I loved walking by the water’s edge in Cuba, dipsy doodling along the sand. Nowhere to go and no hurry to get there. And I enjoyed saying “Hola!” to the people I met. It was such a blessing to meet and greet, even if many folks gave me a very tight “Hola” in return, or sometimes no greeting at all. Not being attached to the other’s response created a lightness that I wish all human beings could experience.
Then there were words from Jody on one warm afternoon: “I’m so glad you’re dancing up a storm in the disco, husband. You’re having so much fun. Why don’t you try some moving and grooving on the beach?”
Hmmm. Well, I guess I could dance a bit by the waves. Sing a few lines from a favorite song or two. But my goodness, what would people think? > Who cares what they think? > Well, I do … sort of > Will you still be alive at the end of the dance, with all of your body parts intact? > Well, sure > What’s the worst that could happen? > Some of them will think I’m drunk > So? Are you? > No, of course not > So, how about if you start shaking a leg? > (Pause) Okay
A sudden tightness in the step. Furtive glances to the left and right. Waiting for a moment when very few folks were near. Blah, blah, blah … Just do it.
So I did. The singing came first, and then the arms lifted … oh so little. They floated to the sides, to up and to down. Rotate that trunk. Loosen those wrists. Dip down for the chorus. Tilt that sexy head of yours … And I was off, soon lost in the melody. I held Jody like a bird and we floated over the world. Pirouette. Bow. Smile. For a few yards … till the next beach bar … for three miles or more. My love and I, tripping the light fantastic, so deeply joined in spirit.
Sunbathers watched. Strollers noted the mystery couple. There were smiles, frowns, grimaces, high fives, looking away, looking into, communing, disowning. Fear, love, anger, peace … the whole enchilada. And I was fine with it all. My beloved and I graced the world.
I was lighter than goose down, as rhythmic as Mikhail Baryshnikov. Lucky me.
And then I pulled a muscle in my right calf. Pain shot up and down the leg. I staggered. I plodded. I hobbled. The dance was dead. I was old. I was feeble. I was pretty much extinct.
Such a long walk back to my hotel room. Sunbathers watched. Strollers noted. Sympathy, apathy, fear that it might become them.
Floating and bloating
Reaching to the sun and crumbling to the earth
In God’s green heaven and in the devil’s fiery furnace
All in a day’s work