Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Silent Shout in the Swing Hall!

I know now fragility, I know there are people I haven’t told, I know of people who are getting old.

I return from school and some of what ensued is as follows: Seated in one of those overproduced blue fold-up chairs marketed towards the outdoorsman with utilization more closely associated to one who enjoys counting cars from the front porch, I rabidly thumb through a dated Premiere article concerning David Lynch in my garage. A tumbler loaded with Canadian Hunter whiskey (chosen for ‘the Bransonesque figure quipped with rifle while sided by two adult huskies’ slapped on the label) and the haunting, Bahaus-inspired electronic output of The Knife set a dreamscape from the academic/“what the fuck do I do after this?” stress of late. After some time passes and pages turn, my studious, great friend accompanies me with some apparently bullshit Tom Wolfe novel from the nineties. The table is set for one of those old-fashioned read-offs. The type of gathering undoubtedly shared under candlelight by a working-class family hoping the better for their children in some single-room home in a time since passed. An extrapolated description far from any present case, but nonetheless, it is a reaching idea of the circumstance. Pages continued to turn, alternating from chair-to-chair, while words were exchanged about our own writings. It was one such conversation that has led to:

Seated upon a bench that interruptedly extends the perimeter of the ballroom’s dance floor, which consists of roughly one thousand square feet of wooden-parquet floors, crisscrossed fivefold in a layered manner, I am entranced in a sleep-deprived glare fixed upon a couple blissfully personifying social dichotomy. The PST is after eleven and the ballroom is entering its eighth and final hour of swing dancing. A style of dance dating back to ca. 1920 with an unnecessary revitalization attempt some seventy years later, which has lingered into the present site of a teenaged lady with the bleach-black hair that is currently gracing the heads of promiscuous youth who is coupled with an elder gentleman. The number concludes and the gentleman separates from the young lady and approaches an available spot on the bench next to yours truly. I recognize the man as someone I had earlier charged eight dollars to at the main entrance, and shared simple talk concerning the weather and an assumption towards few attendees for the event considering the warmth and the lack of adventure related to Mondays. The gentleman is wearing a Reebok sports cap in which I am immediately drawn to since I support the company’s throwback tennis shoes. The cap is a worn salmon that was probably a richer shade of crimson back in its prime when those Dave v. Dan commercials were prepping national fervor for the 1992 summer Olympics. Lowering visual scope, I notice he is wearing a long-sleeved collared shirt alternating between the vertical Boolean factors of ivy green and not, which is lazily tucked into a freshly pressed pair of dark tan Dockers slacks. Our elderly gentleman seems to be nearing eighty years of age and has an olive-colored skin whose origin I associate with a Mediterranean nation, and who speaks in an accent I conclude to be Italian. Seated in conversational silence, I peer to my left after a coughing fit sent me to my right side crooping into my mouth covering right hand. We exchange eye contact, as I recover from this bodily jolt, and he continues our conversation from four hours ago in a redundant fashion commenting on the lack of swing participants. Enthralled by any human contact, I recite a generic reply similar to the one I used in our prior interaction. Our gentleman proceeds to open up our dialogue and explains to me that he used to attend swing events at the ballroom every Sunday night years and years ago; well before any Brian Setzer Orchestra revitalization attempt or McMenamin buyout. However, the elder gentleman is not deterred by the latter concern and oblivious to the prior, when he continues to meticulously describe to me how he has continued to attend every swing event held at the ballroom since its renovation and subsequent commercial exploitation. This would be the extent of our oral interaction during the forty-five minutes seated next to one another, restfully viewing the present dancers to which a mergence of nostalgic age and unknowledgeable youth was occurring. For some reason, perhaps with association to the media exposure of this genre, an entire middle generation seemed to be absent from the ballroom’s dance floor, allowing such heterogeneity. After our time of interaction had expired, the elder gentleman slowly rose from his seat on the bench, apparently hampered by physical limitations that usually come with advancement in age. He reached for and slowly entered his arms into the sleeves of his overcoat that was hung on the backrest of one of the bench’s interruptions. Upon redressing of the coat to his person, the gentleman strolled away, pausing at the water cooler for a final thirst quenching drink, and around the corner out of my view, only to reappear in this swing hall for the next dance.

1 comment:

Carson said...

For the record--and it seems the blog may be the record of our existence unless somehow, someway there is a publisher out there who will print and bind the life and times of this human being, which doesn't appear likely at this stage in the game, and that is rather sad when you think about leaving this planet an anonymous nobody, not even a name for future generations to pass over in their history texts; instead a namesake is read, someone who did more with less, someone who did harm to others and got away with it, was praised for it, was written about too many times, and for you we get, will get, the verdict is still out and we'll probably never know, a bland, a void, nothing notable, or, it will be determined well after our time, perhaps, 'ahead of his time,' as they say, or as I said not at all, which, as I said, is sad but true, 'and then reality,' as they say, or as I said once, and am now convinced that everyone talks like me--the Tom Wolfe novel I was reading and am now finished with and have returned to the library was published, not in the nineties as the author of this blog published but rather in this decade, actually three years ago, however, as stated by the author it was bullshit to some degree, and I think after posting this comment I'm going to write Mr Wolfe a letter with some suggestive edits.