DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990) is a film about a Civil War-era United States Army lieutenant who befriends Indians.
12/18/09 | Film

Dances With Wolves

by Ryan Ridge

Through the clearing came lumberjacks breakdancing with wolves. We were at least a two day’s walk from a good time. We wanted to leave this valley ASAP, but we were sure we’d be killed by the sheriff on account of what we’d done to his deputy. Maybe we could hydrate a diversion. Perhaps Doc Feelgood could whip up a big batch of LSD and we could spike the town’s water supply. How come everything I owned was broken and/or lost? Man, I needed a change of scenery. I needed to go somewhere else, fast.  When I caught my reflection in Feelgood’s coke mirror I knew I had arrived… Things continued breaking: hearts, mirrors, news, and of course the lumberjacks kept breakdancing with the wolves.

Where in the hell did the sheriff get a Gatling gun? Every shot  must’ve cost the sheriff and his associates a fortune. Most men moved out and got themselves killed. Others stayed put, survived, and were nursed back to health by the wolves. I survived along with Feelgood and a couple lumberjacks, but it was a long time before there was any dancing.

Finally rain. It sounded like dull football cleats on concrete. The days came and went, but the residue remained. I talked about drying out, sobering up. I was haunted by dead lumberjacks. I drank and drank and talked terrible shit to anyone who’d listen. Then I gave the finger to the Lord and ended up on television, dancing with the wolves. Sure, I’ve made mistakes, but perhaps God made a few mistakes, too. He certainly hung old JC out to dry.

There was this feeling back during the Gold Rush. It was a thrilling feeling. I guess you’d call it greed.  ”I miss that feeling,” I said to the wolves one night after we finished dancing on television. The wolves didn’t dignify it with a response. Whenever I wax nostalgic it puts the wolves to sleep. Whenever I sleep, which is rarely these days, I dream of abandoned airport concourses and planes without wings.