Thursday, June 4, 2009

You Can Dance if You Want To

I was on my way home from work tonight, talking to Joe. I call my parents a lot on my walk home; if you ignore the sirens and car horns, it's actually a delightful time to catch up. Tonight Joe had to ignore the fact that I somehow contracted the Black Lung around 5th Avenue and coughed pretty much throughout our conversation.

"Are you sick?" he asked.

"No," I cleared my throat. "I think I just inhaled street fumes."

Seriously, it's been 40 minutes and I'm still coughing.

Joe has been substitute teaching for 6th graders for two weeks, while their regular teacher is on maternity leave. At least, I think this is true. He might tell me that he has really only been subbing for three days and the regular teacher is getting her tonsils out. I don't know. The street fumes have made me woozy.

He told me about the trip the 6th graders went on today. A 2-hour boat ride in Chicago. They had quite the spread of food: chicken, pasta, hamburgers, desserts galore. And there was a DJ, so they danced.

As soon as the word "danced" came out of Joe's mouth, I had an immediate memory of 7th grade, when I was a student at the school where Joe taught Social Studies. We had a school dance, and lots of people were there. Including Joe. And his small robot, Robie, who was yellow and ate pennies and danced when you fed him the pennies. And Joe put Robie on the ground in the middle of the room and danced with him.

I was mortified. I went up to my Language Arts teacher. "He's embarrassing me!" I complained. She nodded, "I'll talk to him."

So Joe and Robie left the dance. And although I think I apologized to Joe later that day, I feel guilty and a little bit sad when I recall that experience. But I also have to laugh at the idea that I thought it was my Dad who made me a dork in 7th grade. Really, I did that all by myself. I'm ok with it, though. I have still never danced with a robot.


Amanda said...

Hmmm... very heartfelt, my Deepish friend. I like this side of you.

Jay Nicolosi said...

Was this dance at the Community Center on Madison and Marion, just north of the hospital?

Sarah said...

No, it wasn't one of the "official" dances. It was in the lunchroom, actually. You were probably there, dancing to Wiggle It, along with the other 8th graders.

Jay Nicolosi said...

I was probably wearing Z. Cavaricci pants and doin' the Hammer Time dance.

At any rate, I don't remember any robots.

Joe said...

The difference between 7th and 8th graders:
I walked into Sarah's 7th grade homeroom and she called me to her table, "Dad, come see what we're doing." In 8th grade, I walked into the gym where kids were just sitting in groups. Sarah spotted me as I entered the door near her group and said "Dad, you're embarrassing me."
I thought to myself, "Where can I find a dancing

Elizabeth said...

This reminds me of the time when I was in 8th grade and we had a assembly to watch the school band perform. They began playing "Sittin' on the dock of the bay" and all of a sudden the ENTIRE auditorium was looking towards the back of the room.

I turned and to my shock and horror, Joe was dancing with Ms. Hill. Everyone was amused. I was mortified.

Also, since Paul doesn't comment on Deepish Thoughts, I'll tell everyone about the time that he was sitting in Dad's class when Dad announced that he was going to sing the national anthem. Paul immediately raised his hand and asked to use the bathroom. When Paul returned to the classroom door, his friend waved him away indicating that the song was not yet over.