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This Really Happened

February 3, 2009
tags: , ,

I’m walking home, after dark, in the cold. There’s still enough ice and snow left over from the ice storm that the sidewalks are slippery, even though the streets and yards are dry. Amusing, this. I’m listening to my iPod, head down, watching my footing. I’m hot, wearing too many clothes. Ahead of me, in the snow, I see a foot, in a boot, toe delicately extended. I look up.

There is an old man standing in front of me on the path. An old man in cowboy boots, old jeans, windbreaker, backpack, and cowboy hat. Long white hair flows from under the hat. He is looking at his boot. He steps into the bike lane next to the sidewalk, gently, gracefully. I assume that he intends to let me pass. He doesn’t look at me.

He begins to dance.

He twirls and bends, sometimes dropping almost to one knee, pointing his toe and rising as he turns. He swings his arms around his body, stirring the air. He moves slowly, turning and stepping, stepping and turning, as though he is doing a precisely choreographed dance. He watches his feet, as if  it is important that he get every step right. He is not singing. He is, in fact, perfectly silent as he dances. He jumps into the air, lands on one foot, twirls again, bends his knee almost to the snow. He is a beautiful dancer.

I clap.

He doesn’t look up. He doesn’t look at the cars passing by. He never wobbles, never lets on that he is dancing on a dirty, slushy street in the Kentucky winter. I never see his face. He continues to dance, and I walk on, not wanting to disturb him. I arrive home, take off my coat, sit down.

I think this was important.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 3, 2009 2:17 pm

    how freakin cool. it’s like out of a movie 🙂

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