For a few years after I graduated from high school, I was enamored with techno music, disco, and dancing til dawn. I didn’t realize how much I went dancing until I was getting a check-up and my doctor asked what sort of exercise I did. I said, “None.” He said he didn’t believe me. “Oh, I go dancing a lot.” And he said, “That would explain why you’re so healthy.” I was so proud of myself. Of course, now the only dancing I do is in my car, when Lady Gaga comes on after I’m stuck in traffic and I have my feet free.
But back then, I was never quite a raver. I couldn’t commit to the clothes, which I couldn’t afford as a college student, which meant I also couldn’t pay the entry prices for the big parties, and I really couldn’t commit to the drugs. I was pretty much Nancy Reagan when it came to ecstasy; I really believed the propaganda. (I have had several students write about how little evidence was used to demonize MDMA and place it on Schedule 1. And recently, an extremely good study was published that shows that the drug, if used in its pure form and used carefully, isn’t dangerous.) And I didn’t really have a fake ID (well, I did, but I never used it for anything but bottles of wine to make sangria with), so I didn’t even drink when I went dancing.
Where is this leading? Well, because I was not high or inebriated in any way, when I went dancing I would get tired. And if the beat was particularly heartbeat-like, I would fall asleep. I was famous for closing my eyes and dozing off at clubs, sitting down on an amplifier to rest, my sweaty head against a cement wall, my eyes closing, and then 20 minutes later, a friend shaking me awake and pointing that I was really weird. Then I soon realized that if some irritating noises were keeping me from falling asleep, like construction outside my window or loud passengers on a plane, some repetitive techno was like white noise. Moby’s “Go” is as good as Ambien for me. Added bonus: It samples the brilliant theme to Twin Peaks.