I played basketball once but stopped immediately when I felt my particular version of dribbling was arrhythmic and awkward. I saw in others’ dribbling that it could be done in step and with ease, yet this was not inspiring nor challenging but instead made me want to throw the ball at an empty set of bleachers.
So I understand why Clara hurls the plastic square puzzle piece at the refrigerator when it refuses to fit through a triangle-shaped hole and then shakes the puzzle box with ontological angst. She does not like for her efforts to be frustrated, especially when someone is watching.
I also used to not have many dates to dances and so went to various homecomings and proms with my girlfriends because even as a slightly overweight smarty pants in junior high who just loved Henry James in particular and Victorian Literature in general, I knew I was the kind of girl everyone would want to marry when they turned thirty-five rather than the kind of girl they took to dances and into their parents’ basements to pretend to watch movies. To the tune of Milli Vanilli and Kris Kross at these dateless dances, I found dancing to be a lot like dribbling—rhythmically elusive.
Then, I met Aaron and we lived in a cabin and we danced because it’s a fun thing to do when it’s cold outside and otherwise. Now, we have a baby and Aaron learns Barry Louis Polisar’s “All I Want Is You” and Jimmy Buffet’s “Barefoot Children” and Randy Travis’s “Forever and Ever, Amen” on his guitar and we sing off key and dance off beat. Presently, my favorite dance floor is made of linoleum. On this dance floor, we don’t have to throw things at the refrigerator because, here, no one is watching, everyone is dancing, and the only rhythm we need is love.
Here’s some sideways baby-dancing. Who knew gyrating was part of our human genetic makeup? You’ll also see what remains of the plastic puzzle box after its run-in with the icebox.