Just a piece I wrote for school. I've been told it's confusing.
Perhaps you'd like to listen to some jazz while reading it. That's how I wrote it, anyway. Something with a swing element.
Have fun. :)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of the lyrics that I've referenced. But I do congratulate Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Van Morrison for them.
It was the mechanical whirr that was missing. She hadn't quite understood it at the time, but now that she was lost in a delicate tendril world of absent thoughts and forgotten socks, she had the chance to understand that what was missing was not something she had ever desired to miss. If sometimes tasted of strawberries, she would have called this feeling bitter – even salty. But no one chose to ask, so it never needed to be said.
She found no realms of comfort in the sun. The pins of disuse prodded her legs as the hills gave them a purpose, and in the wind that struck her face she wished nothing more than to be somewhere else. The promise of release had never quite reached her, and now she really understood her apathy, she had no desire to wallow in anything but.
* * * *
Well it's a marvelous night for a moondance.
Cool jazz. That was what he called it. It swayed in the wisps of air that were almost tangible in the evening sky, and ducked into the airy confines of his heart, making it skip and click in time with the head-shake beat. It didn't matter that he thought he'd forgotten the steps – they came back to him in the sway of the cool night.
It was smoky there, dim lighting and detached conversation under the swelling brass sound. The scatting laughter that swung around him seemed to match the breaks of the musical waves until there was nothing but a block of boorish sound that blocked out the only joy he could find in that room.
Until he looked left.
* * * *
She glanced right into the garish sunlight. It pulled her away from the shadows where she longed to hide, into the brine of the air, and conditioning her to look away. The summer wind was blowing in, and she shook it away, along with the desire to remember that was tugging at her sleeves. If there was one thing that she had gotten the hang of, it was indifference. Perhaps this would have been easier if it wasn't the beach. Perhaps if they had decided to take her to a mountain, or the barren countryside. Any other destination, and maybe it would have been easier.
But easy tasted briny.
Pushing past her own mind would be the hardest part, she had decided. Similarly, finding the courage to do so would take a resolve she wasn't sure she had the energy for just yet.
But if walking around in the past was the easy way out, then she'd take it. Over and over again.
* * * *
What would be the easiest way? How had those crooners done it? The sidling gait, swaying in time with the swing, falling only a touch behind the beat. Maybe there was a song about this, something about strangers in the night and the summer wind. Maybe if he took the confidence only the dance could give him he could try. He turned to his friend. How can I tell her I love her?
The cliché hurt his tongue, and the saline look his friend returned was enough stir discomfiture within the people standing around them. That didn't sway him though, as he sashayed towards the drinks table where her absent smile waited. The yellow air was a sweet relief and complimented her well, and a vague resolution struck him, too early for the new year, and too late for the old one. His lips brushed her gloved hand and his eyes caught the ring on her finger, before rising up to meet hers, all along matching the growth in the beat. Maybe it was the alcohol on his lips, or the smoke on hers, but every lie that surrounded them seemed to fade into insignificance as he led her too the dance floor and (in other words, please be true), and he knew.
* * * *
Maybe it was because she didn't know, but the shoreline teased her. It was her resolve, dancing in and out to the click of an unheard beat. The pins of disuse stopped prodding her legs, and instead held them still. Her mouth tied shut so she couldn't taste the salt on the air, she closed her eyes to the sight until some sensibility returned to her mind.
Their concern had grown wearing, grating on her skin in apprehension of the unknown, until her bubble felt close to bursting. Perhaps it was the mid-morning sun, or the stickiness in the air, or the brackish indifference she couldn't help but feign. Or perhaps it was the irony in the air that caused her to snap, and disappear into the cotton-ball world of casual attire and sun burnt shoulders.
It was familiarity, or a lack thereof, that she sought.
* * * *
Maybe it was the unfamiliarity in her that he liked. Her irrepressible smile warmed his implacable heart and as he asked her outside, but tall and tan and young and lovely, she murmured her thanks for the dance and turned. He followed her, unable to stop himself before she turned around again and found him there. Her smile was sweet as she nodded, removing all chance of a regret.
The nighttime air was sweet as the summer wind came blowing in. The air smoked as she took a long drag from the cigarette he'd proffered, and he could see her hairline glisten with the effort of the night. He watched her lips as they formed words that danced on the skyline with the evening musical accompaniment to his thoughts, get out and get under the moon.
She tasted of the salt from her margarita and the smoke of her cigarette, but he couldn't help but recognize the hope on her lips. She led him to the sand with a reckless ease and they walked, she, the girl from Ipanema, and he, all of the crooners in one. But their secret was one even Crosby and Sinatra couldn't have foreseen.
* * * *
If she could have foreseen the weight this would have brought, maybe it wouldn't have been so hard. Foresight was almost as good as hindsight, and though one had the added benefit of experience, the former tasted sweeter.
But it was too late for that now. She was there.
It was inescapable, the lure. Her insignificance weighed her down and lifted her up as she stood on the edge of the world, chasing the horizon with her eyes and avoiding the glare of the sharp wind. It lapped her feet with the innocence only a completely apathetic concern could muster. And under the burden of remembering, the context delivered more than she'd hoped.
A brush on her skin. A brackish taste.
She plunged, praying for the indifference to return, but finding little else under the surface than more memories she'd hoped she'd forgotten. Circumstance wasn't the only thing she'd forsaken, but feeling. The pull was more than her body could deal with, as she broke with the waves, the swing pulling her in and the briny taste overtaking her tongue.
Her ability to cope was showing off really.
* * * *
He should have listened to his mother when she'd said never to show off in the ocean at nighttime. His excuse though - because my baby don't mean maybe now – would have to be enough, because the salt on her lips matched the taste from the sea, and that was all that mattered to him now, that brackish hope that he couldn't quite get enough of. Her laughter was ringing as he promised her the moon, a wedding present.
But it was fading now, the darkness bringing the unknown to the fore – was it distance, or time? His feet lost the shore and the pull became too much. He yelled to her, but she couldn't have heard over the crush of the water that was deafening him now.
And then there was quiet, as he gave in to it.
Well it's a marvelous night for a moondance. .