There is magic everywhere, really. And it's mostly in connections, of one kind or another.
I was called into work today, cutting short my days off this week, but it turned out to be a cool thing, because lunch rocked. I met my mom and a coworker up near the Rockville movies, with an initial plan to go to Potbelly, which I'm so-so about, but my mother is all over, all the time.
It turns out Wednesday is farmer's market day, and they block off the road in front of the movies for that. And a jazz band was playing, so that was kind of cool. I love farmer's markets, and the music was nice. I didn't buy anything. I just like to wander around and look...No money makes for excellent window shopping.
I ran into my mom on the sidewalk, and she said, "That lady's here! The lady who dances! She's in front of the Thai place!"
So I knew we were going to the Thai place, or at least somewhere in its line of sight. She was talking about Roxie, who I first "met" a couple of years ago. She showed up one night at a gig my friends' band was playing, and danced the whole time. She's an older lady, I'd guess in her 60s, and she has this sort of beautiful, sort of odd, very low-key style of dancing. I don't even know how to describe it. She shuffles around and almost does a strolling kind of motion, very smooth. She wears sensible shoes (which one needs when dancing on hard surfaces) and grandma outfits, and has short, sensible gray hair that she holds back with a pink headband.
I didn't see her for a while, and now she's everywhere. She was at the Memorial Day Hootie and the Blowfish/Last Train Home show, dancing in front of California Tortilla, where we saw her today. I tripped over a curb twice that night (my depth perception is so gone), and the first time was because I was watching her. Then I saw her again at the Last Train Home show a couple of weeks ago, at this local summer outdoor concert series. We were there for my father's birthday, so my mom got her first look at Roxie. My mom is a starer - that's where I got it from. It's not meant to be rude, it's an "I'm so fascinated with people" thing that just comes off really rude if you're not careful. I swear my mom moved her chair to watch this lady dance, and my dad was so pissed. "Please STOP," he said. "For chrissake we don't need anyone else LIVING IN OUR HOUSE." And with my mother, this is always a fear, that she'll be so overcome by the needs of these people she collects that she will indeed bring them home to live with us. But in this case, I can totally understand - there's just something about this lady. That night she started out on the grass closer to the bandstand, and it was a beautiful evening for hanging out. But eventually she moved up on the steps way back behind the crowd, and just sat down, which sort of worried me, because if there's a band to dance to, it's Last Train Home. I kept turning around to check on her, and as it turned dark, she was gone.
Kids laugh at her, of course, and people tend to stare, because she looks a little strange, shuffling and strolling around in this oh-so-graceful, yet somewhat random way. But literally, she's just all about the music, and it's my opinion that she's having an outstanding time. She doesn't care if people around her are sitting still - she just dances. She sits down when she's tired, and she always carries around a newspaper, which I think is an excellent quality, of course.
Unfortunately, by the time we got our food at California Tortilla and got a table outside, the music had stopped, but Roxie was still hanging out. We ate, and we chatted, and we watched her sit there and sort of hum to herself, and look around, and decide what she was going to do next.
As I got up to throw my stuff away, this skater kid was walking down the sidewalk. He yelled, "You gonna throw those chips away?" And I said, "No. And there's cheese, too. Take it." So he did, and went yelling up to his friends that he got chips AND cheese from this lady, and I thought that was pretty cool too. I tried to take his picture but it didn't turn out.
As we left, of course my mother walked by Roxie and said hello, and some other things I don't remember. And Roxie, who kicks ass, told her how the music was okay today, even though they played a couple of Thelonious Monk tunes, and that's a little out there for her, but then they played stuff she knew, so it was good. "Thelonious Monk," she said, "You know, well, he's just a little...He just had a different way about him." And my mom, who doesn't know Thelonious Monk from, well, Thelonious Monk, but who always takes people at their word, says, "Oh, of course! Well, you sure enjoy your music," and Roxie said, "Yeah, I get up and dance but then I gotta come back and sit down cause I don't want anyone to take my stuff." And then she kind of patted her newspaper and her tote bag, and settled back in her chair, and my mom said, "Well, we'll see you soon," and I'm quite sure we'll be eating burritos every Wednesday from now 'til it's snowing again. And that's quite fine, really, because I'll have money again to buy stuff from the farmer's market in August, and as long as there's music, we can watch Roxie dance.