|Author's Notes: This story was written as part of Writing.com's 48 hour challenge exercise. Basically the goal was to listen to the song "Celebration" by "Kool and the the Gang" and write a piece that the song inspired. It is a classic. While I think it would be pretty cool (pun definitely not intended) to have the song playing in the background as an extra detail for one of the scenes in my fictional work, for the purpose of this challenge I opted to do a personal narrative based on one of my memories that this song inspired.
I think that it is worth mentioning that I didn't originally intend to write about the dance memory that ultimately became the focus of the story. I actually had forgotten about this experience for a long time. I was initially just intending to write about the various parties where I heard this song being played. Somehow though this experience just rose to the top of the rest of the memories. It's really surprising what fragments of the past a simple song can unlock. Anyway...
I can't remember exactly where I was the first time I heard the song "Celebration" by "Kool and the Gang" being played. I'm sure it was at one of the parties I attended. It's one of those songs where it is difficult to keep from smiling when you listen to it. Before you know it you're doing exactly what its lyrics suggest.
These days the parties I attend seem to be more of an obligation than anything else. Sure there are ones that I generally enjoy but a lot of them have underlying goals attached to them. They are more about establishing connections or reaffirming friendships than just having fun. To be fair It's not necessarily the parties that are changing so much as my perspective on them. When you've done something multiple times, it becomes a little less exciting.
The early parties I remember though were filled with wonders. They were full of new experiences... foods... fancy clothes... music... games... dances. For me the latter was always something I preferred to watch rather than participate in. My coordination wasn't that great. Occasionally there was a dance so interesting I would give it a shot (I remember joining in on a couple of Macarenas, YMCA dances and Conga Lines) but for the most part I tended to avoid the dance floor like I would walking across an icy lake. This was particularly true in my teenage years with one memorable exception.
I was at my friend's birthday party. I am able to pinpoint my exact age at the time because my friend was celebrating his Bar Mitzvah. If you've been to a Bar Mitzvah before, you know those parties can get pretty elaborate. The party had a board game theme going on and a videographer recording the event. There were several guests, a DJ and Band. I was a year older than my friend putting me at 14 years of age. I remember mingling at the party when a girl approached me asking me to dance.
Since this was several years back I struggle to remember what she looked like. She was tall and had black hair. I think she was wearing a black dress. Like me she was little older than my friend. I remember being caught off guard by her request but I accepted her offer. I warned her that I didn't really know how to dance but she didn't seem to mind. We went out to the floor, joined hands and spun around for a bit in a circular rotation. I really didn't know what I was doing and just moved along to the music. We spun for a bit more then stopped. She smiled and thanked me for the dance. I nodded and we parted ways.
The whole experience on the dance floor probably took place over the course of a minute or two but it seemed simultaneously longer and shorter than that. Reflecting on the memory now I think that the girl might have realized the extent of my lack of dancing experience and graciously cut things short. For me though I didn't mind and remember the experience pretty fondly. It was a fun party!