Monday, April 04, 2005

Disco Buddy

Adolescent as it may be, Jordan and I both love dance parties. Most people get this out of their system in their early twenties; we did not and thus must make up for it now. On Saturday, we arranged to go dancing with our friends M and R. We were driving to the party, when M phoned to say they couldn’t make it. They were canceling, literally at the last minute.

Sadly, this is common behavior among my friends. In this case, they canceled for a good reason and are forgiven, but most people bag for flimsy reasons, often claiming to have a sore throat or headache. In fact, the problem is a “disco cold”—a psychosomatic ailment they have developed because they don’t really want to go dancing. Sometimes this is because they feel depressed about not having a job, sometimes they don’t like the job they have. Sometimes they feel depressed about not having a girlfriend or boyfriend. I try to explain that the function of dancing is to distract them from these woes. But when they choose to languish at home, I always have my disco buddy.

My disco buddy is a man I hardly know. I call him my “disco buddy,” because he loves to go out dancing. He always wants to dance and he always knows where the best party is. He calls us in the middle of the night with music throbbing in the background, insisting that we join him. When I run into him at parties, he’s always a whirling dervish of energy, a tireless Pan in a blue feather boa. This is not the result of that insidious condiment, “disco salt,” but of his natural joie de vivre.

Our shared passion for dancing is the sole basis of our friendship. No doubt we would find more in common if we got to know each other, but that is not necessary. Being disco buddies is enough. Besides, the relationship between disco buddies has set parameters—like that between “friends with benefits.” Suggesting to my disco buddy that we get to know each other better would be a terrible faux pas, like one of the friends suggesting that they date.

Jordan and I went to the party without our friends and danced for an hour or so. Then, I am ashamed to say, our energy flagged, perhaps because we had failed to take a disco nap earlier in the day. And we didn’t see my disco buddy, even though he’d planned to be there. Was it possible that even he had finally succumbed to a disco cold? Had he let his problems crush him, instead of turning to the one thing that could distract him from them? The very idea chilled me to the bone. But sure enough, at 3 AM, he called, having just arrived at the party.


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