Paradise City

You stroll toward the entertainment tent, hoping the dance party vibe will rub off by osmosis if you just surround yourself with people who seem to be having a good time. 

Getting in line for the bar, you read the names of today’s featured drinks, scribbled in flowery script on the chalkboard: 

Sunshine Martini!  Blueberry Breeze Margarita!  Lemon Love Potion!  

Oh my, if anyone seems to have the whole “feeling better” thing figured out, it’s obviously this crew.  

“I’ll have one of each,” you smile sardonically at the bartender, before amending your order to a classic Cabernet.

Goblet in hand, you pull back the canvas flap to enter the entertainment tent, and the booming bass from the speaker nearly jars the wineglass out of your grasp.

“Take me down to the paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty…”   The crowd swoons in pleasure to the blast from the past, torsos writhing, arms waving, as the 80’s tunes thump through the tent.

Right.  Dancing usually helps me feel better, you remember, as you casually shrug one shoulder, then the other, as if finding your groove.

Wait a minute.  You look down at your arms and legs, going through the motions of dance moves as if a marionette tugged by strings of old habit.   Dancing might help me feel better for a minute, you think, but there is SOMETHING ELSE going on, and standing here flapping my limbs with people I don’t even know, while pretending to enjoy music I haven’t listened to in decades, is not going to help me figure out what it is.

You take another long, slow sip of your wine, hoping it’s the elixir that will reveal the secret to relief from the indescribable gnawing weight you feel inside.

Wine.  That’s it.   You stare into your glass, suddenly reminded of all the times you took communion at church. Maybe you just need to get right with God or something.   Or else you just need to host more parties your way, with people you like and music you enjoy.  Either way, the wine has sparked something for you.

You chug the last of your Cabernet, leave the glass on the table near the door, and make your way back out to the circus grounds.