My godmotherÕs dancing. And even though her pants are too high and her belt buckleÕs too big, the bones in her face are beautiful and she looks great. SheÕs dancing to soul music, closing her eyes and singing along. She wants me to dance with her. She takes my hand in her tissue paper soft fingers. Feel the music, she says. I do feel the music. I love music to the point of obsession. Sometimes I feel music so much it hurts. But I canÕt dance. Not here, even with the woman who loved me even before I was born. Who forgave me for ice-skating on her floor with Vaseline and hand cream and gave me a sun and moon card saying how much she loved me of course even still. The woman who when my parents were in London made me miso soup 'cause I was sick with the flu. But I canÕt dance here. Not even with her.
There are times when I feel the music so much and IÕm surrounded by so many people that every fear melts away like mascara down my concert sweat soaked cheeks. And I dance and I feel like snowflakes and weed smoke and milkweed fluff and my very own instrument that is really just me.
IÕll teach you, she says. Any goddaughter of mine has to dance. And you canÕt just dance, you have to love it. Turn the music up.
ItÕs Marvin Gaye singing Heard it through the grapevine, and for maybe just a second my body shivers alive. IÕm not ready yet. So then I sit and just watch her. Moving around by herself. SheÕs the only one dancing. Everyone else is chatting or eating or drinking. Laughing.
But my nutty other mother, tissue paper soft lavender soapy Christmas chocolate giver flirt bather is dancing all by herself and sheÕs beautiful and I wish I was exactly like her.