View from the Side’s weekend challenge — Dance

My entry for this week’s challenge:

Once, We Won a Contest

Somewhere, in a box, tucked away out of sight, is a medal with the likeness of Elvis Presley on it.  Every so often in a fit of de-cluttering or a demented desire to relive the past I’ll stumble across it, and when I do the same thing always happens.

I think back to the night we went to the theatre and wound up winning a dance competition.

We were so young then!  Still in our twenties.  A young child at home with a babysitter while we went out on the town.  With some friends we’d decided to indulge in a little culture.  I laugh now at how absolutely foolish we must have seemed.

But, we sure looked good.  All of us thin and in our primes.  New shoes, new outfits — all on credit of course, because we could only pretend to afford the lifestyle we were stepping out in to.

I don’t recall much about the play, it had something to do with a black, female blues singer, and was fairly light-hearted and full of toe-tapping tunes.  Afterwards, there was a dance being held in the theatre with members of the cast.  Maybe this was the final night of the play’s run, I don’t remember.

Well, we got into the drinks pretty quickly and soon all of our nerves and inhibitions were out the window.  When the organizers announced that they were going to have a dance contest I grabbed my red-haired darling’s hand and pulled him out onto the dance floor.  He resisted at first, but I wouldn’t be denied.

We jived, we gyrated, we twisted, we did the hop.  We kicked, twirled, dipped and walked like Egyptians.  And in the end, we won.  I can remember laughing and gasping for breath as we were handed our medal.  My husband and I were clinging tightly to one another, partly to keep ourselves from falling over, but more out of a sudden and compulsive need to keep touching.

At some point during the contest I remember a feeling of total abandonment coming over me.  Our friends did not exist, our child at home was forgotten.  The debts, the worries, and the squabbles that had come to define our relationship and our daily life seemed to be being ground into the floor beneath our feet as we danced.  When I looked into his face I saw the love he had for me, the desire, the need, the want, and it was all I wanted.

We’ve never danced that way since, and this past Christmas when we attempted the Twist, we both just laughed, shook our heads and agreed not to try.  Hand in hand we made our way back to our table, where we told our son and his wife the story of how once we won a medal for dancing.

© 2011 KathyLarson
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