When, like me, you live a life where you are exposed to little stimulus and pleasure (being outdoors, sex, social interaction etc.), something simple like a smell, a taste sensation, a performance or a life affirming song can send you and your emotions flying through the roof.
So after 2 plus hours of watching the half good half wank fest that was this year’s Brits last night, wincing at the terrible presenter, blushing at the pretentious posturing of a certain Northern Monkey and the sad appearance of a stoned, ageing model dressed in one of Bowie’s old cast offs still trying to be down with the kids, the final performance featuring Pharrell, Niles, a gospel choir AND Northern Soul dancers sent my heart and spirit soaring.
You see, I love Nile Rodgers, I love Pharrell’s ‘Happy’, I love gospel singers, and most of all, I LOVE Northern Soul.
I was never actually involved in the Wigan Casino scene back in the day though; I was too young, speccy, geeky and uncool, and my parents would never have let me go there. But I danced it at a local youth club and loved watching the louche, show boating males nonchalantly doing their solo thing, seemingly indifferent to the rag cut cropped girls swirling around them in their Fred Perry tops and Oxford bags, trying to get their attention (although they’d soon glance up when treated to the occasional flash of bare thigh) but it never even occurred to me to try and be a part of that scene, as by then I knew it was better not to be noticed, better to fly under the radar and be invisible than be noticed, bullied, mocked and ridiculed.
But my longing could have built a super, multi story dance venue all on it’s own.
And 40 years on, I felt the age old pang of desire as I watched this new generation replicate the steps, and I just had to do what I always do when I get excited about something; spout about it on social media, hunt it down on YouTube, frantically search for additional material and generally try and stay high on it for as long as I can. I suppose it’s kind of like a bipolar buzz, as I get obsessed, very verbose and am very glad I’m alone and not getting on people’s nerves too much.
This time I found out where Pharrell got his inspiration from, a young woman called Northern Soul Girl who ended up dancing on stage with him, presumably by way of reward. I’ve watched this video at least ten times, on my iPad in my room, greedily imbibing her cuteness, skill, confidence, youth and choice of music with my eyes, wishing that somehow, some way I could go back to my teens and be just like her. Full of youth, appetite, hope, and of course happy.
Trouble was I wasn’t like that when I was young. I was either in some turbulent relationship, hiding behind some useless bloke, or, like I am now, sitting my room, alone, wishing I had the courage to live a little. And again, if enough longing could change the past, I’d be back there, on the dance floor, swirling, twirling, taking my courage in both hands and making myself accepted by them.
But it’s too late.
That said, tomorrow is another day.
Today I went for an induction at a local mental health charity, and I’m going back to try and work for a day next week.
On the negative side, the stress of putting myself out there exhausted me, hence bailed on what I was meant to be doing tonight.
Tomorrow I dance.
And I will, if only for a couple of hours, feel like a room without a roof.
I may even get lucky! 😉