Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Valentine's Waltz

Art by Kelly Boyle


Lydia’s parents danced a slow waltz in the smoky honky-tonk for Valentine’s. They held her easily between them, even though at five she was no skinny waif. Lydia felt their heat, the thump of their hearts and the low growl of her mother’s hum as she led them, her body swaying, her face in rapture. Lydia’s father lowered his head and her parents kissed, still moving with the music. Their hearts realigned in tempo, pounding hard at Lydia from two sides. The music swirled around them, and wrapped in their love, she almost felt their kiss.

Skip ahead.

She led her husband around the bedroom in a marijuana-soaked haze, forcing his hips to follow hers, the better to feel the music. He’d do anything she wanted. She kissed him, but it wasn’t the same. Her parent’s dance could not be matched.

Turn back.

A double-date jaunt to a small Mexican beach resort. The two older women were drinkers, the two younger women pot smokers. They breached the generation gap and indulged in it all. In a secluded nightclub frequented by honeymooners on a budget, Lydia and her lover swayed in a tight synchronous circle. She leaned her head back, and Karen tongued the hollow of her throat. When they kissed, Lydia tasted the memory of the valentine’s waltz.

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