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Because: a mixtape photo

Because I’m always catching myself singing You spin me right round baby right round and because I remember the joy of putting a new record on the turntable and dancing while avoiding that one bit of the floor that would make the needle jump and I’m looking at the lyrics and I love that they’re not pretending to be anything deep, not everything in the world needs to have some deeper level in order to be good or enjoyable, he just wants you and you spin him right round and I feel like someone will find I’ve got to have my way now, baby to be coercion or rape but I’ve been raped and I still want to dance and be spun round baby, right round, I still want to spin someone like a record, baby, round round round round.

Because I was lying on the couch with Mike listening to music, after the previous day he’d once again said Attracted to you? with an emphasis on the you like how could anyone be, how I was crazy to think anyone could be attracted to me, and I had swallowed it down because he was my best friend and I didn’t want to be attracted to him, and yet here we were, lying on the couch and he was tracing the shapes of my kirituhi on my left arm which felt small and intimate as far as moments go, and then Private Life started playing and I’d never heard it before and I just wanted to dance so I climbed over him and stood up and put my hand out towards him, and he got up and we started to dance Argentine tango while Grace Jones sang and everything in that moment was mindless and free and some version of perfect, and when the song finished we lay back down on the couch and he said That was fucking amazing and he still didn’t want me.

Because I used Lip Gloss as one of the songs in my dance classes and the joy of dancing strong – bomp bomp – and with attitude – bomp bomp – was uncontainable and the entire moves for the song are two stomps – bomp bomp – followed by grooving with your hips and arse for 3 counts, or two punches into the air – bomp bomp – followed by grooving with your hips and arse for 3 counts, and an entire room of women caught up and feeling themselves – bomp bomp – and their own strength and sassiness – bomp bomp – made me forget how this class wasn’t making enough to pay my bills.

Because I had to listen to music to help manage my anxiety while I walked to my psychologist appointments every Thursday, and I’d have to specifically listen to Think as I walked across the hospital carpark and I’d dance while I walked, with big arm movements à la The Blues Brothers’ diner scene, as Aretha sings Oh, freedom, freedom, freedom, oh, freedom and hospital staff walking between buildings would smile at me as I danced past them, and I’d wonder how they’d react if they knew I was dancing towards the mental health outpatients building.

Because I lay in bed on a winter’s morning, after waking up after going back to sleep after we had morning sex, and I could hear Rawiri folding washing in the living room while listening to music and I wanted to stay in his bed and find echoes of him in the space next to me and I wondered how long I could stay there and Runnin’ was playing and it hit the chorus and I quietly sang to myself And I'm runnin’, I'm runnin’ / I'm runnin’ with you now / They don’t wanna give it up / We gon' make it out and at the same time I could hear Rawiri singing the same lines to himself And I'm runnin’, I'm runnin’ / I'm runnin’ with you now / They don’t wanna give it up / We gon' make it out in the living room and I smiled to myself and curled into the place he’d been in bed.


image: Aaron Burch