The group dance of rock and roll is not one-on-one, it's one for one and one for all. It is an undisciplined, delirious dance form, in which the only rule is to let yourself go in the most rhythmic way possible; an utterly personal form, in which participants can frequently be seen to have their eyes closed in ecstacy and disregard of the outside world. This individualistic mass movement creates a paradoxical sense of community among all the sweaty bodies jerking out their primal rhythms. It is a very egalitarian type of dance. It requires no training, only a total lack of inhibition. It puts a premium on distinctive expression in the midst of a crowd. And the more who share in the individual antics, the better.
The individual antics were illuminating. Adam was energetic and all over the place, and Lily was high-spirited almost to the point of being high-strung. Myrine was graceful and athletic, and Sam was graceful and sinuous. Hannah was too young and too self- conscious. Marty was exuberant and slightly crazy. Mercy was enjoying a second spring. Roxana wasn't dancing.
Lyssa had temporarily forgotten the radioactive cloud and her age and was whooping it up with her younger man, while the members and groupies of Amazon House whooped it up nearby. Diana whooped it up on stage, throwing her slim hips around and her head back, while Adrian whooped it up behind the keyboards. He did not stand still while he played.
Suddenly, there was a scuffle in the middle of the writhing crowd. Out of the corner of her eye, Lyssa saw someone grabbing Hannah in a fit of excessive enthusiasm.
It was Jesse, Lyssa thought in panic. It was Jesse, or it was someone just like him.
Everything happened very fast. Lyssa stopped dancing abruptly and Hannah gave a muffled scream as her tormentor enveloped her in an unwanted, unwarranted bear hug. When Marty saw what was going on, he grabbed the man's arm and tried to pull him away from Hannah. With more efficiency and more effect, Myrine grabbed the offender's other arm, jerked him away from Marty and Hannah, and flipped him over herself and onto his back.
He never knew what hit him. Hannah's tormentor was trying to get what he deserved, and he got it, but he would probably never realize that.
The testosterone case staggered up and away as quickly as his dazed senses would allow. Lyssa watched him go regretfully. But what was the use of punishing someone who didn't even know he'd done something wrong? You had to start earlier than that, change the way people think. She didn't have to turn the other cheek though. She was not about to be friendly to this man, or any like him.
The incident came close to disturbing the peace and the celebration, but we got out of it with the help of a new man, a new woman and some new tricks. And a lot of solidarity.
But as Myrine would say--don't drop your guard. They're still out there.