It’s funny, but I didn’t remember the names of the two women who took me to the concert. We had only just met. I started this job right out of college. I was in gathering mode. There was so much information to take in. I stepped into the business — this wild adult playground. This playground of a school that everyone had attended for years, and I was the new kid. I was employed now – whatever that meant. I navigated through this unfamiliar jungle gym. It was in that first week of chaos that I heard them, these two women, yelling above the crowd, urging me to join them at Double-dutch. “You have to come with us to the Tina Turner concert,” they yelled. I timed the ropes with my hands and I jumped.
I didn’t recognize them at first when they picked me up. No longer in office attire, they seemed younger. More wild. They honked the horn and turned up the radio. I got in the back seat. Is this how adults made friends? Is this how you survived the work? I had no idea. The wheels sped down the freeway to the stadium. In the parking lot, the taller one said she “had to pee.” I turned my head to find a restroom. In the few second it took to turn my head back, she had already squatted with pants around her ankles. I couldn’t breathe. What had I done? I didn’t know these women. Why had I just joined them? So easily I got in their car. It had only been a week. Sure, I liked Tina Turner, but I didn’t own the cds. My feet, without my knowledge or permission, raced with them to the stadium door.
Our seats were actually good. Just left of the stage. Cigarette lighters flickered in the darkness. People squirmed and danced in their seats, eagerly awaiting Ms. Turner. I looked at the two women next to me, trying to remember their names.
I don’t know the song. It all happened so quickly. Suddenly she was there on stage. So close. A force of nature. She was not young, Tina Turner. And she was so petite. Just a tiny woman. But I had never heard, felt, witnessed anyone so powerful. Hair, dress, torso, thighs, heels — all moved in time to this thunderous voice. And it may surprise you to hear, but it was the most elegant thing I had ever seen. She moved like a gazelle to our corner of the stage. We were beyond the zoo now. Animals, all moving on instinct. There was no time. No space. No cages. Primal. Beautiful. Dance.
It wasn’t my only glimpse of freedom. But it may have been one of my first. And upon it, I would build. Adding enough courage, wisdom, to walk out of this building, to my own humble corner of stage. To dream my own dream. Stand strong on my own two feet. Even dance.
Our journeys are full of choice. And chance. We wander the strangest paths, to simply find our own best lives. Along the way, we remember the ones who lift us. Hoping one day to do the same for someone else. Today, I remember Tina. Let’s dance.