Friday, July 13, 2012

The Monkey

For three months I've been dealing with a personal problem that has felt like a monkey on my back. Make that a 500 lb. gorilla doing Zumba aerobics on my back. I haven't felt like myself in too many days to count. Finally, with very little fanfare, my problem was brought to an end this week and I feel like a new person. Goodbye, gorilla! I hope you go back to the jungle, or the very nice zoo where you used to live and have a very nice life. I would prefer it if you never came and visited me again.

It's hard to describe how much better I feel. When I think about how to put it into words, my mind keeps wandering back to some of my favorite visual images. The best way to describe it is that I feel like I can dance like Fred Astaire. And I am certain my feet would behave just like his if only I could dance. Not that the fact that I can't dance has ever prevented me from dancing -- it's just that in my mind's eye when I'm very very happy -- I dance just as well as Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

I love their movies. I've watched the scene of them dancing to "Cheek to Cheek" in Top Hat so many times, I think I've got all their choreography memorized.  It's so romantic and she looked so beautiful in that feathery dress. And then there's the tap dance number from Barkeleys of Broadway. Man, he could dance -- but boy, could she keep up with him.  Go, Ginger! Way to rock it, sister! But for me, the one scene of Fred Astaire dancing that I could watch over and over a million times back- to-back is from Daddy Long Legs with Leslie Caron. 

She's at a college dance in a red satin dress. All the other girls are in pastel colors, of course. And a bunch of young college hunks are hanging around the dance floor in dapper white dinner jackets when "old man" Fred Astaire strolls in wearing a black tux and a red rose on his lapel. Like he would need a dark jacket to stand out in a crowd -- just standing there you can tell he has better rhythm than anyone else. But I digress... then a singing group starts the "Slue Foot." And the fun begins. 

Leslie Caron glides across the dance floor with her startlingly handsome partner. She looks like she's having fun. But then Fred Astaire, who's been standing on the sidelines, gets pushed onto the dance floor by some rambunctious tomfoolery and ends up sheepishly cutting in on Leslie Caron's date -- which is all for the best because while not as handsome as her date, he is a much better dancer -- plus he's wearing the red rose that matches her dress. Her date really should've known. Fred stumbles around on the dance floor a little bit, but he can't hide his natural grace. And finally, Leslie Caron and Fred Astaire engage in what I can only describe in words as" happy dancing," as her date glowers on the sidelines. 

Ah…you'll have to watch it for yourself to see what I mean. It's heavenly. Absolutely pure bliss…and that's what I'm feeling right now.

"You put the old posterior out, and you manipulate it about. Then you holler, 'Slue foot'!"

Slue foot!