Friday, June 7, 2013

Beyoncé That Shit

Grace and I at Katie's wedding celebration
My friend, Grace, once gave me some great advice concerning a relationship I was in that was ultimately befuddling and frustrating at all times.  She said, “Beks, you gotta Beyoncé that shit!”  What exactly does that mean?  I remember looking at her with our other friend, Katie, our heads cocked in unison, furrowed- browed but laughing all the same.  The three of us have known each other for upwards of 25 years and we were celebrating Katie’s marriage with friends and family in her mom’s backyard.  The three of us hadn’t been together in the same place for a few years but they both know my slightly unhealthy obsession with the all encompassing empire that is Beyoncé.  And because we've been friends for so long we didn't need an explanation from Grace as to what she meant.  It was obvious.  It meant make yourself better, take advantage of happiness, dance your little heart out.  It was a little over a year ago and I often think of Grace’s advice.  Mostly, it makes me laugh out loud.  And mostly I’m alone when this happens, so naturally there’s always someone nearby looking at me like I’m a lunatic, sitting on the beach or at a café sipping an iced coffee giggling alone.  When life brings me lemons, I don’t make lemonade, I listen to Beyoncé and dance until my tank top is soaked in sweat, be it alone in my kitchen or out at a bar.  I also sing it at the top of my lungs but that is exclusively when I am alone.  I have respect enough to spare others sore ears.  

25 years of friendship between the three of us 

Pretty sure I was singing along to some R&B, poor Katie.
I think the vast majority of people would prefer to listen to Beyoncé sing Beyoncé rather than an off-key, never-been-trained-to-sing kind of girl belting out, "Crazy in Love," "Single Ladies," or "Love on Top," voice screeching like the wheels of a car, mirrors cracking like when you throw a heavy rock on a puddle that has frozen over.  I think I even got rid of the mouse problem I had in my last apartment as one night I sang along to an entire Beyoncé album and miraculously, mice didn’t appear for quite some time after that.  I imagine them nestled in the insulation, licking their little paws after crawling all over my bacon grease laden cast iron skillet.  Cue in my signing along to the album, “4,” and they all pause, look at one another and say aloud, “Dude, it’s time to bask in someone else’s bacon grease,” or “Dude, let’s hit up the karaoke bar, it’s bound to be better than Bekka’s off key non-melody.”   

There’s a bar here called Tasty Waves.  Every Tuesday night, you can get in touch with yo’ bad self because it’s their fiesta night.  A live DJ plays hip hop and reggae.  Should you need to lose five pounds in sweat while gyrating your tush on the dance floor specifically on a Tuesday night, this is the place to do it.  Should you feel the need to get completely inebriated, this is the place to do it.  Should you feel the need to find a person to make out with, this is the place to do it.  It’s debaucherous at best which is a slight turn off for me.  I can't get into the portion of the night where the bartenders run around offering free shots of some concoction that looks like cough syrup but to each his own.  However, if you are living next door to this bar (which I am temporarily at a wonderful hostel called Om) then you might as well go there to dance.  The music is so loud, you feel as though the party is literally in your room so I figured if ya can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!  Besides, I do love a good night of all out dancing and a few drinks.

Even better than a G&S is a simple C....(coconut)
I cap it at two gin and sodas with a lime, I drink for the flavor of something these days.  I don’t drink alcohol to get toasted, much less even a buzz.  Gin and tonic’s are a drink of the heydays for me.  You can’t taste the gin with tonic, the quinine masks all, so for me, I prefer the soda water.  I want that botanical juniper goodness permeating my esophagus with a little effervescence and a whole lotta lime.  I don’t use a straw; I squeeze two or three limes into my gin and then line the rim of the glass.  Hello summertime (and because it’s always summertime here, I indulge in my favorite, yet simple cocktail often), I do miss being able to say, “Let’s go out for some G & T’s,” because most people understand that term.  When I say, “Let’s go out for some G & S’s,” most people look at me the same way I imagine they’d look at me if they heard me singing Beyoncé in my car with the windows rolled up; part confusion married with disbelief and a questioning look.  

Sometimes a gal just needs to dance and moreover, she needs to dance in public with others to the same music she dances to in private.  She needs to share that happy vibe with those around her.  The chicks from here have moves, their bodies feel the beat and they go with it.  They make it look as effortless as riding a bike.  It is anything but.  I want to dance like them.  So, I’m learning how to dance here by observing, mimicking and having the humility to ask (or rather yell over the music), “show me your moves, sista!”  I daresay, when I try to shake my ass as seductively as they do, an onlooker must know I’m learning.  I think of a mother lion teacher her cub how to hunt, I’m still clumsy and perhaps without grace.  In various times throughout my life on dance floors, I’ve been told I’m a good dancer.  I don’t really think so but I welcome the compliment.  At the very least, I know I’m a much better dancer than singer.  But dancing for me is like a euphoric, healthy drug.  I don’t care if I look stupid, I get into a zone while I’m dancing, I reach a higher plane, I swear.  And if you are going to play Beyoncé, that higher plane is well beyond cloud nine. 

Cloud 9 is out there as well as 10, 11 and 12

I yearn to take a hip hop dance class here.  When I am procrastinating a task, I often youtube music videos for the sole purpose of studying the dance moves.  Beyonce is by far my favorite and then I thoroughly enjoy Justin Timberlake.  Michael Jackson surpasses everyone else at lighting speed but I won’t really touch on him because he’s not the topic here and he really is simply untouchable in his talent.  No one will ever outdo him.  Until I can dance well enough that Beyonce offers me a job as her backup dancer, I step back from the ring and observe the beautiful women here get into their groove.  I ask for advice on dance maneuvers and I remember that music and dancing bring people together.  It doesn’t matter if you look like a fool, when you’ve got a great beat pulsing and you can’t stop moving your feet, all that matters is that you’re having fun in the warm Caribbean breeze, smiling and enjoying life with the local dance floor vixens.  

Disclaimer:  I deemed it appropriate to spend an hour youtubing Beyonce videos for the links I provided above.  It was research and development for this post, not procrastination.        

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