Thursday, August 26, 2010

And They Dance...

"I need to get the fuck out of here." He's a wanderer by nature. A wistful heart who knows the world passes everyone by without so much as a by your leave.

"Where you gonna go?" His roommate doesn't really care, but sympathy behind a cigarette is easy enough to offer.

"Don't give a shit. Anywhere." Smoke and ash dissipate beneath a ceiling fan as if showing the way.


"I just need to go somewhere." She's a wanderer by design. A wondering heart who knows the world is out there to be seen.

"Aw, honey. I understand, but I wish you wouldn't." Her mother often claims to want her daughter to leave the roost, but the two very much resemble inseparable friends. It's going to break her heart.

"I have to." The crack is almost audible.


It is at different times they stand on the same cliff, taking in the wondrous natural beauty of waterfall and canopied jungle below. Thoughts of jumping off may initially alarm, but they are thoughts accompanied by impressions of rope and carabiner. Exhilaration is a necessity, for neither feels alive without it.

It is at different times they swim in the same waters of the same beach, cautious of the invisible barrage from the sun and the currents that could sweep them away. Reckless abandon, for them, is anything but reckless. Few are as aware as either of their easily forgotten roles in the world. There is no reason to conform to anything that, at its core, is little more than chaos. And it is both how and why they understand.


"Where are you from?" the Dominican asks. She's beautiful and her English is quite natural in tone. Hell, she's probably from Miami.

He answers with a flippant gesture of hands, the implication of everywhere and nowhere at all.

"What does that mean?"

"Whatever it needs to."

Though the response intrigues her, she can tell he's already bored.


"Where are you from?" the Frenchman asks. He's traditionally handsome and picturesque. But she can tell he's looking for a one-nighter.

She answers with not only the city of her origin, but of the suburb. Home, for her, is very specific.

"I used to travel there a bit," he lies, quite obviously.

She asks him a question anyone who's ever seen her hometown would know the answer to. She can't help but laugh when he pretends he's late for an engagement and walks off in embarrassment.


He loves an ill-advised adventure down alleys locals warn not to take. Far from suicidal, there is something about this dance that makes the world worth surviving for. To appreciate beauty, one must know ugly. And the knife-wielding thugs are rightfully ugly. Should he come out on top, there will be no guilt in adding to their ugliness.

When it's over his palm is sliced open, though he retains full range of motion with his hand and fingers. A good sign. Neither of the thugs are seriously injured. The one running away tends a fracture mid-forearm while the other stares in disbelief at the sight of his own blade sticking out from his thigh.

Being lost in chaos tastes as good as he remembers.


She adores letting it all go in the middle of a dance floor. Self-consciousness dissipates amid the tempo of music and the twirl of hair under black light. Controlled motion depicting out-of-control emotion bridges the gap between being there and knowing where she needs to be. A beautiful stillness is to be had in beautiful movement.

When the music stops she finally notices the eyes of men temporarily in love with her form. It is a motivation she doesn't need, but fully appreciates. Her heartbeat slows down as she gathers her belongings and disappears into the night. It's almost time to return home.

Finding meaning in chaos is as calming as it's ever been.


It is in different places they realize they're together, with friends they'll never meet sifting their own ways through the detritus of loneliness. The world, solitary as it is, never stops. And neither will they.

So they dance.


She Writes said...

I like how you set this up. Liked the chaos lines. Liked the last paragraph and the last line of the piece. You and those last lines.

Baino said...

Well I don't like the defeatist subtext but I can identify with the characters. Very emotive but also exhilerating.

Brian Miller said...

nicely played jeff...the style you shose to write it in plays well with the chaos...the world does keep moving so we might as well dance...even those that cant it seems...smiles.

PattiKen said...

I'm sensing a shift. Can't quite put my finger on it, but I like it. It might be a slightly different tone or perhaps a bit of restraint or tightening (kind of like holding your creative stomach muscles in). Whatever, it's working for me.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

This reminds me of so many things ... swimming in chaos, the elaborate dance, parallel lines never connecting. Yea, you and those last lines. You string words together very well! -J

Leeuna said...

A very well written piece, a sort of ordered chaos.

Tom said...

yeah. what they said.

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