Tuesday, December 6, 2011


"No peace for sinners,"
 He whispered as I spun by. I was too dizzy to retort, but I thought how I could have replied.
What about the righteous?
But I'm not.
The forgiven?

Gene asked my name I think three, maybe four times. Wore a mint green shirt. Smiled kindly.
Mark was weathered, stocky, dwarvish. White beard, jovial eyes behind glasses. Led me well.

Drew... I cannot be sure what the battle was. But his built arms, ostentatiously bare, were intent on showing me just how the dance could be dared to the next level. Could we manage four under-elbow twirls before the left-hand star? We did. He told me spins wouldn't daze me if I looked at his eyes. "Unless that's too intimidating..."
I smiled, took it brightly.

But I remember most the way he tried to serenade my friends and I before we left. Strange mix of self-confidence, self-consciousness. He stepped to my side and told me he'd play a song called "Princess" while the others talked. But he was bashful halfway through, stopped.

Strange mix of defensiveness, tenderness. Empathy with hungry humanity, in my heart.

I asked God to bless him as I shook his hand goodnight. I looked in his eyes.

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