While I haven't been putting my thoughts down on paper much lately, my traveling companion has been. Weston's words are too good not to share:
1. Whitney Houston, I Wanna Dance With Somebody
2. Miley Cyrus, We Can't Stop
The cool midnight air meets the unwanted end to the evening, but as you exit the party you meet a promise of more fun- accompanied by a shaky promise of return. As you enter the unknown there's not a care in the world other than the smiles on everyone's faces and excitement for the mysteries ahead. The breeze hits your face as you step in and up three easy, but unfamiliar steps.
Take a turn and the view you expected is thrown off by a rearranging of seats and added poles. There you are- seated, cocktail in hand, enveloped in darkness. You hear the roar of the engine and feel the cool late night breeze on your neck as the music starts. Everyone begins to get restless while seated and as the song builds you feel your legs start to move without your instruction, you begin to sway without inhibition, and suddenly, almost impulsively, you join everyone on their feet. As you speed through the city laughing and dancing the night away, you steel glances in slow motion of onlookers out the window- stares that follow, smiles that long to join. The beat and the high pulses through you.
You realize these moments slow down as if to remind you to enjoy, to soak in, and to gainfully contribute- for spying from the outside and not contributing is strictly prohibited in this crowd. And, that is precisely what you love and appreciate about the people that surround you. They rub elbows with you in the dark, in the light, when you're up and when you're down. They share a time of life with you when you all grew into the you you are now. They stake claim in your successes and failures- and everything in between, including your dance moves.
The night is not over, but this chapter is. You exit the reminder of slow motion and the importance of popping it like its hot with the best of them- you exit this reminder into the front door of not one, not two or three, but a four washboard band...and you contribute.
The Rolling Stones, Honky Tonk Women
The Rolling Stones, Honky Tonk Women
In you walk past the liveliest bouncer- high fives included. Clickin and clackin goes the washboard- mesmerizing as you walk to the bar…eyes never leaving the stage. A 7 and 7, two miller lights and a bud-heavy for the little one. Progress towards the stage where you recognize every face in the crowd. But, it's as if the stage has extended and the front row of seated onlookers peer on in desire to join the dancing and antics.
And then the washboard makes its way to the front of your birthday friend. She plays with the slightest of ease and the biggest of grins. Tonight you celebrate her friendship, her joy and her loud laugh.
You shift over to the door where you find your friends sitting on an abandoned booth bench with an unobstructed view of the night. You peer into the crowd thinking that there isn't another way you'd rather end the evening, but then you remember waffle house. Unfortunately, you end with Krystal…and it almost ends you.
As Fred the cabbie drives you home, you discuss the awkward dude at the party, the macaroni and cheese, and the mistake that is kyrstal burger…and again, the macaroni and cheese. 18 floors up to the penthouse you ride, and out onto the balcony you walk. Breeze on your face and city-scapes in your eyes.
To the couch you saunter to dream of contributing tomorrow...
Easy like Sunday Morning
As the sun rises, so do you…but you lay on the couch in wait of others to stir as you listen to songs of comfort.
With the awakening of others comes the invitation of a shower to rid you of the cigarette smoke, sweat and beer- of which this reminder of the night before makes you grin with subtle mysteriousness.
The walk to coffee with a buddy with whom you've cheated death and his girlfriend greets you with yet another cool breeze.
All three around the table you sit- each with coffee and a different section of the newspaper.
Charged with enjoying the company and sitting still, you watch the street and the passersby as the newspaper lays stretched across your lap. Quietly you see the irony in your liberal arts education as you embrace your ignorance for current events and wrap yourself in the bustling around you- but only as an onlooker.
As that time comes to a close, you venture back to gather your belongings…strewn across the city.
It's time again. Time to drive home- Another reunion coming to a close. Your co-pilot: a long time friend of 12 years. You've seen her laugh, you've seen her cry, and you've caused both. Depart you must. Saying goodbye, you mustn't. Until next time. Or, next year as you always discuss. The yearly retreat does you well.
But, one of the best parts await. The debrief and the therapy session on the drive home.
This year it is improved upon with the shaker and another year's wisdom.You discuss life. You discuss the funny moments. You discuss the hard moments. And, then you shake it off with a good song and two egg shakers…both off beat… both violently rattling to the tunes that remind you of growing up, of dancing in frat houses, and of times you've forgotten until the song takes you back…