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July 10, 2009

Fight the Power

It was Lita's favorite movie when she was 16 and, since she did herself in on her 17th birthday, it had to do as her favorite movie for all time.

Menny didn't feel any guilt for being bratty to her, or for her last words to Lita being "I hate you!" because they had fought about Menny being too little to go on the excursion Lita had planned with her friends and Menny had stormed out and slammed the door, and Lita had offed herself late that night before Menny got to see her again and receive her apology. What she felt guilty for, all this time, was how she had told Lita a few months before that her loving that movie was stupid.

"You're not even black!" she told Lita, sneeringly, and Lita said, "You don't have to be black."

Menny didn't like saying "black." But it was true. And that made the whole argument all the more disturbing.

For their friend Angela's eighties-themed, fancy-dress 35th birthday, Robin suggested that, since it was also the 20th anniversary of the film, they go as Rosie Perez and Radio Raheem. Robin could get love/hate rings made and carry a boom box, and Menny could learn the intro dance and go in satin boxer shorts, boxing gloves, and a black jog bra. Menny had never not wanted to do something so much in her life, but she had no words for why. She had no words for it at all, not "yes," or "no," so Robin took it as a given, and got Menny the shorts and gloves the next day. Two days later, the film arrived on netflix.

Menny got started learning the dance as she did with all projects, right away. From the opening squeal of "Fight the Power," through every thump of the break, down to the flicking hips at the end, she felt like she was one gyration away from throwing up. After the second run-through, she could no longer remember what Lita was actually wearing, or how she actually did her hair. Lita's face was now framed by Rosie Perez' fluffy, layered do. Lita was now standing in her room in a shiny blue leotard, over shiny, electric blue leggings, and warmed by a severely cropped black pleather jacket. She was running-manning out the door, thrusting her entire body, incrementally, through the door with shoulder pops.

Okay, this is obviously the beginning to a longer story, which I got stuck on. I'll just post it as is.

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