When I was 9, I was sure I had a magic power. I lived on the 6th floor of an apartment building in Forest Hills, Queens. One day, for no particular reason, I decided to walk downstairs to the Lobby.
I don’t think this was the first time for this event. I seemed to recall that I liked taking the stairs. Maybe it allowed me the opportunity to burn off some pent up energy. Or, maybe I hated being cooped up in an elevator. Or, maybe I discovered a game that didn’t require any rules or competition, yet gave me a ton of self satisfaction.
I was sure I had a natural ability akin to a fast moving tap dancer. While I didn’t know Fred Astaire, Gregory Hines or Bill “Bojangles“ Robinson I was sure I had what they had; a natural ability to make my feet go clickedly clack..
Maybe it started out as a self imposed race (although I didn’t own a watch)? Or, maybe it was just a made up kid’s game? But, I was compelled to fly down those six flights of stairs. And, it wasn’t just fast walking nor a game of skipping. It was an innocent untrained dance. And, boy did I look forward to flying down those stairs!
It all started very innocently. First, I started walking. One foot in front of the other.. Over time it changed from a means to an end to a very fun way to get from A to B .Hey, I was a kid. If I was going to make it down 6 flights it needed to become a game. So, I stepped up the pace. And, I started skipping some steps. First it was 2. or four leaps and I then I took a big leap and finished the flight in one grand jump.
After doing this for a time I realized when I landed on the hard floor my ankles and feet started to hurt. Clearly, it was time to change up the game.
And that’s when a Eureka moment happened to me. It’s time to try out my
“ slickedly click” technique. One foot in front of the other. Toe first. Heel follows. Slickedly click. Since the stairs were made of stone, the sound easily amplified.
And, the pace, technique and sound became intoxicating.
I know this must sound ridiculous but this “dance” was very satisfying. It not only gave me a great sense of accomplishment, but one of euphoria.
I don’t recall how long this game went on.. a week, a month or more. But, it’s a sweet memory between me, myself and I. And, I’ll never forget it.