Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Singing Tom Petty with a crusty Croatian

The Croatian hires us for his girls, to help them learn how to fly.

"We do not have enough men", he explains, his accent thick but discernible.

He is tall and thin, a scarecrow of a man, but in his sixties, still well corded with muscle. He walks like silk, his white beard, trimmed neat, fills the hollows of his cheeks.

"Ladies, these are your men," his voice rattles from too many cigarettes replacing meals, washed down with nights of smokey whiskey.

He lines them along the wall, their outfits are a second skin, except at their waists where short skirts lay soft along their hips. They are small thin birds on a line, surveying us, silently, knowing better than to talk unless he gives the leave.

The walls are covered in mirrors so that all angles can be seen by simply changing perspective. Taking one of the girls to the center of the floor, he shows us exactly what he wants. Where to hold. Where to release. Where to thrust. His hard hands move fluidly across their bodies, each touch firm but gentle. They are fragile and trust is earned.

"Now, each of you, take one. Learn their bodies."

We each select one, then move to a corner to begin. The girls find freedom in our coupling, their lips now loose, provide direction on how best to hold them, give comfort yet allow them room to move and breathe across our foundations. In the mirrors, those that wait, stretch to limber their bodies, sometimes stopping to point and smile. They make comments quietly to each other, we can not hear.

When hands are clumsy, the girls take them, placing them in the right positions. Each mistake coils within them and they become forceful. Reminding us they are the goddesses and we the hired hands. The Croatian circles. Observing. His eyes see everything and he is quick to correct, when he does not see what he expects. We sweat, until sweat seems all we are as we pull them in close and press.

"Again. Again. Again," he barks, sending girl after girl.

Afterward, when the girls go to change, he gathers us to share dirty jokes, but then in all seriousness looks us in the eye and says, "You must take her and show her you are strong. She can not fly until she can trust you will not let her fall."

We nod in understanding and leave. I find a place on the concrete steps to sit and wait. Stars traverse the heavens and the earth grows quiet, as the others turn the corner beneath the street lamp. The door thunks behind me and I turn to see her, among the other girls, each carrying a heavy bag of their clothes, exit the building.

We press into each other, hands no longer bothered with positions. Our lips meet and I realise it was not just ballet to which he was speaking.

10DOM

71 comments:

nsiyer said...

'she can trust you will not let her fall."
Great words. I loved them.

happygirl said...

We both wrote of birds on a wire today. Great minds. :)
"Now, each of you, take one. Learn their bodies."
This is the good thing to learn.

Claudia said...

now this was a very wise man...

Daniel said...

Oh, so tender and sweet. Nice piece that pulled me in.

Pat Hatt said...

Very nice and uplifting piece
With some sweet release
Once again described to a tee
Now I'll reverse your line and you soon I will see..lol

Titanium said...

Words to live by.

Laura said...

Such a beautiful metaphor for love and life.

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

I read this three times! Beautifully done Brian!

California Girl said...

for once I grasped the meaning before it was revealed.

Goofball said...

It's like a movie scene...I picture black & white and rain outside but the dresses are colored and so are their smiles

Heather said...

a lot can happen on the dance floor/life- i like the story here - and i agree, like the line 'she can trust you will not let her fall...' good one!

Ash said...

Interesting!

kaykuala said...

My imagination was running wild. It brought it quite that far. So finally, ballet it is , the dance floor! How very clever!

Heaven said...

The first line, grabs attention; then weaves a story about dancing and relationship.

Like these lines as its the theme of this story:

"You must take her and show her you are strong. She can not fly until she can trust you will not let her fall."

Very vivid images, and the ending line is tender and meaningful. Thanks for sharing this from your heart ~

tracy said...

To borrow from another TP song and paraphrase one of your poems..."Oh my, my, oh hell, yes"!

Brian Miller said...

this one is a true story...T was a ballerina for 18 years...Frano was a trip (the crusty croatian)...eh...not my best write but...

Suz said...

the details were divine

5thsister said...

I recognized the dance! And I think I like that crusty ol' Croation, too!

Stranger said...

Fantastic! Submit this for publication!

Ali said...

look ... you have 888 followers... cool :)

haikulovesongs said...

this is a different style for you, yes, but that doesn't mean it's any "less than" your other writing, Brian. the tenderness is like a song barely heard winding through the story. very sweet even though you hint until the end that it's something more sexual. {smile}

Fred said...

Awesome write, thoroughly hooked me in, from title and then line to line. Really enjoyed it, thanks

ayala said...

Nicely done, Brian.

Eva Gallant said...

Lovely...You make it easy to see what you are writing..the mirrors, the moves, the "crusty Croation."

Vicki Lane said...

You paint the picture so well!

Sue said...

It's all about trust, in love and in life.

Well done, Brian.

=)

LceeL said...

Well done, Brian. It takes me back to a rehearsal hall from my youth. A play, though - a musical, and not ballet, though our dance routine was just a tough. And rehearsals were brutal.

PattiKen said...

I like where this almost went. I'm not sure what I was missing, but there was something, some crescendo that would have taken it to another level. Perhaps you could give it a push by adding a little more fiction to the true story.

But even so, I thought the writing was really well done.

Tara Miller said...

I love how you described one of our nights of many, many long rehearsals. Frano was a fantastic artistic director. Not only did he work us technically and artistically but he also brought some of us (you as well) under his wing sharing words of wisdom through that thick Croatian accent. You brought back fond memories of my dancing days, love. I like the quote "she cannot fly until she can trust you will not let her fall". Such truth in those words - trust in love trust in life trust in each other. ....I trust.... :)

So, have you told your readers that you danced in the Nutcracker? The things you do for love, right my love?!!

Magpie said...

So many wonderful lines in this one, but my favorite is "She can not fly until she can trust you will not let her fall". What a profound thought.

Margie said...

A true story!
How very wonderful, Brian.
I so loved this!
Wonderful write!

Margie :)

lori said...

So, you're both dancers? What a wonderful thing to share :) enjoyed the re-telling of this night, and I could picture the scene well. My favorite part was the ending.

hedgewitch said...

Allegory and account of reality, mingled and made into a fine ballet. I enjoyed the pictures you provided from behind the scenes of both (allegory and actual dance.) And no socks, just tights! Much more romantic. ;_)

Bossy Betty said...

As usual, beautiful details and message too.

Cloudia said...

you da man



Aloha from Waikiki;


Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >

ladyfi said...

Wonderful writing - and a great metaphor for life.

Sadee Schilling said...

This is beautiful! And I love that it's a true story.

Celestial Dreamz said...

it's a beautiful metaphor of love and life :)

Celestial Dreamz said...

and I am fine. thank you so much. It's just that life has become a bit hectic ... stay good and smiling. wishes and regards.

♥ Braja said...

You're good....

Valerie said...

Captivating. Definitely one of your best, Brian.

Cinner said...

always worth the vsit Brian, sometimes I have to just sit back and think. have a great day.

Lorraine said...

it is a terrific write with the ring of truth, there is no sense of immorality, just a sense of wonder...again you flabbergast me

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Brian,

Very interesting scenes alluringly written to grab and hold attention. I enjoyed this post.

Have a nice day,
Joseph

Alan Burnett said...

I had no idea where I was going until the end. But you knew that, you planned that .... you choreographed that.

TechnoBabe said...

Writing about things you are familiar with gives the piece flow and ease. A ballerina has a grace the rest of us don't understand.

annell said...

Yes, it does remind me of the school of life. It is sure.

JStar said...

Your words display this picture so clear in our minds!

ScottF said...

wow, nice!

Tina said...

I always wanted to be a ballerina, but they're not 5'4" and of sturdy Scandinavian stock. Settled for gymnast, where ironically the dance parts of it were my forte. Nice way to paint this picture. You put me right there. Crusty Croation ~ great name.
Tina @ Life is Good

Jannie Funster said...

Top notch writing here, Brian. Love how you described the instructor.

I never cease to be amazed by your versatility. And your imagination?? Whoa -- knows no limits! ballet? And why not!

xo

Captain Dumbass said...

Fantastic peice

Natasha said...

Honestly, the mirrors, the description of the instructor, the hands, the placement, all on point...awesome write...awesome enough that I'll run now screaming from memories dredged up. Not sure I should thank you for this one...I'm not going to sleep for a week! Wicked words!

Help! Mama Remote... said...

RElated to marriage and relationships. So true. I have to trust my husband won't drop me if he's going to pick me up to fly. Great peice Brian

KLo said...

I covet your gift for description ... like, seriously covet it.

And your post made me cry in light of my own blogosphere offering today

http://philosophyofklo.blogspot.com/2011/08/honoring-marriage-that-is-over.html

Bimbimbie said...

Trust, the best dance for two.

JeffScape said...

A bit abrupt, but the style's good. Nice to see your prose coming back to form.

Pastor Sharon said...

This is quite lovely, Brian. And what a beautiful story you weave of the dance of relationships.

That Janie Girl said...

Oh, wow. This is beautiful.

Slamdunk said...

Engaging read Brian--and to know that it was true and not even what you considered your best, is all the more.

Cad said...

Sometimes 55 words aren't enough, eh? :)

adeeyoyo said...

"She can not fly until she can trust you will not let her fall."
This is true of a lot of things, Brian... Nice poem, Brian.

Baino said...

I liked it. Then I do like it when you write prose even in a poetic style. I agree, it could be a little longer but it works.

She Writes said...

Indeed, Brian! This had many beautiful, perfectly placed words. Your prose--spot on. And I liked the story, of course.

Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury said...

I Thought I was one of the silly few who wrote something taht people don't seem to understand what someone said was 'poetry Prose'..you s is better..crisp & lovely..had tumbled on here..will stay a while :)

Pauline said...

you are a genius with words

bodhirose said...

I really like this, Brian. You sure know how to tell a story. I liked the line "...take one. Learn their bodies." I guess you have to in dance don't you--it can be so intimate.

Tom said...

this went to a different place, quite nice to see something out of the ordinary here. Maybe not your best write, but not the same old same old, either. like to see more of this

Myrna R. said...

Yes, dance skills apply to other intimate activities.

I love how you describe this lesson.

Syd said...

You met your ballerina and you danced so well together in life. Nice.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Some nice choice of words, perfectly placed. Perhaps the crescendo is after the story? -J