Wulf. My girlfriend Cindy and I went to Wulf's drunken Orthodox Easter a couple of times. He celebrated it on the normal Easter Sunday rather than the Orthodox one, but otherwise it was authentic, kind of, according to him. Wulf had Ukranian ancestors so he was celebrating Ukranian style Easter. People would meet up at his house early that Sunday. Well, early by Sunday standards. Nine or ten. When most of us were there we'd caravan to Lake View Cemetery on Capitol Hill. Lake View Cemetery is where Bruce Lee is buried. We'd set our blankets and supplies down not far from there, at a grave Wulf selected when he first celebrated Ukranian Easter. Since he didn't have any relatives buried there, he adopted one. Every year after that he would adopt another. The supplies we brought included plenty of vodka. According to Wulf the Ukranian custom was to feast and toast at your ancestors' graves on Easter, leaving a little food and spilling a little vodka for them. Which brings us to what I found attractive about Wulf's Ukranian Easter celebration: getting drunk in the morning. In those days normally I didn't get drunk in the morning. I saved that for afternoon or even evening. Getting drunk in the morning was a special treat. Cindy was an enthusiastic companion for that. I think mostly because she was enthusiastic about me. Plus she did like to drink. To be fair I was extremely enthusiastic about her. We made Pysanky. I had a couple I made I kept for years.
Waid's. I hooked up with Cindy at Waid's, now closed. At the time it was the home of blues dancing in Seattle. Once a week the tunes switched from Waid's usual R&B and hip-hop to blues and an almost all white mob of dancers mobbed the place. Cindy and I had danced with each other once before, and I was very interested in dancing with her again. I knew she felt the same. I went in that night, didn't see her. I did a few desultory dances with whomever. I'm not a blues dancer. I never fit in at blues dances. I just like dancing to that music. My own way. When I watch good blues dancers the dancing does nothing for me. It seems artificial, forced. There's nothing there I want. When I watch good tango dancers, I want that.
Same to a lesser degree for west coast swing. Then we spotted each other. I don't know what I looked like but her smile for me was dazzling. She had an amazing smile anyway and at that moment she had it turned up to 11. She'd like that joke. She taught it to me. We threaded our way through the crowd to each other into a hug. We danced three or four songs in a row together. Bad form at blues. They don't have tandas. Then we separated, promising to reconnect later that evening and I did a few more desultory dances with whomever. Then we spotted each other and it was all over. Or rather we were all over. All over each other, to the point you can do that on a dance floor. We made out on the dance floor and closed the place down. We went outside. It was pouring down rain. Like I've rarely seen it in Seattle, just flooding. We stood under an awning a few doors down and would have made love right there if we could but it was, you know, sidewalk. Otherwise it was a perfect reenactment of my night at the Vic. We were dry in the flood and getting it on. Only way more perfect because instead of kissing good night and parting I followed her home and we really did make love. That night and every single night after for more than a year. I didn't move in, but I lived a lot more at her house than I ever did at my place.
Precision. I learned a lot from Cindy. She had a way of cutting through to the truth and saying it in a pithy memorable way. She possessed the precision of humor. Sacred cows were her favorite targets. The blues dancing establishment were keen to sanitize blues dancing. Sad music. Happy dancing. That was the published slogan of the local establishment. She didn't even bother with that one. It parodies itself. The big cow was sex. Blues dancing is not about sex, oh my no.
Cindy's take: All partner dancing is about getting laid. Blues dancing is about getting laid tonight. I don't understand people who segment their lives, separating dance and romance. I don't work that way. It doesn't make sense to me. Since I became a partner dancer I've always met my sweetheart on the dance floor. Holding someone and moving together to music seems like the obvious first step. More Cindy pithiness: On recycling plastic containers: I don't wash trash. On warming up before dancing: Yeah I warm up. I walk onto the dance floor. That's where I find myself with walking now. I still take strolls in my hood, but just to the grocery store or some other errand. I get my exercise on the dance floor. Right now that's the wood floor of my ~300 square foot apartment. I like it. I'm going back through my dance DJ library, solo dancing to 8873 songs, picking out the very best ones for my new dance. Whenever that comes to be.