Sunday, August 21, 2011

tiny memoir: dance hall days

she wears a crinoline, found at a thrift store for three dollars, a black cardigan and six long strands of faux pearls.  her heels fall on concrete that yields from the heat earlier in the day and produce a cushioned beat that is more bass, less drum.  her gait quickens in anticipation as she turns the dark corner and sees them at the front chatting with the doorman under the soft illumination of blue neon. 

inside the music is loud, talk and laughter flow freely, the boys are sweet and naughty and so uncomplicated.  everyone knows or is about to know everyone else.  this floor is not for partners, everyone dances with everyone else.  it is for belonging and forgetting.  it is unrestrained yet safe.  delicious, wild and instinctive.

years later she will wear the skirt as part of a halloween costume and see the tender smile of a boy in her mind.  she can't remember his name, just that he talked of culinary school and moving north to napa and that they casually kissed goodbye over a crowded noisy table.  those nights are so distant, the freedom so foreign, that she is in third person.

dance hall days love.