I Hope You Dance
Sometimes, it's not best to get what you want. Like, a cast.
Alexa, play Sia’s “Chandelier” so I can remember what it’s like to feel alive.
I had lunch today with a friend and we were talking about all the weird things we wanted when we were growing up—you know the drill: braces, a cast, glasses. Things that decidedly are not good to have, but in the sphere of elementary school? They’re golden. My friend explained how he tried to fake his way through an eye exam so he could land a pair of glasses, but for me, it was a cast.
A cast is a status symbol. Proof of a life well-lived, or at least lived without abandon. And once you got one, all of your friends signed it, so you were a walking (hobbling?) billboard of popularity. But for my whole adolescence, I couldn’t manage to break anything. Took me until I was 24 to manage that. At that point, you don’t want a cast anymore.
I had been living in DC for a while. A group of my friends had a house up in Northeast that we’d gather at—one of those shotgun-style configurations with a decent sized living room and a long hallway that led to a kitchen. Twenty-four is that age when you know better to drink heavily, but not well enough to not actually follow your own advice. So that night we all started drinking and then we kept drinking. A guy that lived in the house named Chris was a hip hop dancer, and as the night went on, he decided he wanted to show the group some basic moves.
Something embarrassing about me is that I cannot accept that I’m not a dancer. I’ve watched at least 20 seasons of Dancing with the Stars. I took one semester of ballroom dance at the behest of my college boyfriend, who broke up with me two classes into the class, so I cha cha cha’d with a girl named Rachel instead. All those things, in my mind, qualify me as a professional dancer. As the night progressed and more wine disappeared (into my mouth), I insisted that I show the group some dance moves, too. Specifically, the entire routine from Sia’s “Chandelier” music video.
Now, I’d practiced the “Chandelier” routine on my own more times than I could count. Performed it on a couple of public occasions as well, usually with wine involved. But on this night, as I landed the pirouette that hits around the two-minute mark, I felt the toe of my boot go in the wrong direction. As Socrates once said, with the toe goes the body, and thus, I landed with a thud on the ground. The entire room erupted into laughter, and then silence. When I looked up, everyone was gone—shuffled into the kitchen to, probably, keep laughing. The only person who came back was my friend Olivia, carrying a bag of frozen broccoli. With the wisdom of all 24 years and the medical savvy of a drunkard, I decided to go home, so I walked on a broken foot to my Uber and called my roommate to come help me up to our apartment when I got home.
The bad news is that Matt fell asleep, so I walked up the stairs, into the elevator, and then down the long corridor to our apartment at the end of the hallway. The next day when I woke up, my foot was swollen to twice its size. When I made it to the doctor and had it x-ray’ed, he told me it was a lis franc injury (not to be confused with Lisa Frank, which I jokingly mentioned at the doctor. The joke did not land). The doctor said, “This is a pretty rare fracture. We typically only see it in athletes. Do you play football?” I immediately told him yes. Why? Because explaining the nuance of the “Chandelier” music video is something I simply did not have the energy for.
Having a cast is, decidedly, awful. But it did fulfill a wish of mine, and like I said: it may not have reflected a life well-lived, but certainly one without abandon.
Some stuff I’m proud of as of late:
-Colton Underwood has a new Netflix show and it’s garbage.
-An Oasis cover band got trapped at an English inn during a snowstorm, so I spoke to the inn manager
-I interviewed Baby Yoda
-And television’s Ann Dowd