Dancing With The Devil
By: Bill the Butcher
Dance with the one who brung you” is an old saying that basically means, “Don’t play the field.” The girl who danced with every boy on the floor, virtually ignoring the guy who brought her there was the quintessential slut.
The quarantine exposed the slut in a lot of us. Most of us were surprised to find just how many people we “danced” with on any given day. And, as we were allowed to emerge from quarantine and eased out of our hidey holes we had a new companion. Paranoia.
We were suddenly aware of everything we touched. We distanced ourselves from other people, but we were cognizant they were still breathing. Where does that air go, and can the virus hop a ride?
If life returns to anything like what we’d come to accept as normal it’s gonna take a full minute, but at the present time all we can do is adjust to the “New Normal” and just pray that it doesn’t set in stone.
As we ease out into this Draconian society we must take our common sense along with us. First, there is a virus out there. Did I say “a” virus? Heck, lots of ‘em. Think back. How many times have seen a friend after not seeing them for a week or so, and they tell you that they had “Picked up a virus?” But, you didn’t panic or run for the hills. Shucks, you probably shook their hand and forgot your wash yours because you’d heard this was “going ‘round.”
If it’s done nothing else, COVID has taught us just how disease spreads. We are now fully aware of the face/hand connection. We know that interactions with people we are not familiar with comes with a risk. But, there is a way. There’s a time machine.
Let’s say you’ve been locked down with family. Been a month, maybe a little longer, and by the grace of God you’ve all come through this thing unscathed. Well, you know that if you maintain this status quo you’ll most likely be safe. At the same time you’re pretty fed up with this particular situation, especially your kids whose only dating options are each other! So, as restrictions are lifted you begin to explore options.
The first thing to notice is old Edna across the street tending her flower beds. She’s a home alone widow so you imagine she’s probably safe. About that time the mailman comes by. Same guy. Been delivering the mail for years. HE lived.
You start the car. Driving through the neighborhood you can see that while there are fewer people out out and about, there ARE people. Even a young couple walking, holding hands. Obviously they were familiar with each other just like you and your family are. So why does this all seem so strange to you?
It feels that way because we have been indoctrinated by society to accept just about any behavior that comes along. We went from suspicion about a girl dancing with someone other than who brought her up to acceptance of the girl who arrived along and danced only with other girls. We didn’t want to appear incorrect.
This “New Normal” that we face now is actually the normal of the 1950s. A world where Dad wore a suit to breakfast and Beaver never talked back. Oh sure, there was racism, xenophobia, crazy nationalism and things like that, but have you noticed that those things are still with us? We just only drag them out to attack people in other political parties.
Banks were always being robbed, divorces still happened, and our leaders have always been careless with the truth. But, in the used to be we held tighter to family, and those we knew. If someone got down with the flu the whole neighborhood was talking about it. The sexual revolution changed all that. And, with each decade we loosed the bonds until we were able to do just about anything we wanted to. AIDS pulled us back a little but not much. What it really did was reveal a subculture we all knew was there but preferred not to talk about. And then they started demanding their rights, all started getting married, and took accepted positions in society, and that was all very fine, but where does that leave our “Wild Child” dancing with every boy who has a mattress in the bed of his pickup?
We learned acceptance. We learned to allow people choices. We discovered that this made us free, too. Having different dance partners can be exhilarating. Variety. And we danced, and we danced, until long about December of 2019 we danced with the Devil, and just like that . . . it was yesterday once more!
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