Excerpt 6: The Dancer

“…We walked down the street way up there on the top of the hill past restaurants, cafes, book stores- the likes. It was dark and we were all a little sullen-feeling after having parted with Liz; we didn’t quite know what to do just yet or where to go without her extra opinion. Instead, we were wandering like nomads beneath the dim lights hanging from the dreary buildings. It was all dreary looking, but completely elegant, almost as if stuck in the middle ages and saddened that the rest of the world has moved on. But amidst all this sadness, what do we see there but a man- dancing. And what’s more, to no music. It was absolutely quiet as a mouse on the streets and all you could hear was the sliding and tapping of this man’s feet on the cobblestone. We all looked at each other and started to smile and giggle a little. Then we noticed his sign, written on a piece of propped up cardboard, said, “dancing for my own amusement.” He had headphones over the top of his head with the wire running down to his hip where a tape cassette player rested on his belt. And really, he looked as if he couldn’t have been happier doing anything else in his whole life! He was quite agile and energetic, spinning around, sliding back and forth, jumping into the air! He was actually fun to watch. I still wonder what he was listening to cause, damn!
Another man walked by and glared at the dancer. He must have said something disrespectful that the dancer could hear or even read on his lips- or maybe it was just the look on that man’s face. Either one or the other, the dancer knew he was getting criticized and yelled out to the passing man with a thick Scottish accent, “fuck you!” with a smile and a middle finger held up like it was apart of the dance. He shouted the insult as if it were a blessing of some sort, or a greeting that was trying too hard to be kind like, “have a GREAT day!” He put his finger back down as he wiggled his arm around into a twist and kept on smiling and dancing.
At this point we were completely stopped in the middle of the street to watch and we were cracking up this whole time. An attractive couple, then, came walking down the street towards us. They looked like they had just finished a delicious meal on a date night. They were holding hands and I could see them both smiling more and more the closer they got, especially when they read the sign. The girl looked up at her boyfriend and then broke free from his hand and started to dance with the dancer! The dancer squealed with so much happiness and laughter that it made me want to jump in too! They were twirling around and shaking their hips and wiggling down and up again- having a blast! And there wasn’t even any music playing outside of his headphones! It was like imaginary dancing almost, if there was ever such a thing.
After a few more moves, the woman curtsied to the dancer very gracefully and he returned with a quick graceful bow and spun right back into his dance. She trotted a few steps over to her husband and they both stood there and applauded him, the three of us applauded along with them. The dancer laughed and laughed and laughed until he couldn’t catch his breath well, then his laughs became little squealing sighs. The couple took hands again and waved goodbye. The dancer smiled graciously back and waved, too, while twisting and turning his body. We continued down the street laughing like crazy and looking back at the dancer until the street wrapped around the bend and we couldn’t see him anymore…”


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