I'd managed to go twenty something years without ever actually dancing, but it was becoming increasingly clear that my streak was going to end tonight. I'd always envied people who could dance. They made it look so easy and fun, which was how it was when I danced in the mirror, but the thought of dancing in front of other people mortified me.
"Come on, man. Go with them! Dance!"
We had met a couple girls on the cruise, and like any girls, they wanted to dance. Somehow all girls are built with this ability, while a good number of us guys become borderline disabled when led to a dance floor. I noticed that in direct contrast to his goading, my friend wasn't making any effort to join the dancing masses himself.
Desperate to find some reasonable excuse to stay put, I scanned the room. The dance club doubled as a show room during the day, which meant that all of the chairs were facing the stage. An audience, I thought. Great.
And then I saw him: the man who was to change my dancing career forever.
On a ship where everyone was tan, or at least bright red, his near-albinism stood out like a sore thumb. His thumbs, meanwhile, were prone to randomly shooting out in random directions, like Elaine from Seinfeld. In apparent contempt for the beat of the music his legs flailed and stomped. His arms, tracking a totally different rhythm, swung wildly.
And he mimed.
As Lil' Jon yelled, 'And sweat drops down my balls,' my new idol mimed it. His hands started out next to each other in front of his eyes, and in full jazz-hands motion, fluttered down to... well, his balls.
I stood up and confidently walked to the dance floor. I had no idea what I would do once I got to the stage, but I knew one thing with certainty: no one would be watching me. They would be watching him. I might be a terrible dancer, but he was worse.
Six hours later only two people remained on the dance floor. When my short and tube socks wearing friend and I realized that everyone else had left, we nodded to each other knowingly and went our separate ways. I didn't know if I'd have the nerve to dance again soon, but I truly had a blast.
Blanco, on the other hand, danced every night. He was the first one on the floor and the last one off. He was such a spectacle and was so absolutely immune to the gawking of the onlookers that everyone wanted to dance with him. He happily obliged. He was by far the worst dancer I've ever seen, and simultaneously enjoyed dancing more than anyone I've ever seen.