The weeks leading up to the flash mob could have been filled with anticipation – a constant wonder whether my foot would be all better by then, which was the plan (at least in my mind). But instead, it was filled with rehearsals.
I thought we would have a total of two rehearsals and then the event. That’s what the original announcement said. But it obviously didn’t take into account that most of the flash mobbers were women of a certain age – that is to say, women with only an infinitesimal capacity to learn four minutes of choreography by heart.
My house became the ad hoc rehearsal space, usually out in my garage and on the driveway, though sometimes, in bad weather, we would dance in my crowded basement. We practiced two or three times a week for five weeks and at the end of it all, we were as ready as we'd ever be.
My foot hurt during most of the practices, and if it didn’t hurt while I was dancing, it hurt for the rest of the night. I didn’t care. Once I started dancing, I didn’t give a second thought to the fact that I would be limping into the next day.
On Flash Mob Day, many things conspired against me. I’d had a bad cold all week and that day was the worst of it. We rehearsed in a windowless, airless gym at the high school a few hours before the event and it was so hot in there we were all dripping after a single run-through. (We called it our Hot Flash Mob.)
Then the rain started, and soon after that, the thunder. Then more rain – rain so heavy I couldn’t see the house across the street. I sat on my living room sofa, sneezing, head pounding, watching the torrents of rain outside and finally texted one of the organizers: “I think I need an understudy.”
Then, an hour before we were set to perform, the sun came out. My head cleared up. I put on my sneakers and made my way to our meeting place.
It wasn’t a true flash mob in the sense that it had ceased being a surprise at least a week earlier. Someone accidentally divulged the location and the day before the event it was leaked in the local press. This was troubling to me (I had already been in one lame flash mob) but the truth is, our dance followed such a big storm, if it hadn’t been publicized, there may have been no one there to see us.
No one to see our four minutes of glory. Which is here:
(This is an ongoing story. If you want to start at the beginning, click here.)