Two months and no gym, so you know that first day back is going to suck extra. Fortunately the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing is playing on PHL17, a station received by the personal treadmill television in front of me.
Jennifer Grey plays an innocent, non-dancing, upper-class teen with a heart of gold who must learn to dance with working-class dance instructor Patrick Swayze in order to allow Swayze’s usual partner, who’s been knocked up by an asshole who carries a copy of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead about in his back pocket, the opportunity to get an abortion in pre-Rowe v. Wade America. Me? I just want to slim down for spring. The stakes are high.
Like a great 80’s flick involving sports / competition / training, it has some montages. Jennifer Grey struggles to learn how and dances around to great tunes with Patrick Swayze. I run at a medium clip, struggling but feeling her struggle and it energizes me. Seriously, fuck that waiter and fuck The Fountainhead, a book I’ve never read (by an author I’ve never read) which I vaguely understand to encourage strong and entitled people to kick weaker and vulnerable people in order to achieve and get more. I run and Jennifer and Patrick get better together. I’ve almost ran my intended goal.
The soundtrack to this movie is pure dynamite, bombastic blown-out girl group sounds, Phil Spector productions, the shortest number one hit single of all time, and smooth 80’s jams with big choruses. More hooks than you can shake a stick at. The type of hooks that motivate you to, say, run a little faster, a little longer.
It was particularly painful then when PHL17 cut away from a ménage-a-tois training sequence ONE FUCKING NOTE into Eric Carmen’s “Hungry Eyes”. This tune does all the right things, set up verse, relative minor pre-chorus…and…big…modulation……back…to……the….big…chorus…where he says…”Hun-g…” (beep) (fade) commercial break.
I didn’t fall off the treadmill, but I did lose my stride. I also think I heard my heart fall out of my chest, splat onto the treadmill and go hurtling at the wall behind me, splat on that, and slowly slink to the floor and die.
I slowed the speed down to a walking pace for a cool down. Move on with my workout. Sorry Jennifer and Patrick, hope it ended well.