He’s gone. Neil Armstrong, one of the first Americans to put a boot on the moon, died yesterday. While news of this was still emerging, I was busy treading my own boot marks on pristine territory (for me, that is).
My old friend and best lady took me out to the Goods, a soul-funk night remarkably devoid of pretension. There was very little preening, a lot of hardcore dancing, and just enough flirting to make it worth the crick in my knees.
It’s been a long time since I went out like this. The last time was my hen night, which was high-jacked by one of my friends who insisted on taking me to a club where I was handled outrageously by a lady. She kept asking me why I was there and whether I really meant to get married. In hindsight, she may well have had a point.
This time, I was at the opposite end of things, dancing out my frustrations, dancing into something else – a state of near-bliss – powered by nothing more than water and a veggie burger. Around me, people ducked, dove, spun or just plain flailed. There was a lot of laughter, some of it my own.
And not once did I think of Ben. I didn’t even think of Rosie, much as I adore her. Last night was just for me and I don’t feel guilty about that.
Months ago, I was talking to my therapist about the old days, when I used to go out clubbing with friends, and the sheer ecstasy music can bring. I told her I was desperate to feel that again – to stand outside myself and feel nothing but beats moving through me.
Thanks to my best lady, that’s just what I managed to achieve. If dancing is a form of meditation, then I achieved a brief form of enlightenment. Some people call it entering the zone. I guess I was there last night, hot-footing it with the best of them, strutting my way to the moon and back.
Of course, it all came to an end somewhere around 2 o’clock in the morning. The floor was heaving, but our age got the better of us and we left (me, reluctantly). On the way back home, we scoffed chocolate doughnuts – yet another thing I haven’t done in years. I didn’t feel guilty about that either.
Last night (or, more precisely, early this morning), I dreamt that Ben had come out of rehab and had found a place of his own to stay. As soon as he moved out, a weight slid right out of my spine, and I felt myself blowing up with contentment, floating away, I don’t know where. Maybe to the moon.