Close Your Eyes and Dance – Lyon

14 Jun

At a certain age you suddenly become less cool in the way that eighteen to twenty-three year olds define cool.  You begin to believe this kind of cool doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t, but in a way it does because we are always looking backwards, reminiscing.

“Remember that time we got really drunk, then got lost and it started to pour, but finally at 3 a.m. we found some corner store, bought a beer and watched the sun rise.” but what we are really saying is remember when the whole world was just an imagined possibility…now we know.

And this past Thursday, I was cool, and being cool was deeply satisfying, but satisfying because I knew it was just for a night.

I went to a club  in Lyon called Sucre.  The club was a rooftop started by people who run, “some of the best music festivals in France.”

The rooftop had structures of flashing blue, red and white lights and people sat in circles beneath them.  There was a long bar outside with picnic tables and a bar inside the dance house, which was a covered structure on the roof. No one was getting drunk but no one was totally sober.

I met a twenty-one year old Moroccan girl who had almond eyes and hair that rose off her head.  She unknowingly possessed a model’s body and it was clad in green silk shorts and a printed top.  She wore white Keds and and told me she was studying art.

When I asked her about her work she launched into a passionate speech about how the world ignores other’s suffering; that we are indifferent.  She told me she burns her art to bring attention to what we ignore.  She said, “Paris is the city of the World,” and I could see this beautiful idealist permanently living there.

Another young literature student turned to me and asked if I knew who Rimbaud was.  When I replied, “yes,” his face lit up.

He said, “Rimbaud is the Father of modern literature,” and we discussed his life and his impact on the written word.  He reminded me how much I love Charles Bukowski and we joked how Bukowski was always drunk in interviews.

The literature student introduced me to his Algerian friend who evoked a shrunken Jimmy Hendrix with a red headband horizontally wrapped around his Afro.  Once we entered the Dance bar, he never stopped moving, his nineteen year old body didn’t need a break.

The Jimi Hendrix character turned to me and said, “I can tell you know how to party,” and I wanted to say you have no idea, but I just smiled.

After forty minutes of dancing I was done, but it was clear that my new friends weren’t ready to depart.  I noticed that the bar had an espresso machine, which I adored, and I ordered one and took in the scene.

Bodies leaned toward the DJ; bodies were covered in music.  I could tell most people thought that this was THEIR moment; that there hadn’t been music like this, or youth like this.  That it didn’t occur to them that generations have danced to their moments and were probably on a lot more drugs.

I thought, “we loose ourselves in the music.  We want to escape our terrible youth, we want to dance it out because who can lightly carry such possibility?”

Eventually, I went outside, sat at one of the picnic tables and enjoyed the fresh night air.  I  chatted with the rest of the group who wasn’t interested in movement.  I inhaled half of their cigarettes because they didn’t think to turn their heads and blow the other way.

My heart was filled with the twenty year old Samantha who wanted the world so badly and who was terrified that she would never get close to all she wanted to grasp.  I thanked whatever that was within myself that brought me here; that could be both in and outside the moment.

At two a.m. we left.  The subways had stopped and so we slowly began the long walk home.During our walk, we stopped at various points to chat, taking small swigs out of the bottle of wine the boys had hidden outside of the club.

We encountered a stone map of Lyon, and my young friend pointed out Lyon’s original borders and how far it’s spread.  He continued to educate me as we meandered back, telling me the history of the gorgeous statues that are scattered throughout the city.

When we reached the river, we stopped to finish the bottle of wine, and discussed the importance of openness and how it can enrich one’s life.  Then suddenly it was 4 a.m., and it was decided that it was really time for bed.

A bike station was found, and the mini Jimi Hendrix decided to rent one as he had further to go.  He jumped on, waved goodbye, and in his arrogant youth shouted, “close your eyes and dance!”



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