My shameful confession

We're human. We have wants, needs, desires. Sometimes, those desires are so natural they seem scary. Absolutely frightening. What will happen if we let them out? Will we become a superhero, saving a busload of kids from falling off a bridge or saving little kittens from the highest branches of a tall tree? Or will they bring about evil? Hellfire and damnation? Will we become the embodiment of hatred and become the worst human history and the world has ever known?

There are choices we make over the course of our lives that make a profound impact of who we become as humans. However, no matter how hard you try to forget, you remember the other choice. That choice may lie dormant until it begins to fester and burn, like acid burning the inner lining of your stomach to create the worst kind of ulcer pain you have ever known. This is all in the mind. Sheer memory alone can cause these feelings. Like a familiar smell or a song you hear, these things can bring about memories that transport you back to a place and time in your life that is long gone. When these memories bring about warm, fuzzy feelings, it's like the best sex you've ever had. Cathartic and relaxing.

When these memories stir the beast within, it takes all your control to hold it back.

This is why I've chosen to confess. To put this beast on display for all to see. I can only hope it doesn't turn into a King Kong situation whereby I show off the Eighth Wonder of the World and the next thing you know it's climbing a skyscraper in New York City.

So, here it goes.

I am a dancer.

My reveal may not be earth shattering or worthy of more than just a chuckle, but to those who know me, it may be turning their world topsy-turvy. +Kristin Ciszeski knows me as someone who would rather pull out my teeth, molars first, rather than dance. She's seen me dance on a total of four occasions:

1. When we were still dating. She took me to a jazz club in Washington, DC, for my birthday. At some point in the night, the musicians on stage wanted people to dance, so they enticed people by giving out free CDs. I danced. Badly. But I got a CD. Alcohol was involved.

2. At two weddings. They were both big affairs with big dance floors. Alcohol was involved.

3. At our wedding. We had tried to take dancing lessons before we got married, but the class was cancelled due to low turnout. As far as the wedding, I danced. Badly. Strangely, alcohol was not involved. I was on three or four Xanax, though.

So, what's the deal? Well, dancing actually bores me. Sure I like certain styles (though I couldn't name one if I saw it), but for the most part, I can take it or leave it. Whenever So You Think You Can Dance comes on for a new season and Kristin is enthralled, I basically go and find a book to read for a month or two. I make snarky comments every once in a while, but I couldn't care less.

I also feel like I have very little rhythm. Sure, I've played guitar and bass, can carry a note, and can tune by ear (somewhat), but I've maintained that I can't really feel rhythm. But that's kind of a lie. I can feel rhythm, and my body probably can move to it, but subconsciously my body refuses, and it's all due to repression. Where does it all come from?

1986-1989: Dennis is a young kid, still very innocent. Pretty happy as far as childhoods go. He loves performing, even mentions he wants to be an actor someday. He sings around the house, most often to Monkees' songs and television themes. He has older sisters who get married around this time. They make him be a ring bearer in each of their weddings, even though he doesn't actually "bear" a ring in either one. (Honestly, who sows a decorative ring to a pillow?) After standing for an eternity in front of pews of people, it's finally party time. What happens to a young kid who has had to stand still for hours and is let loose in front of blaring music? Kid's gotta dance. Unfortunately for him, the 1980s are full of video cameras. When he sees the video tape after the weddings, he is horrified, not only by how he looks but also by the adults' reactions to him dancing. Deep scars finish scabbing and the damage is done.

But when did it all begin?

Early 1980s: Dennis is the youngest kid in the neighborhood by a few years. It's a time in America when MTV is a new commodity, records and tapes are a symbol of how cool you are, and a lot of really awful music (and some really great stuff) gets a larger audience. Future Dennis wishes he had some friends who would have at least played The Police's "Synchronicity" or maybe something new wave, but this was not to be. Little Dennis, hanging out with the older kids around the block from his house, is about to experience something embarrassing. The kids are on the front steps, and there's a tape playing. It's a Madonna song. "Like a Virgin?" "Lucky Star?" No idea. The actual song has been repressed. Little Dennis starts tapping his foot to the music. The older kids see him and start laughing. He is mortified.

That's all it takes! One moment of humiliation for an innocent kid sticks with him to this very day. This is why he doesn't try very hard on "Just Dance 3." This is why the line "I wanna dance!" from the movie Dazed and Confused is all shades of hilarious, sad, and embarrassing.

This is my shameful confession. If you've ever seen me dance, I hope you enjoyed it. It was probably your last time seeing that.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go queue up some episodes of American Bandstand and Soul Train on YouTube and sob for awhile.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 28, 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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