Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dance Dance Dance

The night we first noticed each other you walked me home from a crowded party.  We saw lights on in the field house and followed the sound of a square dance caller.  Old couples (old like the age I am now or so) swirled around us.  We laughed and dosi-doed.  Neither of us were dancers alone.  Together we were.  We were good.  We knew nothing.  The thought crossed my mind we might be together at the age of those square dancing foggies in the swirly skirts and bolo ties.

We danced so well together. Under the stars in the small apple orchard at the edge of campus. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida thumping from your truck speakers as the stars spun above us. We were a center of a universe. Who can dance to In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida? We could. And very well.

Later that summer I brought you to the family cabin up north.  In a tavern in the woods we joined our friends on the beer stuck floor.  Oblivious to our dancing inadequacies we clicked.  On a plane parallel to that beer stuck floor we moved instinctively like real dancers.  You led.  I followed.  You tossed.  I was caught.  There was no-one else on that floor.  It didn't even surprise us when we were one of three couples selected for the dance off. 

The magic was broken in that dance-off as self consciously we tried to recreate what we did so easily moments before.  You turned into a dork: clicking your heels and shimmying.  I could only find a two-step shuffle.  We took third.  We enjoyed that prize case of Schmit beer cans with pheasants as the label.  We never danced like that again.

A year later we were with other partners.  You lost yours tragically the following summer.  I lost mine tragically over the next twenty-five years.  But I'm dancing again and I thank you for a memory of what it's like to share a good dance and know it's possible to move as one in some universe somewhere.