Here’s my own little contribution to the field of orgiastic dance — once again from that old Sakes in Caves opus…
The music intensified, the pipes squalling, and Heather stood to take off the army shirt. She bent to slip off her shoes, and as she straightened I became hyper-aware, in that stoned Eureka! way, of her body. She still had that magnificent, oft discussed rack of yore, known in the locker room as The Great Pyramids, or, more esoterically, in George’s term (quoted from somewhere) as the display fruit of equanimity. They were no longer as improbably high and weightless as years ago, but still managed to stretch the green, metallic silk of her halter top with the same staggeringly attractive gravity, especially to a guy who was as buzzed as I was.
And then there were her legs — when exactly was it that Miller’s beanpole little sister had first stepped out on them? Was it that summer in Florida, between her freshman and sophomore years, running down the beach next to the ocean, that the scrawny sinew bloomed into this perfect, unchanged proportion of strength and shape?
As she danced on the carpet, her silver serpent anklet flashing above her dirty soled foot, they were all there, all the times we’d played around sex without ever doing anything — making out for hours in a stoned daze, just kissing and groping, stopping only to hit Dee Skull as it was passed — or mock wrestling, those legs in tights, constricting around my chest in a scissors hold.
For a flash she had the pose of Koach’s doll as she swung her arms slowly to the music, beginning that dance she always used to do, that same dance, and with that recognition an irrepressible, stoned giggle rose out of me.
“What?” She said, continuing her motions a little self-consciously. “Are you laughing at me?”
“No, no, no, not at all, far from it, I was just remembering…” And I was, the rush of the high making all of it, all of the time I’d spent with Heather, so immediate, more like a sensation than a memory. “That dance…that dance concert.”
It was a routine she’d painstakingly evolved, first under the familiar eyes in the mirror, and then to the numb gaze of wasted youth in a dark bedroom, and most famously, to the peanut crunching stares of Parents, classmates and siblings at the Spring Fling dance concert of ‘76. The stage was lit in green, bare except for a ladder set up in back, Heather performed solo, to the music from a boom box, wearing tight gray sweat pants and a leotard, a yellow snake painted on each cheek.
“When you did that…” I was thinking much faster than I was speaking. “It knocked me out.”
“Yeah, I bet it did. You knocked your little weenie out for a week.”
“No, well, maybe, granted, true enough, but really beyond that it was beautiful and graceful and all that. And I finally got it, about the ladder, I mean. I’ll never forget it.”
She snorted but smiled, moving more naturally, pivoting in a twist that was halfway between tai-chi and slow motion cheer leading.
“You know the first time…” The words were catching up with the thoughts now. ” The first time I noticed you I mean was like in awe of you was at that soccer game. Koach conned me into being a ball boy, Kiski remember? And you were running all the way down the side line, alone, unmarked, right, and Nancy shot out this long pass right in front of the goal only — ” I whistled. “Off sides. And you just yelled SHIT! and kicked the ball, blam, all the way into, deep into the fucking woods, and I know because I had to get the stupid thing. And you were bent over there with your hands on your knees, totally gassed, just panting and glaring and making this sound. And I was standing there in awe, mesmerized, and they’re all yelling at me to throw the ball in and all. I’d just — I’d never seen anybody let themselves go like that.”
The dance — it had been called “Try And Catch The Wind,” in the concert program, but could really fit any trippy music, and been renamed many times, the last one I could remember being “The Goddess Dances on the Ruins” — got faster with the rising drone of the pipes and the patterning of the drum beats, Heather breathing audibly now, her great Gauguin nostrils flaring.
“Yeah? Well you know when I decided you weren’t totally the freen that you appeared to be? After the accident, before the ambulance came, you were in the back of that one police car. Totally covered with blood, but you were laughing and joking, talking about grabbing the riot gun and wasting a few pigs.” She paused for a beat, head turned, elbow bent, knee raised. “And when they took you to the ambulance — and we all saw this — you had this huge boner.”