It is Elliott who is the real dancer
. He took lessons but won't admit it in casual conversation.
The first time I witness his suave, swaying feet is when I wake up early at his parents house on a holiday weekend and find him dancing
in the kitchen with his mother.
I have to keep only my eyes on them, divert the rest of my senses
. Standing there, leaning against the doorway, silently watching two people that have danced together countless times. Effortless motions, sweeping the floor with thick socks. Knowing where to go and where to spin and where to dip. Right foot forward, one step back, twirl. Tango, foxtrot, two-step?
I don't know what you call this but I will watch it and enjoy it none the less.
There it is, the eye contact he makes with me. His face becomes flushed and here is this man all embarrassed over dancing with his mother like a kid at a junior high dance
He pulls back and laughs, How long were you watching? Oh not long enough El, not long enough
Later when it is dark and the celebration has stopped and everyone else in the house is sleeping, we stand alone in the living room. He has figured out this dancing thing is romantic and places his hands in the right places
around my waist,
He has to guide me because
here is my weakspot: heart and foot coordination. Step this way, then that, he pulls me with him and I start to laugh. I am so terrible at this Elliott. Then we will dance you until you aren't, he says.
He counts the steps out loud, using my pounding heart as a metronome
. One two three, one two three, one two three, one...He cuts out for a moment and it is silent save for the sound of bare feet
on the carpet, swish swish swish, keeping the beat just as his voice.
When I have got the hang of it he says he will teach me another dance. This one works much easier
; four feet begin to work more like two, hands clasp and wrap around waists, shoulders; two bodies leave no space
When the silence becomes too much
he sings, another new thing to me. Oh Elliott I did not know you could do this. But he knew all along, silly boy with this and many more secrets.
His voice is just as low as it always is, in tune both to the song in his head and to me
And I say my darling, you were wonderful tonight.