Oh, them blues. Them blues done got in my shoes. Dancin, dancin my fool self to death.
James Cotton makes me grab Big Mable, do the two-step, do the buck and run, water the floor with our sweaty salt. She shakes her money maker, tables wobble, bottles fall from the shelf. She bounce them bosoms, make a grown man cry for mother's milk.
Buddy Guy sends me to Skinny Minnie to walk the dog, slop the hog and ride the pony. Minnie bony but she far from phony.
I need to quit but I got the bit in my mouth. I can't let go. I can't stop.
Little Milton calling the tune and I grab Sally that don't got a Mustang. She got a Civic. I call her Sally Civic. She revs hot, redline quick, and makes her jelly roll and her hips are in overdrive.
These shoes. These shoes getting thin soles and worn heels. But I can't stop.
Freddie King put an itch in my instep. I pull Luscious Lucy from her man. Pull her onto the floor. She shimmy in one spot, lick her lips, toss her hair, roll them thighs, rock them hips, shimmy cold and shimmy hot. She bring tears to my eyes and I ain't the only one shedding briny drops.
Brother Ray has his say and I jump on the bar and pull Wee Bit Brown up from behind the bar. She hike that short skirt, do the dirt, do the nasty, make the devil blush, tease so bad, tease so hard men be steel rods and women be ready and wet.
The soles of my shoes so thin I can step on a dime and tell if its heads or tails. But I can't stop.
Bobby Blue Bland kicks me over to Annabelle Badass with the razor in her shoe, derringer in her bra, dagger strapped to her thigh, and automatic nine in her bag. Oh, man, she gets loose and cuts across the floor and shoots down the hall, hot as a pistol she leaves the floor smokin.
My dogs, my dogs is crying, but I can't stop.
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown is putting it down and Redheaded Ruby's ready to rumble and rock and bend like her back ain't got no bone, her lips invite, her eyes delight, she moans, sighs, moves like a shadow show, whispers things, things meant for my ears only.
My bare feet on the floor. I can't move any more. Everything's sore. But I can't stop.
Oh, man, I'm treading in Muddy Water when my Dee Dee steps in the club.
"Fool, where you been? I send you here for a bucket of beer over four hours ago and here you --"
Big Mable shout out, "Ain't his fault. The blues got in his shoes."
Skinny Minnie adds, "He can't stop. Look at what's left of his shoes."
Sally Civic, points to a bloody footprint on the floor, "The blues won't let him go."
Luscious Lucy moves close to Dee Dee. "He got to dance it off or, you know, anything, anything could happen."
Wee Bit Brown holds up a beer to Dee Dee, "Drinks on the house Dee Dee, dance, dance with your man."
Dee Dee's angry and disgusted. "You niggers supposed to be our friends. What kind of friends are you? He could die, dance himself to death."
Annabelle Badass speaks with her hands on her hips. "There're worse ways to die. I seen em."
Redheaded Ruby nods as she adds her two cents, "Ain't that the truth."
I pull Dee Dee onto the floor. "Can you think of a better way to go? Dancing with you to the blues with my friends here?"
Dee Dee's in the groove, got all the good moves. "Rock with me daddy. Roll with me papa."
And we dance, and we dance, and we dance for a while.
This story was written at the Art Farm in Marquette, NE in October 2016.