One of those days when the weather is so good it’s mindless. The relief of it, of warmth and sunlight and being outside, was stupid. It made everyone goofy, like we were all swilling coins in our palms, wondering where to spend them. Women walking with the private scandal of their winter legs, spring-bared, in sandals. Men with loose grins on their faces, staring about and seeing each other like they’d just remembered about people, a dumb wonder to it. Those grins catching and crossing through the streets like looped bunting.
You, an elf of a man in giant headphones, jeans rolled, aviators on, were oblivious to this. You were also, in your oblivion, the perfect embodiment of the day because you were dancing down the street. The feast of your moves, the sheer generosity of your repertoire, made me think you’d done this before, that this was just how you chose to get around on days like this, when the weather behooved you. Some people biked, some people walked, you danced. You were ten or so paces in front of me and I stared at a messenger bag the size of a baby packed at your back. Across it, a huge sticker that said — or exhorted — “HYDRATE”. Yes, I thought, that would be important if this was how energetically you chose to traverse a street.
I tried to mentally record and classify all your moves. A goblinny little waddle, with a rapid side jiggle of the head, like, I’m coming to eat you, haha, not really. A “teehee” made physical. A buoyant skip whose aerial-to-earthbound proportions were a trick, or a tease to gravity. The top of each bounce had a tiny pause like an exclamation point. Forefingers pointed upward, twirling, like, I see you sky, I see you sun. Sassy, vogue-ing shakes of wrist. You moved more like an animation than a man. Like an animation, you just went on and on, tireless.
To watch you dancing down this street was like watching Simone Biles do that tumbling flip of hers that’s impossible enough to be eponymous. Brain says wow no way. Body, wanting to feel it so badly, body, in its hopeless empathy, says, could I, couldn’t I? How many people can do “The Biles”? Same number of people who could dance like you. The idea was beyond my bodily imagination and yet my body tried. Not to actually physically copy you, to Pied Piper along behind you in tribute, but just to imagine.
It was so good, this whole spectacle of you, all the brunch-bound couples turning to gape at you as you passed, that I felt it belonged in a movie, or at least a viral video. I reached for my phone, then let go of my phone. You kept dancing, all the way down Franklin, all the way down Banker, until I lost you.