Tuesday, April 11, 2006

He Ain't Got Rhythm

TornWordo proved insightful in the pervious post’s comments. Friday’s meeting and some other minor annoyances (not worth mentioning) put me in a cranky mood over the weekend. To break the funk, I went with a friend to a belly dancing exposition on Sunday evening.

Why belly dancing? For starters, I felt that I should know more about this dance form than what I remember about Kelly infiltrating a Middle-Eastern restaurant in a Charlie’s Angels episode. I suspected that Jaclyn Smith’s performance may not have been entirely authentic. Besides, it’s good for me to get out and take advantage of the few quasi-interesting things that occur in this town.

I would have included pictures of the dancers, but I don’t currently own a digital camera. My phone has that option, but the resolution makes the images fairly grainy. Besides, pictures only distract from talking about me.

Anyway, the performance went fine – until it threatened to expose one of GayProf’s deep secrets. As the music and dancing increased intensity, the audience began rhythmically clapping. If I joined the clapping, I would never keep the right pace. I am always a half beat behind. Most people can’t help getting into the tempo when surrounded by a hundred others all clapping at the same rate. Yet, for whatever reason, I just can’t do it.

You see, dear readers, I lack any and all sense of rhythm. No, it’s true. I could not find the bass beat of a song using a seismograph. I have been mocked (MOCKED!) on dance floors – by MY FRIENDS!

When I go to clubs, I often have to come up with excuses about why I stay chained to the bar all night instead of dancing. “You all go ahead,” I say, “I don’t want anyone to take your purses. What? Those aren’t your purses? Oh, right, I started robbing people before I came to the club. I better keep a low profile then and stay close to the bar.” If they persist in wanting me to dance, I have to come up with better reasons like, “Sorry, I lost a leg in Vietnam" or "I don’t want to leave the bar because, um, I am an alcoholic.” Actually, that last one is not technically a lie.

There are many reasons why one might expect that I should have a sense of rhythm. Christ, I played a musical instrument for six (6) years in school. Granted, I chose the clarinet and sucked at it. Still, you would think something would have stuck.

Small beads of sweat formed on my head as the wave of clapping fervor crested. I knew my friend would quickly notice my affliction. How could she not? What kind of dork can’t, you know, clap? I wonder if it is an inner-ear thing.

Thoughts of potential escape raced through my mind. Perhaps I could feign having caught that bird flu thing. Or maybe I could yell “Fire.” No, that wouldn’t be ethical unless there really was a fire. Wait -- I could start a fire.

Alas, there was no escape and I had to join the crowd. My friend instantly noted that I could never quite match the rest of the audience. She is no longer my friend.

Being gay and part Latino means people expect things. I have failed my people. At least I can take comfort in shattering stereotypes. That’s something, right?

All of this proves one thing that I always suspected. One should never question the validity of the original Charlie's Angels.


Chad said...

If it makes you feel better and if you're familiar with Seinfeld at all, I'll confess something too: I dance like Elaine. (And it's just one of quite a few characteristics I share with that fictional character).

Susan said...

Just stumbled here, don't know how?? OMG, that was hysterical, especially the I have failed my people part. I'm still laughing.

Frank said...

I share your lack of dancing skill, gayprof. I lack a number of gay genes (including a sense of fashion, love of shopping, and addiction to dance music), actually. It makes me feel ashamed.

jeremy said...

you poor, poor thing. i'm saying a prayer and lighting a candle for you tonight

Chris said...

Self awareness is the first step.

Have you thought of taking couples dance lessons and being the follower? You can blame everything on your partner then.

GayProf said...

Chad and Frank: We should all go to clubs together. That way those who can dance will feel outnumbered.

Susan: Hail, Amazon Sister! Thanks for stopping by my little bloggy.

Jeremy: I appreciate the prayers and hope the candle has a pleasant scent.

Chris: Well, blaming everybody else for my problems is my usual strategy for life, so that might work out perfectly.

Lyle said...

Oh, I've just got to ask... have you considered some Dance Dance Revolution training? After some practice, keeping up with the beat gets a little easier.

Anonymous said...

Heh. As another gay man that can't dance worth squat (although I do have rhythm, thank high school band for that), I feel for you, brother!

chiron said...

I like to dance but don't go very often because I normally get molested on dance floors. Straight women from Milwaukee tend to grab my xss and grind on my thigh. It's sad because nobody wants you after you've been used like that. They think you're ruined, cheap, or easy. Like that's a bad thing!

Anonymous said...

I too raise my hand to say, not so proudly, "My name is Cooper. I'm gay, and I can't dance."

I still have nightmares about ninth grade when Mrs Polysou thought it would promote self-confidence and aid fitness teaching a bunch of 14 year olds to line-dance as part of PE.


R Greene said...

Yep, I'm still pretty sure that we're the same person.

I'm not much of a dancer either, and I used to teach aerobics! (Okay, so that gay gene I have...) When I lose the rhythm on the dance floor, I listen for the beat and pretend I'm leading a class. It actually helps.

cuahutemoc rex said...

You have delt with the issues of gay porn and internalized homophobia with insight and intelligence. As a gay, fucked-up, Mexican American living in Bangkok ...let me just say, Thank you. I'll read the rest of your blog when the pain has died down a bit.