preying mantis looking for samba partner

Anyone who has known me in or before college is surprised by the fact that I now love dancing. It’s not that I was bad at dancing (which I was… I had NO rhythm or sense of movements which in anyway complimented a song’s structure), but more that I honestly hated the sense of participating in a group of people who were all watching each other do the same thing. I remember being 12 or so at my aunt's wedding and when she told me “Come on! Dance!”, my response was “How?” I remember looking at a sea of people, all who were sort of doing a similar thing, and wondering where they all got their notes from. How did they all know what they were supposed to be doing? I didn’t. (It is not necessary to note, but worthwhile to mention, that there was a large animatronic rhino in the corner of the room.)

Who knows how my movements work out these days, if they’re good or bad, but I’m like a bird flying blindly into a window over and over again; I feel strongly a sense of direction and I head that way. Regardless of glass.

In Budapest, there seems to be a shortage of men who just like to dance. The vibe on a dance floor is of a bunch of vampires scanning a room for prey; bulky men or men wearing too much axe body spray or something that smells like someone shoplifting from a Sephora only to trip during his escape and face plant in the parking lot among 1000 small cologne samples. 

I get asked if I’m a “homo” a lot, but not in an inquisitive anthropological way, but a way which seems to imply that my masculinity was checked with the many umbrellas by the door. And I always wonder in those moments, what the game plan is of the man asking me. Is he a closeted man, hoping that me — in large woman’s sunglasses and bright tank top — would possibly blow him in the bathroom? Or (and, this is, I believe, is the true reason) is he bolstering his masculinity by questioning MY masculinity? Luckily I’m tall and sometimes laugh like I’m completely insane, so it’s easy for me to disarm these situations. I just make a flying bird motion with both of my hands, yell “DOVE!” (it’s a bird of peace), start laughing manically, and begin to chase my imaginary bird. No one usually makes many follow ups after that.

But there are moments in places like this where I have danced with a woman and created a moment that is pure bliss. The moment before a kiss. The moment before walking to their apartment. This moment involves movements that look like a preying mantis cartoon walking through space or trying to catch a frisbee with his feeble arms. Or the woman and me trading overly large smiles, while the other one picks at their teeth like a dentist. Two people in a glorious forgotten moment. A moment, that when it stops, finds us surrounded by a room of perplexed people; perplexed people who wish they were dentists, too, for a moment.

I guess my point is, that dancing is sometimes better than fucking. Way better.