talonkarrde: (color)
We dance through our first date, our living room, our world — together, hand in hand.

Sometimes it’s cheek to cheek, sometimes back to back, but the world is our oyster, our dance floor, glittery and glittering, adorned with anniversaries and life events, triumphs and milestones on which we cut a rug.

We waltz through the problems, twirl through the trials, slide through the arguments, and through it all, never lose our sense of momentum, of inertia. We never stop moving.

For months — for years, even — we simply shed our problems, leaving them behind like all the old, worn out shoes, left and forgotten. We leave them with the old memories, constantly replaced by new ones, better ones. We get better, too; our turns are tighter, our figures sharper, our angles precise and beautiful, and it is easier to think of our problems as ones that only affected us when we were not as good — so that's the history we choose to remember.

Even as the cracks appear — on our dance floors, in our lives — we just keep moving around them. Of course we take care not to step onto jagged edges, but we are masters of our craft, and fear nothing. We had weathered worse, and so we simply keep on keeping on, continuing from site to site, dance to dance, city to city, waiting for steadier ground, feeling ever more confident with each performance, believing ourselves invincible.

And even as the cracks multiply, we cling to that faith: that we could just watch each other, listen to the beat, and make it through anything. We trust in each other, in the dance — even as our careers, our lives, our worlds fall apart. Even as the spiderwebs extend and expand around us, until it is a phantom presence everywhere, even on a new arena, on a new stage.

We held solace in each other, in the movement, in the motions, in the fact that as long as we kept moving, it would all be okay. We would avoid the darkness, avoid being ensnared, and just dance faster, harder, fiercer, and repel the shadows. They only struck those who were too slow to avoid them, and we — we were no such thing.

We danced the dance for years, and every step made us believe in our invincibility; every moment was one where our friends were struggling but we could say ‘but we’re doing just fine’.

So when we stumbled, when we fell, when there was nowhere left to move to and I caught an edge and she stepped back a touch too far and her heel snapped, we had no firm ground to fall onto, just a web to fall through.

There was the dance, and then the fall, and then there was nothing at all.
talonkarrde: (Default)
The first step of the waltz is the man’s advance and woman’s retreat. On the surface, the man is dominating the dance,  pushing the woman back, but the correctly danced waltz relies on the man matching how far the lady wishes to retreat. They met at a friend’s wedding, on the dance floor, because they were the best dancers there. He asked her out, and she agreed -  on the condition that they dance a waltz once a year, every year that they stayed together.

Their first two years were, like the beginning of the dance, more momentum than technique. They met at other times, but the night of the waltz was special to them, in the way that is cliché in recountings but special to those that were there. They would spend it dancing, first casually and chatting while they did, and then more seriously, each striving to prove themselves the better dancer. It was a time of getting to know the other’s carriage, style, and life.

The second step of the waltz is the most complicated; the woman turns clockwise as she sweeps her left leg back and out, and the man follows. When danced properly, the eye can not know who is leading or following – if it looks like there is, the dancers are out of sync. She would call him up between March and August and simply say ‘tonight’, and he would clear his schedule, explaining to the others that he had a prior obligation. The courtship had progressed beyond initial attractions; it was no longer about getting to know the other, but rather about fine-tuning styles to be most comfortable and complimentary.

Five years taught him to order her an Alaskan salmone alla crema with 1998 pinot noir; five years gave her the knowledge to get him a 12 oz. ribeye cut and a whiskey sour. Conversations turned from the grand 'what do you like' to the mundane 'what shall we do tomorrow', and more about the future than the past. Their dancing afterwards was also more sedate; they had less to prove and more to enjoy. It traded speed and motion for beauty and grace.

The final step is the closing; the feet come back together as dancers finish the final pivot; it completes the circle and prepares to start it anew. The dancers should be with each other and the music, ‘leader’ and ‘follower’ no longer exist. It became spontaneous; he would tap her on the shoulder and it would be subtly different from the other times; she would look at him with the idea in her eyes and they would go, that night.

The final year, she finished the dance with him and then stopped in the center of the ballroom. He dropped to one knee in front of her and the eight year waltz was complete.

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talonkarrde

March 2017

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