My wife likes to read before she goes to sleep.
That’s fine. She has this cool little fluorescent light to read by so I can shut the light off and go to sleep while she reads long into the wee hours. But if I happen to be awake when she falls asleep, I get to see The Book Boogie.
Ever seen it?
It’s funny. See, the book starts to dance, right there in front of your eyes. First, it sways gently to the invisible rhythms. Back, forth, to and fro. Like a boat rocking on a calm sea. Leaning a bit and then straightening up, then teetering forward just a tiny bit before rising to full height again. Then, the beat picks up. The book begins to bounce. It sambas and mambos around on the wrist pivot point, dipping and tipping as it begins to jaunt and jig around the imaginary dance floor. It leans right and pops back up, tosses back and then snaps upright again. Before long, the grinding jungle beat must really kick up and pound, because then the book begins to really shake it.
Jerking back and jolting forward, it almost falls back under the weight of the heavy little lamp before it launches itself back up, too far and then jars back to a standstill. Left to right it yaws and pitches, then punches back up like a breaching whale through a choppy ocean surface. It limbos – lower, lower, lower still! – then it shoots forward, a squirted bean ejecting under high pressure and bounds over until it seems it will surely crash to the floor. For a moment it stills, then again begins the gentle swaying, until in a few moments it’s in the full-0n mosh pit, smash-dance jouncing, bouncing, floundering dance again.
Hysterical. The shadow play in the room during The Book Dance is amazing. I never knew a silly little four-watt bulb could have so many different effects squeezed from it.
At last, the exhausted, spent book will collapse on itself and almost fall from numbed fingers before the bookmark is replaced, the light extinguished, and the night is silent again. The bashing inaudible music, silenced for another while, drifts off into the realm of sleep, trailing a good half hour behind the woman reading. And I smile up at the ceiling and wonder if it’s a nightly dance, or a chance encounter with the mysterious rhythms of The Book Dance.
Nah, it’s nightly. I’m just not always awake to see it. Maybe someday I’ll video tape it. Now … what score will I choose for it?
Ever seen The Book Dance? Or done it yourself? My books tend to just … hit me in the face and scream “GO TO SLEEP, DUMMY!”
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