance.
I love putting myself in a group of anonymous people, all there to move and enjoy themselves. There is something glorious and freeing to be in a dark room with exotic lighting and loud music, while everyone drops their pretenses to move around. It makes me so happy. I can recall walking to different clubs and feeling the energy sparking well before I reached my destination. Getting down the street, hearing the thump of the music, getting to the door, paying the fee, and making that approach to the dance floor. Sometimes there was getting a drink prior, but I was often the first one on the dance floor. The type of music didn’t matter. The crowd didn’t matter. If there were stages you could dance on or cages you could dance in, I was often on and in them. I met some incredible people at those clubs.
One night, while trying to cheer a friend up, we both decided to use fake names to amuse ourselves (mine was “Clark”). That night I met possibly the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in person. Long story short, we became fast friends and she quickly revealed herself to be one of the most generous people I’d ever met; she literally saved me from rapidly impending homelessness, and wound up introducing me to my now partner.
Talk about a lot of amazing rolled up into one person.
I’m forever grateful to her.
And I met her while out dancing.
There is almost nothing as wonderful as getting ready to go out. The exaggerated makeup. The carefully chosen clothes for movement. The pared down essentials so I didn’t have to bring a purse (dancing with a purse is a drag). I love everything about dancing. I miss going to the arcade first. I miss making weekend plans and heading out in the dark to have a night of movement and music. For me, there is something primal about dancing in a room full of people, particularly when I go alone. I owe nothing to anyone there, other than respect. I can go and fully be me. There is almost nothing better than the exhaustion of a night spent dancing until 2am.
I find myself drawn to it again. More than ever.