Friday, August 11, 2006

sit it out, or dance?

A tall, older, much older guy comes over to where I am standing.

I hesitate. I haven’t done swing since high school in Poland.
You from around here?
No, not really. You?
Oh yeah.
Come here often?
This and other places. Six times a week.
Like to dance, huh?
Yeah, though they don’t play the slow ones often enough. People like the fast beat.

We settle into what must be a trot or a two step or who knows what.

Dancing with a stranger is always interesting so long as his palms don’t sweat and he doesn’t wear potent cologne of a distasteful type.

I’m in Chicago only for the night. Earlier, I had gone to the Hopleaf in Andersonville, some blocks north of the Green Mill Jazz Bar. Belgian moulles frites with beer, in a neighborhood that once intended to group together those coming from the blue and yellow country of Sweden.

summer 06 433

The Green Mill has a more colorful past, with big names, sometimes not of the music but of the gangster type, passing through it in the last 100 years or so. But on this day, there was only the music, the two older couples dancing, so synchronized that you could tell they had touched each other in this way for years, and the dozen younger types out there on the dance floor, moving fast, spinning in and out of the arms of their partners to the rhythm of Mack the Knife.

summer 06 469

summer 06 447