"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Thursday, November 20, 2008

in pursuit of dancing....

(At the Yahoo site where I hang out with a bunch of others I've met in online writing classes, one fellow is posting a weekly writing prompt. This week's prompt was "your character is being followed." It's all in fun, good practice in writing, and we can take the prompt wherever it leads us. I didn't have anything else to write about here, so the following is where that prompt led me. As to whether it's true or not, I'll leave that to you to decide, as you wish it to be. )

In Pursuit of Dancing

I was followed last night, but fear was not my companion. While the circumstances of the pursuit were eccentric in the extreme, they could not have been called nightmarish. I opened my arms and embraced them, and found myself dancing.

When I was very, very young—perhaps two or three lifetimes ago—I loved a man who was the epitome of elegance and grace. I allude not only to his physical bearing but also to his essence. He could speak, it seemed to me, with the whole of mankind’s knowledge within his ken. He spoke with eloquence and cogency, such were his intellect and learning.

Then, in an instant of inner roguery, he could utter words of such ribald mischief and hilarity that I would be rendered speechless and would gape in stunned disbelief before laughing. He would bite the insides of his cheeks in a successful effort to maintain a straight face, and I would see his dark eyes light up with deviltry as he savored my reaction. Perhaps it is testament to his nature and charisma that even his most risqué remarks were never offensive, but always witty and waggish and droll.

As we made our way side by side along the corridors and sidewalks of our town, I had the sensation he was floating, rather than walking. There was fluidity in his movements, as if he need not bend his knees to walk as we mere mortals did. I caught myself, one sunny afternoon as we talked and strolled along a sidewalk, unconsciously mimicking his walk, but I cannot describe how it differed from the norm.

I asked him once if he danced. A soft and gentle smile appeared on his lips and in his eyes as he shook his head and said he did not. Yet that is how I remember him, moving with the gracefulness of a dancer, dressed in the handsome and elegant suits he wore. When I hear a particular type of music, I often imagine being in his arms and dancing with him. “See?” I would say. “I always knew you would be a fine dancer.”

So I suppose it is not outlandish, when he came to visit in my dreams last night, that we were strolling the sidewalks of our neighborhood on a lovely summer afternoon. As he walked beside me on the path of concrete, we occasionally held hands, occasionally placed an arm around the other, occasionally embraced. All the while we chatted and smiled and laughed as we made our way down the street to the avenue that connected his home with mine.

When we reached that intersection, the avenue glistened with a film of ice. I let go of his hand, ran a few steps and slid along the ice as if skating. He followed me a ways, then caught up, taking my hand as he passed, drawing me into his arms as if we were dancing. Suddenly, in that wondrous, miraculous manner of dreams, we both were wearing ice skates, spinning around backwards and forwards, waltzing on ice in a sunlit dreamscape.

And I was right. He was a fine dancer.

1 comment:

  1. I just had a great conversation with a fine writer. . .

    "in pursuit of dancing" sounds like some being born (no -- not the screaming and slapping on the butt part) -- something marvelous, not completely seen yet.

    Check out those lit mags.