Lindsey joins Megan at the Grizzly Bear that Friday night, where the funky country-rock band Joe has recently put together is playing. He and his cronies—all old rock’n rollers who’ve shaken their performance personae out of mothballs—are getting down on the stage, gray or balding, maybe a bit paunchy and jowly, but pouring it out in sweat and foot-stomping rhythms.
“Hey, if this is his midlife crisis, I’m grooving on it!” Megan shouts over the throbbing bass and drums. “Better than an affair or a red Corvette any day!” She beams, dangly earrings bobbing as she raises her beer mug. She’s morphed into her younger Lindsey’s-roommate self, strutting her stuff tonight in a swirly ruffled cowgirl skirt and boots, a lowcut blouse displaying her Rubenesque cleavage.
“Yazzuh!” Crystal’s ponytailed life-partner Micah leans over to click his mug against Megan’s and Lindsey’s, beer sloshing.
Crystal laughs and clicks her Pure Springwater spilling its own libation over the table. “Come on, let’s dance!” She leads the way, hippie skirt trailing as she tugs Micah’s hand. He, in turn, grabs Megan, who snags Lindsey for a conga line onto the dance floor.
They snake through the crowd—a mixed bunch from gray hairs on down to the summer college contingent—and pick up some more attachments to the line, swaying and kicking out in unison. Laughing, they break apart into partners and singles all doing their thing to the beat. Joe, the front man on electric guitar and vocals, launches into a cover of “Love the One You’re With” just as Lindsey feels a tap on her shoulder from behind.
It’s HotDawg Horner, grinning. Lindsey hasn’t seen him since their “date night” at the Theater Guild. He shouts over the music, “Lindsey! You’re looking fine! Wanna dance?”
Lindsey raises her palms in a “here we are,” and gestures him into the fray. She’s feeling frisky, even wore a short skirt to show off her tanned legs, which Ted is checking out as they dance. Megan spins closer, and it’s a threeway as she gives Ted a high-five and he gestures toward Joe, gives him a thumb’s-up over the crowd.
“Whoo-Whee!” Ted goes into a comical barnyard strut, winking over at Lindsey.
She laughs and spins just to enjoy the dizzy silliness.
Joe revs into a repeat chorus about loving the one you’re with, as the band builds to a crescendo and the dancers are raising their hands to clap overhead and sing along, even the young kids who weren’t born yet when these songs first rocked Lindsey’s generation.
She shrugs inwardly with a little pang, wishing Newman had been able to break free of his “dad night” to come down. The days of loving whoever’s handy are water under the bridge of all those old hippie notions, but, hey, “dance with the one you’re with” she can go for. She laughs as Ted moves in to take her hand and give her a swing spin and a dip into the final chords.
“All right!” The crowd is cheering Joe and the band.
“Peace!” Joe beams and flashes the peace sign. He takes a drink from his water bottle, wipes his face on the sleeve of his plaid shirt hanging open over a black tee, confers with the drummer, then turns back to the dancers. “Okay, we’re gonna mellow out for a few—”
Roars of protest from the dancers. “Come on! Keep it up!”
Joe laughs, and the bass guitar guy, whom Lindsey doesn’t know, cracks, “Despite Tina Turner, sometimes it’s good to go ‘nice and easy.’”
Joe adds, “No heart attacks tonight, folks.” He strums a chord. “Since we’re ambling down memory lane, this one’s for the heart of my heart. And is Megan looking hot tonight!”
Everyone laughs as Megan beams and does a spin, skirt flaring.
The band starts in on “Our House,” and Megan goes still, giving Joe a look that brings tears to Lindsey’s eyes.
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