GET ON THE DANCE FLOOR THIS IS NOT GOING TO LAST

 That's me. The crazy Momma, rockin' with my kid to some tremendous drum cadences at a Halloween parade in Princeton, New Jersey circa 2012. Yep, all by myself. Not another soul struttin'.   photo by Jared Rosenbaum.

That's me. The crazy Momma, rockin' with my kid to some tremendous drum cadences at a Halloween parade in Princeton, New Jersey circa 2012. Yep, all by myself. Not another soul struttin'.

photo by Jared Rosenbaum.

Day 18.

I have never heard a song with the name Rachel in the lyrics. Instead, I settle for songs about  "Momma", my more recently acquired name. Lyrically, "mama" is more typical than "Momma". The singer is usually adult man calling out "mama" to someone who I expect is an attractive woman. Not a "Momma" necessarily.

I have never been the subject of a song or poem. Well, the only poem written about me was burnt to cinders in an abandoned building about 25 years ago. I did receive lovely letters written in fine script from another man, who I loved well. Those letters were carefully folded and placed in envelopes and mailed to me. it was very romantic, but no love songs.

Perhaps a f/ck you song or poem was written for me. I am not aware of one. I have surely earned one, two, or more.

So, no Rachel songs. Just Momma songs, all of which contain Momma misspelled "mama".

///

Dear Child,

Do you remember dancing with me? Do you remember when I swept you up and we danced to a band covering Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker? You were just a little thing, a toddler.

The song was on the radio a bunch. A catchy, country pop song. A love song. I liked it. I figured the lyrics were about a "mama" and not "Momma", not about me. Darius Rucker and I have not met.

Still, when Darius sings, "Hey, momma rock me", I fancied that you, my little toddler, who spent hours in my arms were singing to me. Momma, rock me.

As you know, music moves me. I feel music - good and bad, trite and profound - deeply. Wagon Wheel brings tears to my eyes, little one. I think of you.

In the days before you became embarrassed by me, I whisked you to the middle of a grassy field and swung you around to this song. No one else was out there dancing. Just you and me. We were out in front of a couple hundred people parked in their lawn chairs.

This happened at the Sourland Music Festival. In the rural township of Hillsborough. Where the Red House is, our first house.

I couldn't let our song go by without dancing with you.

Your Momma is like that. Your Momma does not give a damn what other people think.

Call my bluff. I give so many damns what other people think. Not about music though. Not about dancing. Not about dancing to music I like.

You see, little one, one day long, long ago I woke up and couldn't feel one side of my body. I couldn't stand without vomiting. I couldn't walk in a straight line. I couldn't sit without falling over. I couldn't see properly. Maybe this sounds frightening, or maybe it sounds silly. It was and is both.

That frightening part of that time, that was the part that makes me not give a damn. That's the part that makes me laugh really loudly when something is funny. That's the part that makes me dance alone in a crowd.

///

Not long after that time, I went to a show with a friend, Doug. I can't remember what band we were watching. They were catchy, though. I wore my deceased grandfather's straw cowboy hat. I turned to Doug, and said something like, "F/ck this. No one's dancing, but I am going to. I could be dead." He nodded.

I have been dancing, alone in crowds, since.

///

The troubles in life are permission slips. Sirens. Wake ups. Kicks in the /ss. GET ON THE DANCE FLOOR THIS IS NOT GOING TO LAST.