Friday, January 7, 2011

37. Dancing

Received the strangest invitation this morning I’ve had in a long time. C.W. knocked on the door well before daylight while I was enjoying coffee alone. Of all things, he was dressed as a modern dancer and looked a lot like, as I remember, Rudolph Nureyev. Yes, it was a bit of a strong sight for 5:30 a.m.

“Come go with me,” he said. “I’m going to welcome the sunrise with a special dance in Riverfront Park. I call it ‘Sprites in the Garden.’”

I stood there.

“Well, come on,” he said. “Daylight defers to no mortal plans.”

I think I must have looked a little confused.

“May I come in?”

“Please do.” The last thing on earth I wanted was for a neighbor to see him standing in the hall.

“Oh thanks,” he said, lighting in a chair with a flourish and graceful hand gesture.

“Oh Christ,” I said, returning to the coffee pot and wishing I had some brandy to stiffen it with.

“Know what?” he said.

I just looked at him.

“The concept of dancing on your planet is simply marvelous.” He made another sweep of his hand as if my living room encompassed the entire store of humankind’s accomplishments over the 150,000 or so years of its existence.

“It is a little all-encompassing, though,” he said, lowering his chin to his head and peering up at me. “I mean it includes everything from the most sublime movements imaginable to what appears, to me, to be young boys lying on their backs and wiggling their legs.” He sighed. “But, overall—fascinating. Simply fascinating.”

“C.W.” I said. “What the hell are you doing?”

“Celebrating the joy of life through dance,” he said. “Hurry up and let us go then, you and I.”

I groaned.

“Come on,” he said. “The fecund stirrings of Mother Earth shall spread exaltation through the very soles of your feet. In short, you shall be unafraid and happy.”

“I have never socked an alien—or a ballet dancer—in my life, but I am very close.” I said.

“Oh, you who spurn the soothing catalyst of dance are the saddest of souls,” he said.

“You’re probably not going to leave until I agree to go with you, are you?”

“You got that right,” he said, settling back in this chair with a gesture of finality. “How did all this dancing stuff get started anyway?”

“I dunno. Maybe it was some effort at imitative magic, as Frazier phrased it: efforts to make the earth bloom again in the spring.”

“Well then,” he said. Seeming to think it over for a minute, he looked up. “It certainly seems to work. Hmm. Let’s see. ‘April is the happiest month, filling life into slumbering feet.’ Hey, maybe I’ll take up poetry next.”

“Oh Christ,” I said, heading, back to get dressed.

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