I must now confess that I had never been to a medievalist dance.
In my younger days, at Patrice Lumumba in Moscow, I had attended more than my share of student dances, events which began with great pronouncements of international revolutionary brotherhood, but ended in vodka riots, the Africans and Cubans standing back-to-back fighting off the hoards of jumped-up Russian peasants who in those days made up the bulk of the student body.
Such wonderful spectacle! And, as I would later learn, excellent training for faculty meetings.
So of course I love dancing, all kinds of dancing–tango, samba, mambo, salsa, merengue, foxtrot, waltz, polonaise, schottische, minuet, polka, swing, jitterbug, clogging, line dancing, square dancing, dicso, rock–I love them all equally, with a passion unseemly in a dignified man of late middle age. But, I cannot help myself, for I never feel so emphatically alive as I do on the dance floor.
In Bitterfeld, among my colleagues at the Institut, my dance exploits are legendary.
I once mazurka-ed for three hours and seventeen minutes without stop. In tap I had advanced to the point where I could do a very credible Maxiford (drop shuffle pickup change toe heel). My tango has been praised by Argentines as being “muy empÃ¡tico y conmovedor”. And, once, in a weak moment, I enrolled in several weeks of Irish step-dancing instruction.
So, as you can imagine, dear readers, I was very much looking forward to shaking my Teutonic white-boy booty to some funky music, an anticipation heightened by the lubricating effects of a pint and a half of mediocre brandy.
Sadly, I, who had danced with Masai tribesmen, was unprepared for the spectacle which awaited.
Imagine, if you will, a place where the unsavory human detritus of life has accumulated; a sort of basement sump, into which has drained all of the pasty, pudgy, goggle-eyed, greasy haired, knock-kneed, buck-toothed specimens unfit to appear in public with the productive members of society.
And the saddest thing is that they all, to a man, woman, and ungendered being, believe they are hot, hot, hot.
Oh Fortuna! Imperitrix Mundi!
rota tu volubilis
michi quoque niteris;
nunc per ludum
fero tui sceleris.
Lady Fate had dealt me yet another cruel blow.
But there was now nothing for it. I had come to dance, and dance I would!
I pulled the bottle of brandy from my pocket, uncapped it, downed its contents in a single draught, and launched myself into this writhing mass of unsightly medievalists, grinding and bumping my way to the center of the floor.
You can tell by the way I use my walk,
I’m a woman’s man: no time to talk.
Music loud and women warm. I’ve been kicked around
since I was born.
Tomorrow, dear friends, I shall continue this story.