I wrote this post a few weeks ago, and then forgot to post it. It may be a sign of the emotional state I was in that I so conveniently left this even without a title to remind myself it was there; only rambling around the site did I find the scraps of notes I’d left myself.
(I think we should all leave scraps of notes to ourselves, all around the house, around the car, around the world. Write it down, and maybe when you’re ready you’ll pick it up and do something with it. Consider them love-notes.)
I went to a concert tonight. It was the first stand up and beat your fists in the air kind of concert I’ve been to in a while. I was there with friends; we entered through a gauntlet of smokers, cigarettes points of light held down low or up high (the latter my favored nicety). Emerging from the smog tunnel we emerged into the lovely sunset-through-sailboat semigloom light to see the crowd, the chairs, the stage.
I immediately felt the charge. It was in the crowd, it was in me. It felt nearly hormonal, a rush of energy centered both in my pelvis and my chest, like a barbell taken straight from the forge and placed inside my torso. My posture changed; I was aware of a slight swagger, a sashay that felt unbecoming to me. I kept it down with effort, much like a dog straining at the leash. I was not here to pick up on anyone, yet the atmosphere demanded a physical response. Was this a learned response? Many years ago I did go to concerts regularly, I did flirt and demand attention with my body language. Was this an honest physical response to a certain energy, primal even? Even before the music began there was a thrum that thrilled me, as though I listened to music from under water, hearing both the muffled strains and my pulse, overlaid.
The music was wonderful. She was energetic and powerful and I felt very alive, in the presence of a priestess of words, dancing. My plastic cup was cold and condensed water and splashes of beverage dampened my hands and knees, while the sun went down and freeloaders sat on rowboats in the bay, transfixed. Young girls kissed and shook themselves with abandon, free of oppression and full of that energy that had needled its way up inside of me, and I was exhausted and happy when it was over, my face aching from smiling, my cup forgotten, everyone in my periphery friends from the accidental bashing hips gave hips, flailing arms gave arms.
Yet in the middle of my abandon, I held back and a little part watched and felt out of place. One friend declared she felt old; that was part of it. A small part of me, the Kharold branch of the family, wanted to dance and scream; the rest of me would not hear of it. What won out was the fact that the argument was going on at all. You cannot dance to that rhythm if you are at all conscious of it.
And I came home, to my lovely sweetie and sleeping boy. Then the real surreality of my day hit me. Even while I made snacks and played “go Fox go” with Our Boy, there were people preparing for the concert, wondering what to wear, calling each other, planning. While I enjoyed the concert, there were others hooking up, giving in to the thrumming; even as we left through that same tunnel we passed one couple grappling, oblivious in the depths of their own white noise, their own breathing. Even now, I sit here. I made yogurt today. I set sprouts to soak and grocery shopped and made hummus. What in the world was I doing at a concert? What was I doing, thinking it would not infect me, make me yearn to let go, to dance, to throb with energy until some release? To smile at strangers?
Will I feel this way at 50? 60? 70? I hope I will not stop going; hopefully by then Kharold will have taken over completely and there will be no problem with exhibitionism or hedonistic behavior. I can only hope that by then I will have stopped worrying quite so much as to not mind the pulse and throb within me, to be less afraid to smile at strangers. As I’ll be wrinkly and stooped by then, I’m sure it will be difficult to end up with anyone feeling anything but cameraderie or perhaps sympathy, but then again perhaps there will be that person who can see beyond the turkey-wattle neck and optimistic hips to the incredibly interesting conversation and mad loving energy beyond. That person I will bring home, introduce to my sweetie, set down at my kitchen table and feed. Then everyone in the house will dance, and I will find a way to thrum and vibe without contest, without conflicting emotion, without shame.
I know what someone will say–do I have to wait until I’m 50?
Maybe not. But then again, it may be until 50 before I meet anyone who will believe that this post is not just about sex.