The Dancer

I’m on the dance floor for the first time in a long time. It’s Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice, my grandson’s favourite. We often dance to it together. The beat is intense and I’m on top of it, using all the moves I’ve choreographed in the privacy of my living room. At last I’m able to display my prowess. Now I’m moving like someone on steroids with St Vitus Dance.

I spy Margaret looking at me in horror. You’d think she’d never seen anyone dance before. Maybe she’d like to be out here, too, except her Zimmer frame would get in everyone’s way. She’s two years younger than me. Pity she hasn’t looked after herself like I have.

And over there’s my mate Andy, shaking his head, clutching his walking stick. He doesn’t need it, but he’s always been a cautious bloke. Probably thinks I’ve become demented.

I realise I’m grinning like I’ve won the lottery, and why wouldn’t I? Getting old isn’t an excuse for taking it easy.

There’s Mary, eyes like saucers. Maybe she’ll take me more seriously in future, see there’s plenty of life in the old dog yet.

The other dancers have stopped and have moved away from me, clapping in time with the rhythm. I like that. I feel like one of them Spanish blokes, you know, doing the fandango with their arms over their head. Maybe I should be wearing tap shoes!

There’s less than a minute of music left now, and though I’m in danger of flagging a bit, the adrenaline keeps me going. They’re all expecting me to collapse, I can see it in their faces. I falter a little and there's an audible gasp, but I was only kidding, and I'm back doing all the moves again.

Then the music stops and so do I. I stand there bathed in sweat and envy, a huge smile on my face.

Geez, this feels so, so good.