On March 7, 2020, one week before our world shut down, I was on a crowded dance floor. Moving, jumping, sweating, laughing. Soaking up the energy of the music. And the masses.
There was a slight awareness in the back of my mind that something was brewing in the world. There was a hint of nerves and anxiety when I brushed up against people. There was a flinch when they spoke to me too loudly over the music, so close to my ear that I could feel their breath. But there was no hint in my mind of what was ahead. No notion of how the world would be changing. No inkling of even a fraction of the suffering and sadness that was on its way…
Tonight, I will dance again. I will don my dancing boots. Gather up my courage. Put on my mask, and push through my ever present, ever growing, social anxiety, and body dysmorphia. I will put my grief, my anger, my sadness, my deep deep sorrow, aside.
It’s time to try to shed a layer.
I will arrive as early as possible (how utterly uncool). Before a crowd can form. I will try to stay calm, and present. I will be fully, completely, in the moment. I’ll breathe it all in- but not too deeply!
My mind is bound to wander, to a million memories of the times before 2020. Each and every old song will conjure up a thousand people, places and things. Some gone forever.
Even if no other people show up, the dance floor will be too crowded to navigate. I will brush up against my anxieties, my sadness, my anger, and my fears. I will dance with every demon in my heart and in my head. I will be flowing to the rhythm with the angels, and the ghosts.
I will stand firmly in the middle of the dance floor. I will close my eyes. And I will begin to move. Forward.