Sunday, September 27, 2009

Beach Music : Birthday Cake

Image via WeHeartIt
"She looked as though she had dressed for this moment with the help of the moon. Bowing deeply, Shyla asked me if she could have the pleasure of this dance.

So we danced toward the central motion of our lives. The winds roared and a strange love rose like a tide between us and rested in the crown of waves that was loosening the frame of the house. Alone we danced beneath the full moon and the battery-powered light of cars as the team and their dates cheered each time they saw a giant shift taking place in the water-damaged foundation. As the Atlantic waters rose in a sanctioned dance of wave and tide, the house began to sway like the first terrible lifting of Noah's Ark. We could hear the other five remaining couples as they screamed with pleasure and terror in that room directly beneath us. I held Shyla closely, dancing with the girl who had taught me to dance on the veranda of my house. Outside, the players and their dates were begging us to abandon the foundering house and join them at the driftwood fires. They screamed out of worry and honked their car horns out of pure admiration for our daring.

Then the house shuddered as a large wave struck against its cinder-block foundation. Though I felt that same chilling fear that had sent the others running out of the house, Shyla's eyes held me as we listened to the hammering of the waves beneath us. The cries of our friends now turned to pleas each time a wave washed down over the broken-up road, the salt spray exploding off the beaten-down tarmac that had eroded over time like a cookie half-eaten by a child.

A deck piling snapped outside, loud as a rifle shot. On the radio the Drifters began to sing "Save the Last Dance for Me. " Together, as though this scene had long been choreographed in some zodiacal prophecy, we said together and with no hesitation, "My favorite song."
- excerpted from Beach Music by Pat Conroy, 1995

No comments:

Post a Comment