Monday, February 08, 2010

Shall we dance

The day starts with filtered sunshine, sliding in between the buildings and finding me out in my new little home.

From my bed I can lean out the window and see down the pocket between my building and the next: six floors to the bottom. Looking up I see HOTEL painted in red block letters. Behind HOTEL, GRANT BLDG. announces itself. Across the canyon of Market Street, faded letters spell RENOIR HOTEL from top to bottom. We are an exclusive society of aging buildings up here, a cotillion in gloves worn soft as kitten paws.

The sun is gone by late afternoon, and when I lift my head from work, the streets are shining wet.

It's nearly nine when I'm standing at the bus stop, scarf over my head. A tall white man with big teeth is the only other passenger at the stop. He wears salary man clothes: blue oxford shirt, gray trousers, shined shoes. I see his feet moving out of the corner of my eye. At first I think he's dancing with the cold, but then I look at him properly.

He's just dancing. Holding his coat as a partner, he's marking out steps. Right-two-three, he whispers, and turn! He spins, coat sleeves flying out, and I see his eyes for an instant, the tiny shock of catching my gaze. He calms it down, self-conscious, but I can still see his weight shifting forward, back, side, side.

His feet don't lift from the sidewalk, but he's dancing just the same.

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