Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Sloppily Joyceian Rendition of the Aloha Dance

Inside the Friday night foodtruck fencedin elementary courtyard the plasticleied children scamper.  Firstgrade girls left their spangletoed slippers and sequincrusted costumeclothing at home and cavort in ruffleflowery sundresses, a few in partystore grass skirts and shellbrasseires.  Silk petals baretted into their stringy elementary school locks. Carefree. The politics of friends, though. A teacher trying to break conversation long enough to order a hot dog.  Sonoran dogs doused with beansmayorsalsabacon coze in their warmsoft bread. Fathers dare to eat the bacon wrapped chiles on the side. Mothers nibble the ends.

Pay $3 at the table. Join the PTA. Only $10. Buy a soda. Only 50 cents.  Maybe the school can buy new jumpropes or go see a ballet.

Inside, the humid fully-lit hiphoppopbeatfilled cafeteria, decorated by craftymoms with oversized butcher paper red lilies and undersized tropical foliage and paper lanterns. Tables line up with trays of commercialkitchen cookies and styrofoam punch cups, fruit trays and vegetable snacks. The DJ scratches and the grown-ups love it.  Obese mothers with flowers behind their ears bob along with the music.  The teachers in their leis their tiredeyes breathed inward they dance with the children and keep smiling.  The fat multiracial boy with tight braids does the running man in his sports sandals. Two ADD skinny redhead boys flip around on the floor in fauxbreakdance mania. Their mother sings along to the pop songs, smiling. Rings of girls sloppily spin in circles, jumping, smiling, colliding, letting go, catching on, the circles form and break and form again with different girls.  Fifthgrade haltertopped scandal ignored by the pastelflowered principal.

Fathers in Birkenstocks linedance better than me in my dowdy Friday poetryfestival tee shirt, motherstandard crop pants, nerdy with gym shoes, sweatyfilmed from work and chores. Daughter catches onto the moves. To the right to the right to the left to the left feet feet turn turn. My husband and other tired parents try to look enthused. Fourthgrade boys with their haircombed roam and laugh about their dogs and strategize for video games. The dance floor moves in a floral chaos of well-seeming forms but this is not nothing, this is dancing and elementary joy fringed by the week's exhaustion.  Many real smiles, though. 


  1. Just a tad heavy on the Joyceanwhatchamacallitcompounds.

    1. I agree... that's what makes it sloppy. :) They're somuchfun though

    2. You know what? I don't think it's too heavy on the Joyceanwhatchamacillitcompounds at all. It still may be non-Joycean in other ways (for instance, it's not the least bit Irish-esque) but after the sections I just read of Ulysses, I stand behind my compoundnesseseses.


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