Sometimes it’s because you think you can dance. Sometimes you have no one but yourself to blame for making a fool of yourself at the high school reunion; sometimes you really don’t care after your fifth tequila, and in your heart you’re tearing that dance floor up like Fred Astaire crossed with Ginger Rogers.
And sometimes, the small god Jitterbug is with you, putting the boogey in your bones and the wings on your feet.
They don’t dance because they want to look cool. They dance because they are cool, effortlessly so, bejeweled in natural rainbows and equipped with more elbows than your ordinary artist. They dance their joy and they dance their sorrow, they danced when Rome burned and as the Titanic sank, they danced when you were born and one day they’ll dance on your grave.
Their faithful understand what it is to give in to the moment, to run free of inhibition and allow the music to move them. They put their right feet in, they take their right feet out, they put their right feet in, and they shake them all about. They clap their hands because they know that happiness is the truth, and sadness as well, and every other emotion.
They have season tickets to the ballet, and they live in the tapping feet of restless children, keeping them from growing sedate before their time. They can live in you as well, if you just let them in. Or don’t. Insects will always find cracks to grant them entry, and those who resist the Jitterbug most determinedly are always prone to becoming cathedrals to their delight.
Welcome to the dance floor. The party never stops.
No one wants it to.
Artist Lee Moyer (The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, Starstruck) and author Seanan McGuire (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.
Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities: