I don’t speak of Jim out loud to very many people these days. It’s been over ten years since he departed to the other side but I think of him often. October is the month in which he passed away and as the month comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on who Jim was and how he inspired me to dance even when I don’t always feel my best. You see, Jim was an old-school raver that stomped and carried on the tradition of liquid. When we went out, he sometimes wore JNCO jeans and a visor, the raver wear of yore. Jim would have me on the edge of my chair as he recanted his time spent at these epic raves in Atlanta and California. I was captivated by his stories of underground parties and massives, wishing I could experience a fraction of what he got to live through. At the time of his passing, I was only five years into the electronic dance music scene in Houston and there wasn’t much to offer in way of big massives and festivals still. But Jim kept the hope in me alive that maybe one day the scene would turn around, continue to grow, and we would start having festivals. Jim died before he could see this come to pass. I would rather not recount how I came to find out my friend had died as I have relived that in my head enough. I’d rather remember him for the happiness and joy he brought to my life. He was one of the few people I have known in my life that always had a good, forward-thinking attitude. Even when life was not going his way, he maintained the notion that things could get better, would get better. The nights we would embark on our late night rendezvous I would watch Jim dance and dance. He didn’t care who was watching or what they thought. He just moved and let the music take him to places only those who have been touched by electronic dance music know.
I wish Jim could see what has become of the Houston electronic dance music scene. It’s changed and will never be what it was in the ’90s or the early 00s, but it has grown to support a festival like Something Wicked, which will take October 28th and October 29th this weekend. If Jim were here, I imagine he would smile that same Cheshire grin at me he always did, grab my hand, and demand we have a good time. I dance for Jim, I dance for the dead who cannot be with me on this side of the earth. It would be a dishonor to not live life fully and freely, or deny the call of the dancefloor. I swear there are times I can feel him with me as my feet slide across the floor and in those moments, I feel comforted that I am dancing and someone is watching. Jim would not have wanted me to be sad and to stop doing the things I loved. So for Jim and the dead, I dance.