‘Choosing Your Own Dance To Do’ by DF Lewis

Looby Loo was named by her parents after some puppet on TV they knew from the fifties. And whether the name had induced it or it was already in her blood, Looby loved dancing. But she could only dance when nobody was watching; she was afraid that if anyone did see her dancing, she would surely die. Funny how such an obsession had spread its roots into her soul. And, indeed, she managed to do all her dancing during childhood when nobody was watching her do it. Playing her toy record-player in her bedroom, then her more expensive stereogram, later her computer or prying smartphone – often with earphones and if anyone had watched her, it would appear to be a silent dance she did, jerking her arms and legs in tune with … in tune with what choice?

As she grew into womanhood, she naturally started dating but she maintained her fortitude and determination to disallow a chink to appear in her armoury. It may have cost her dear to be so secretive and when I first met Looby, I had no idea about her obsession, but I did wonder why she was so highly-strung. With her making sure I didn’t misinterpret her normal movements of walking and sitting, or simply doing routine tasks — hoping that she did not reveal any suspicion of these movements being equivalent to performing a dance. It must have been agonising not to jig when I played music into our communal space.

Eventually, we became more intimate and she no doubt needed to ensure that our manoeuvres together did not resemble dancing. In hindsight, that must have been so impossibly difficult for her. And I remember a particular day when an old recording of the fifties puppet show actually came on a nostalgia TV programme. And Looby Loo did her dance, little knowing that millions now were watching her. Were always watching her. And tears were streaming down her face.

“Here we go looby loo, Here we go looby light.” I sang the words of the old nursery rhyme, not with any malice, but simply to cheer her up. And almost against her own will power, she started jigging stiffly towards a form of dancing. Her dance of choice:

(A) I held her in my arms and she died. I kissed her. Still jerking for quite a while, till she was still.
(B) I held her in my arms and she smiled as she realised she had not died. We kissed. And lived happily ever after.
(C) She realised she hadn’t died. But it was me jerking instead. She held what was once me, for a moment, in her arms.
(D) Someone once wrote above: “she was afraid that if anyone did see her dancing, she would surely die.” Eventually. Whenever. Diminuendo.

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