Monday, April 10, 2017

An Old Man Dreams of Youth





A Dance

An old man sits on a park bench feeding the pigeons. “Coo-coo,” he calls to them while he scatters seed. “Coo-coo. Chuck-chuck-chuck. Here, birdie.”

A young woman, a girl, walks by. She’s on her way to who knows where? Another world. Another destination. Just a road on the way. He pauses, smiles, and gestures her to pass. He’s doing nothing. Just feeding the birds. Don’t let me get in your way. She can’t hurt his revelry. Indeed, she is just another bird to cross his territory. To make him smile for a bit. Nice birdie. Pretty birdie. A smile for the birds. Coo-coo!

She continues. Further on. To the next crossing in the park. To the next garden, the next stream, but stops. And looks back. And sees the old man and his park bench and his pigeons and his kindness and his coo-cooing. And something else.

She walks back. For a moment they look. She smiles and reaches out her hands to him. And the old man stands up and takes her hands back. And they dance. To a tune. A waltz. The Birds in the Arbor by Offenbach. Tales of Hoffman. An old march. The Doll’s song, so they say. Old man and young girl. Dancing together. One on one. In hands together and hand in hand. In pirouette and enfolded in each others’ arms. Flung far away and rushing back together in embrace. They dance. No, they Dance! For once! As neither had danced before! It was a dance to be danced, not just to dance.

And once. Far down. Below the pigeon bench and the scattered seed to where they had first come together. The man and the woman come together again, neither young nor old. Just they. And pause. And hand in hand. At arms length. Eyes together. And come together. He takes her in his arms and pulls her close, as does she him to her. And they come close. Oh, so close. So close to. A kiss. Oh, so close to a kiss. The man dreaming, dreaming. Of the young girl in his arms. An old man dreams…

And the music starts again and they fly apart. Arm in arm. Hand in hand. Beat and pulse to the music. One and two and three. The beating of bodies beating as only bodies know how to do.

And so they dance. The Doll Song. Two lovers playing a song of love. A song of yearning. A song of wanting. A song of…

And they come together, once more, at the end. He kneels before his dreamed love, takes her hand and kisses it. She bows to him and recognizes his love. In her dreams.

And they part.

He goes back to his bench and feeds the pigeons with the last of his seed. She continues on her way. But not before they exchange one last glance.

A dream.

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