Elizabeth and I are dancing North this Saturday. Because we can. We're going early to have dinner with a friend and then driving back probably before the dance is over because I'd like to be able to get up in time to get her to Bikram by noon which is the other thing she wants to do this weekend. I don't recall when we planned this but I think it was relatively soon after the end of ambiguity. There is still no ambiguity to speak of, by the way. I'll see if I can get to that in this post, if not, oh well.
The purpose for the trip was and still is to reclaim some of that space that was mine as a New England dancer before I'd ever heard of NM. I didn't go with Elizabeth the first time. I went with SM but SM is no longer SM, he has expatriated so we'll have to come up with something else. OK, he's still SM but we can have some fun with this. I'll just have to think about it. The Expatriate. The Expatriate formerly known as SM and I went North together. TEFKASM. Jesus, that's funny. Sorry, Dude, I think it's going to stick until you see fit to repatriate yourself and we all know that's going to take awhile.
TEFKASM has been chased to parts unknown by a pack of rabid wolves. No. Not good enough. TEFKASM is living the American dream... Nope. TEFKASM has pulled an Indiana Jones in an attempt to make Contra Dancing cool in a part of the world where they're just as likely to shoot him and dump his body in a swamp as feed him Kiwis. Except I don't think there are any swamps where he's run off to. Or kiwis. Good luck with all that, TEFKASM. And come back soon.
I digressed again, didn't I? It was kind of important. I had to update you all on the state of one of my BFFs. He's run off. You all needed that information. It's very important information. As in State of the Union information. For real.
Somehow he's still publishing and posting the videos from his local home dance though... (yes, I do know how you're doing this)
So yeah, Elizabeth and I are hauling ass North, having dinner with a friend and dancing until we don't feel like it anymore or until I feel that trigger that says, hit the road now, dummy, you've got 130 miles in front of you.
The plan came almost immediately or at least the desire. I exhaled and on the very first inhale I pulled in the not quite bright room and exhaled what it felt like to walk in there as myself, not NM's girlfriend. Even the one time I went by myself when he was in Seattle I was still NM's girlfriend. I remember standing on the stage with a surprisingly good signal holding the phone in the wrong direction so that the facetime session was kind of pointless as I held out the phone to the band and the caller. I stood on the stage and held it out into the room. There's just no way in hell I'd be that sort of bold without being NM's girlfriend.
I inhaled walking into that room by. my. self. Not overshadowed by a man who is truly remarkable in the community. His impact in the last four years has been remarkable even if you only look at the influx of younger dancers which has a ripple effect into the rest of the community which touches context, content, social awareness, acceptance and more importantly an intolerance of unacceptable behavior which is becoming more proactive than reactive. The man is huge in the very fact that he creates the space that allows the community to step forward and create change. That's leadership, people. You can't help but notice him.
As his girlfriend, you can't help but be overshadowed even if you're me. And that's on me, by the way, not him.
I inhaled walking into that room. Alone. OK, I've never actually walked into that room alone. But close enough.
I wonder what that will be like. It would have been very different if we weren't talking. I might have felt some sort of awful and needed to walk through that. I might still feel that way. There's something I need to deal with eventually. Probably. That could be a fairly uncomfortable conversation. I brought this on myself and I need to clean it up. I need to look out for Elizabeth but I'll have help with that at least in some respects and also she's getting better at looking out for herself. Suddenly she doesn't look like a little kid anymore when she dances. She looks young but there's been a shift in composure that's matched her body changes and her height. I'll see if I can stop long enough to get pictures or even video. I'd like to have that because every time I'm out with her I am aware that it could well be the last time. She keeps telling me she's not going anymore and she's only doing it for me this one last time but every time she comes, she's happy and sort of surprised by that so I sort of wonder.
Someday I will take her to Glen Echo because there's something about dancing in the Spanish Ballroom and there's something about spending a weekend away with your mother that worked for both of us the same way that Mudderella with Cielo and Kate worked for me and Cletus. We'll be doing that again fairly soon as well. Elizabeth will be old enough in two years.
What I know today: My autonomy got lost. I want it back.
Oh. Did I fail to mention ambiguity? I did. OK, here's what I can tell you given that I'm unwilling to nail down anything I can't nail down. Oh, that sentence should tell you a lot. The use of the word I. *I* am unwilling to nail down anything I can't nail down. I'm really not ready or willing to talk much about what I'm doing because it's immensely personal, read that as: Private, but I'm clear that there's no chance of saving a two year old relationship. That's over and done. Close the book or door or what have you. There is possibility of a rebuild. I've discovered there's a difference. You have to be careful though. You start slipping back into how things were and BOOM, there it is again. I can't speak for NM but I'm not having any of it. So there's your ambiguity or lack thereof at the moment. I spend a fair amount of energy thinking about how I choose and what I choose but I'm conscious of choosing. I can say yes or I can say no. I can ask or I can be asked. I can look forward two minutes or two days or in the case of last weekend I looked forward all the way to the weekend of April 4. That was very big of me. Stretchy, stretchy and also I realized I could change my mind at any point. If I felt I needed to do so. Ambiguity existed when I felt out of control and I felt completely out of control. I'm not going to speak for NM. There's a lot more going on right now but that's the one part. The other part? I wrote half a post on it and stopped. It was taking way too much effort better spent elsewhere.